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Final Preparations underway at CWGC Thiepval Memorial

24 June 2016

On Friday 1 July, the CWGC Thiepval Memorial will host a national commemorative event to mark the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

The day will see the culmination of two years of horticultural and structural preparations by our CWGC regional teams.

Significant replanting has been carried out in Thiepval Anglo-French Cemetery, with major improvements also made to the turf in the cemetery and around the memorial.

The grass has been spiked, tined, aerated, top-dressed and fed - and given all the care needed to make sure it is in the best condition for 1 July.

The ceremony will also mark the end of the first phase of a major restoration project on the memorial. Water ingress on any building can cause significant problems and the Thiepval Memorial is particularly exposed to the elements.
Phase one has tackled the memorial's roofs and pointing and will help keep it watertight for the next 100 years.

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.

Find out more about the CWGC's Somme Centenary preparations, here: