Remembering the Battle of the Somme

Thiepval Memorial at The Somme

Help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme at the war memorial in St Peter’s Street, St Albans on Friday 1st July from 7.20am.

A wreath will be laid at the war memorial and a two minute’s silence held at 7.28am to remember those who lost their lives in the battle. There will also be prayers and a couple of readings, including a passage from the Ode of Remembrance and the Kohima Epitaph. Members of the Royal British Legion and the Mayor of St Albans City and District, Councillor Frances Leonard, will be present.

 

The ceremony is organised by the St Albans branch of the Royal British Legion to coincide with the national two-minute silence marking the anniversary of the battle’s launch.

 

The Battle of the Somme was fought in northern France and was one of the bloodiest of World War One. British and French armies fought German soldiers for five months along a 15-mile front. It is estimated that the British army suffered around 420,000 casualties in the battle, including more than 57,000 on the first day. The French lost about 200,000 men and the Germans nearly 500,000.

 

Don Dell, from the Royal British Legion said: “Everyone is welcome to join us at the war memorial in St Peter’s Street to mark the anniversary of the start of this World War One battle. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives in the battle which lasted until 18 November 1916.”

 

War Memorial, St. Peter's Street, St Albans

 

Councillor Frances Leonard, Mayor of St Albans City and District, said: “The Battle of the Somme came to symbolise the horrors of warfare in World War One. It is important to remember those who lost their lives in the hope that this will never happen again.”

 

On Friday, the Royal British Legion will also fly the Union flag at half-mast at its base in Verulam Road.  In addition, St Albans City and District Council will fly a Union flag at half-mast from the top of the Alban Arena.

 

(Source: St Albans City and District Council)

 

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