01 July 2017

CWGC marks first day of the Battle of the Somme

Today marks the anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme – a battle that left a deep mark on millions of families across the Commonwealth.

 

Fought between July and November 1916, the battle was one of the defining events of the First World War.

It is often remembered for the huge losses on the first day, but the Somme offensive continued for a total of 141 days.

An estimated 3.5 million men took part in the battle in 1916. By its end, well over one million had become casualties.

Some 150,000 Commonwealth servicemen lie buried in 250 military and 150 civilian cemeteries on the Somme. Six memorials to the missing

commemorate by name more than 100,000 whose graves are not known.

The cemeteries and memorials built and cared for by the CWGC across the Somme, including Thiepval Anglo-French Cemetery, Thiepval Memorial, Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, and Serre Road Cemetery No.2, stand as a lasting reminder of the human cost of the fighting in this region throughout the First World War.

Find out more about the Battle of the Somme here.

Latest News

The grave of 23-year-old Wing Commander Byron Rawson, Royal Canadian Air Force, was dedicated in Canada on Saturday 22 September.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is marking the end of the First World War Centenary with 120 personal stories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the last months of the war. One remarkable story is that of Risaldar Badlu Singh, from Dhakla Haryana, who died on 23 September 1918. The CWGC commemorates nearly 74,000 members of Indian forces who served in the First World War.

The recent Typhoon in Hong Kong, Typhoon Mangkhut, has caused damage to CWGC cemeteries.