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Battle of the Somme Overnight Vigil
30.06.2016 - 01.07.2016 
North Weald
Entertainment Events


A special event from dusk on Thursday 30 June to dawn on Friday 1 July 2016.

As part of the national commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, we are holding an overnight vigil on the grass in front of the Control Tower at North Weald Airfield. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.

It will begin at sunset with the lighting of a symbolic brazier set next to a section of trench and guarded by re-enactors dressed as World War 1 soldiers. They will maintain the brazier through the night. At 4:15am an ecumenical service will be held to remember the sacrifice and honour the dead of the battle which lasted from July until November 1916.

When the sun starts to rise at around 4:45am a sound and light show will reproduce the noise of battle at the time the troops went over the top to the sound of officers’ whistles.

Food and drinks will be available along with ample parking and toilets in the Tower. The trench will be in place for for several weeks to allow local schoolchildren and the community to experience a small part of what it would have been like as a soldier in the front line during World War 1. The Gunpowder Mills at Waltham Abbey will be kindly loaning us items from their collection, which will be on display in the Tower.

More information regarding this and other events will be posted on Facebook at


North Weald Airfield
North Weald Airfield
Merlin Way
CM16 6HR
North Weald


Venue Information: North Weald Airfield dates from 1916 and is famous as one of the main fighter bases in the Battle of Britain. It is a historic, well-maintained site of almost 400 acres, which hosts a wide range of activities thoughout the year.

Venue opening hours: The Airfield is open 0830 to 1900 - Or Sunset +30 minutes local time (Whichever is earlier) 

Car Parking: Available on site

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