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Bromley remembers the battle of the Somme

by Marco Cillario Fri 10 June 2016, 10:36 am

A series of commemorations will take place around the borough in memory of the men who lost their lives or were wounded in the battle of the Somme during the First World War.

On 1 July 2016, 100 years after the day the battle started, ceremonies will be held at various war memorials in Bromley, Orpington, Beckenham, West Wickham and Chislehurst, including descriptions of the battle and short prayers. Three short blasts will be blown at 7.30am to mark the exact time the battle began.

On the morning of 1 July 1916, British, Commonwealth and French soldiers started advancing towards the German lines by the River Somme in France.

By the end of the day, British and Commonwealth troops had suffered 57,470 casualties, 19,240 of whom had died. It was the bloodiest day in the history of the British army.

The battle lasted for five months, during which British and French troops penetrated six miles into the German-occupied territory and more than one million men were killed or wounded – making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

To commemorate those who took part in the battle, Bromley Council will join the Whistle of the Somme celebration, organised by the Western Front Association.

The council is calling on residents’ associations, British legion branches and other interested bodies to take part.

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