Eighty years of commemoration at Thiepval
18 June 2012
Members of staff of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission will
be on hand to talk to members of the public attending the
ceremonies at the Thiepval Memorial on July 1st, marking the 96th
anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
This is a special year because it is 80 years since the Thiepval
Memorial was inaugurated by Edward, Prince of Wales.
July 1st 1916 was the worst day in the history of the British
Army, with nearly 20,000 men killed and nearly 40,000 more wounded
or taken prisoner.
By the time the offensive on the Somme was called off, in
November 1916, the death toll was over 120,000, and many of the
dead were never found or could not be identified.
Their names are inscribed on memorials to the missing and the
largest, at Thiepval, bears more than 72,000 names.
Hundreds of people attend the ceremonies held at Thiepval, every
July 1st, to remember those who died.
This year, on June 30th and July 1st, Commission staff will be
on hand to provide free information leaflets and to talk to members
of the public about the Battle of the Somme and the Thiepval
To illustrate the eighty years of commemoration at Thiepval,
from next week we will be using our Facebook page to publish
photographs and tributes. After the July 1st ceremonies, we will
publish our own photographs, and - we hope - the photographs of any
members of the public who have attended events marking the
anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.