go

Newbury remembers the Battle of the Somme

Service held to mark the centenary of the battle

John Herring

Reporter:

John Herring

Contact:

01635 886633

Newbury remembers the Battle of the Somme

PEOPLE in Newbury paused to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme today (Friday). 

At 7.28am on the morning of July 1, 1916 men of the British, French and Commonwealth forces were given the order to go over the top of their trenches. 

They were expecting to walk unopposed across no man's land and into the German trenches; instead they were met with a hail of gunfire.

The  first day of the Somme remains the bloodiest day in British Army history when it suffered 57,540 casualties, around 20,000 of whom were killed.

After a series of attacks and counter attacks, including the first use of tanks on September 15, poor weather stopped the Somme Offensive on November 18, 1916. The British and French had gained 12km of ground.

Newbury Town Council is holding a 12-hour vigil at the town's war memorial today, ending at 7pm. 

In a poignant ceremony of poetry and prayers; residents, veterans and dignitaries fell silent to remember the thousands of men who fell in the battle. 

For a full report, see next week's Newbury Weekly News. 

Did your West Berkshire town or village mark the centenary? Contact john.herring@newburynews.co.uk 

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000

News

Hundreds take part in Boys Beating Cancer race today (Sunday)
News

Hundreds take part in Boys Beating Cancer race today (Sunday)

Rain doesn't deter determined runners in ninth annual event

 
Police appeal for witnesses to attempted robbery
News

Police appeal for witnesses to attempted robbery

One Stop staff in Hungerford threatened with knife

 
News

Residents flee sewage leak

1comment

 
News

Mum and pup need a new home

 
News

Crop circles: call 999, say police

1comment