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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 Memorial.

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.