News

December 22nd 2016

100 years on – The Battle of the Somme remembered

Battle of the Somme Commemoration event at County Hall

2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and a host of events took place throughout the year to remember the hundreds of thousands of people who died in the World War One offensive.

More than one million men were wounded or killed in the battle that lasted from 1 July to 18 November 1916.

County Hall in Nottingham hosted a commemoration event to mark the first day of the Battle.

Councillor Alan Rhodes joined a veteran, two cadets and a representative from 65 Works Group outside County Hall in NottinghamThe personnel from 65 Works Group Royal Engineers, 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group, made up of a mixture of regular and reservist soldiers, formed a saluting party at the event.

Speaking in January, Captain Darren Herd, Training Officer at 65 Works Group, said: “It was an opportunity to pay tribute to those that sacrificed so much whilst also ensuring that their legacy continues for generations.”

Services of commemorations were held across the region on 1 July with units from Leicestershire present at Leicester Cathedral for a special service which included a moving poppy drop.

Air Cadets from the 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron joined members of the Royal British Legion in an overnight vigil at the Eureka Park Memorial Gates in the town.

After a vigil and lighting of a beacon, members of the squadron took it in terms through the night on 1 July to stand and remember the fallen.

The vigil ended with a whistle blast symbolic of the whistle blasts 100 years earlier that signalled for British and French troops to go ‘over the top’ of the trenches on the first day of the conflict when over 19,000 British soldiers lost their lives.

Tank

Lincolnshire Army Cadets celebrate the tank

The Battle of the Somme saw some of the first ever uses of tanks in warfare. Many were made in Lincoln so to commemorate this, Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force was out in force for a parade held on 17 July to mark the centenary of tanks.

Northampton Sea Cadets on parade

Northampton Sea Cadets on parade

Throughout the year, many cadets had the opportunity to go on Battlefield Tours which included visits to The Somme battlefield and the Thiepval Memorial.

Among those were some from Northampton Sea Cadets who traced the actions of the Royal Navy Division on The Somme. Those cadets then laid wreaths at Northampton’s Remembrance Sunday (13 November) commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the battle.

“It was an opportunity to pay tribute to those that sacrificed so much whilst also ensuring that their legacy continues for generations.”