Join our Somme Centenary Commemoration

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Media, Museum, North Weald Airfield, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council

On 1 July 2016 it will be exactly 100 years since the First World War’s Battle of the Somme started. Epping Forest District Council Chairman Jeane Lea would like to remind residents they are invited to our Somme Centenary Commemoration.

The Somme Centenary Commemoration takes place at North Weald Airfield on 1 July 2016 at 7.30am, the time when troops went over the top. Services of commemoration will be held throughout the UK.

Chairman Jeane Lea and husband Tony

Epping Forest District Council and the Royal Gunpowder Mills are also mounting a special educational exhibition in North Weald Airfield Control Tower. The exhibition is free and available to residents and school groups between Saturday 25 June and Friday 1 July 2016.

Battle of the Somme

In World War 1, the Battle of the Somme was one of the largest battles on the Western Front. It claimed more than a million casualties in 141 days.

Battle of the Somme

Overnight vigil

Chairman Jeane Lea said: “Our commemorations begin the night before with an overnight vigil. Airfield staff will dress in 1916 British Army uniforms and tend a brazier lit by our Vice-chairman throughout the night next to a reconstruction of a WWI trench.”

Early morning service of commemoration

Chairman Jeane Lea continued: “At 7.30am the soldiers will take their place by a symbolic trench as Father James Rodley leads the service of commemoration with hymns, prayers and readings from the verses of the Great War poets.”

“The service is free to attend and I hope that residents will join me for this simple service of commemoration. Help us keep alive the memory of our fallen heroes. We must never forget the price paid by so many poor men all those years ago.”

Want to know more?