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Somme Ballot 2016

UK Government's public ballot launched for Somme centenary event at CWGC Thiepval Memorial

30 October 2015

The  UK Government's public ballot has been launched for tickets to attend a national commemorative event to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

The event will be held on 1 July 2016 and we are delighted to announce that it will be hosted at the CWGC Thiepval Memorial, France.

The Thiepval Memorial is the largest Commonwealth war memorial in the world and bears the names of more than 72,000 men who died on the Somme and have no known grave. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is also commemorates the alliance between the British Empire and France. Beside the memorial is a cemetery with equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves, brought together from all over the battlefield.

Tickets to the event are free of charge and will be allocated in pairs to successful applicants.

The ballot will be open until 18 November 2015.

For more information and to enter the ballot please visit
Other Events

The Somme Offensive lasted for twelve 'battles', across a total of 141 days, from 1 July to 18 November 1916.

In addition to the event on 1 July next year, the CWGC is working in partnership with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and The Royal British Legion (RBL) to develop a programme of events across the 141 Days.

Together, we aim to highlight the sacrifice of those who served and honour those who lost their lives, with a range of events and acts of commemoration focused on the CWGC's cemeteries and memorials across the Somme battlefield.

The programme will include two parts:
141 Days - "The Front"

Throughout the period of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, there will be numerous events taking place to commemorate the different actions and contribution of the many people who took part.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is keen to support organisations and associations which plan to hold commemorative events at our cemeteries or at regimental memorials across the Somme battlefield.

We will help to promote these events and provide advice on CWGC cemeteries that may be of interest in the area. We shall soon be publishing a full list of events taking place.

Organisations and Associations planning an event should contact the CWGC at or on 01628 507125.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission will shortly be publishing a calendar of events, to promote the ceremonies which are taking place and highlight the number of different organisations involved in commemorating the Battle of the Somme.

141 Days - Thiepval Memorial

A daily act of remembrance will take place at the CWGC's Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, at Thiepval. Managed and organised by the Royal British Legion, this will continue throughout the 141 Days.