Somme 100

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The Battle of the Somme, 1916

 

Fought between July and November 1916, the Battle of the Somme was one of the defining events of the First World War.

 

The Somme offensive was planned as the major Allied effort on the Western Front for 1916, but the start of a desperate battle between French and German forces at Verdun meant that the British Army assumed the main role.

 

After an intense, week-long artillery bombardment of German positions, the infantry began their advance at 7.30am on the clear midsummer’s morning of 1 July 1916.

 

While there were some gains to the south, in the north the attacking troops struggled to overcome formidable defences, many of which had survived the artillery barrage. By the end of the first day, some 57,000 Commonwealth and 2,000 French soldiers had become casualties – more than 19,000 of whom had been killed.

 

The offensive continued over the following months, and men from every part of Britain and across the Empire took part. Both sides committed huge quantities of manpower and munitions to the struggle.

 

When the offensive was halted in November, more than 1,000,000 Commonwealth, French and German soldiers had been wounded, captured, or killed.

 

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At 07:30 on the 1st July 2016 a small service was held at the Ilford War Memorial Gardens to commemorate that pivotal moment in time,100 years ago, when the whistles blew all along the length of the British & Allied Force's trenches and thousands of brave men went “over the top”.

 

At 10.45 on the same day, a formal Civic Service was held in the Ilford War Memorial Gardens in the presence of the Mayor, Local MP’s, Councillors, other Dignitaries and Invited Guests.

 

This Memorial Event is open to the public and ALL are welcome to attend…

 

Both of the above events were hosted by

the

 Barkingside Branch of the Royal British Legion