BATTLE OF THE SOMME BEGAN 100 YEARS AGO
Theipval Memorial, Northern France (JFK+50) One hundred years ago today, July 1, 1916, the British army lost 19,240 soldiers in the first day of fighting of the Battle of the Somme*. It remains the "worst day in British military history."
According to Sophie Long of the BBC, ten thousand people attended a ceremony today here at Theipval Memorial** in honor of the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Back in the UK, after a two minute silence, the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired guns from Parliament Square lasting 100 seconds.
The Battle of the Somme was fought along the River Somme in northern France. After five months of fighting in which more than a million soldiers on both sides were killed or wounded, the British advanced only seven miles and were unable to break the German defenses.
*Battle of the Somme (July 1 to Nov 18, 1916) was the largest battle of WWI on the Western Front & one of the bloodiest battles in world history.
**The Theipval Memorial, located near the village Theipval, Picardy in northern France, was built between 1928 & 1932. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens & memorializes 72,246 missing British servicemen from the Battle of the Somme of WWI.
Following is the inscription on the memorial...
"Here are recorded names of officers and men of the British armies who fell on the Somme battlefields...but due to the fortunes of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrades in death."
"At the Theipval Memorial ceremony," by Sophie Long, BBC News, www.bbc.com/
"Battle of the Somme: Royals at Somme centenary commemoration," BBC News, www.bbc.com/