Abbey service marks centenary of the Battle of the Somme

 

Abbey service marks centenary of the Battle of the Somme

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Ministry of Defence Press Office

Almost 100 years since the start of the Somme offensive, members of the Armed Forces have begun standing vigil in the UK and France in honour of the war dead. As part of a series of events to mark the centenary of the conflict, Tri-Service personnel have joined colleagues from other nations to pay tribute to the thousands who died in the 141-day battle. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh as well as the Prime Minister attended a service at Westminster Abbey in London, followed by a vigil made up of almost 100 Armed Forces personnel which will continue throughout the night until 7.30am on Friday – the exact moment troops went over the top at the Somme. In France, a similar vigil is taking place overnight at the Thiepval Memorial. The vigil is made up of a British Tri-Service contingent, plus troops from other participating nations including Germany, France and other Commonwealth countries.

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