Artillery smoke drifting across Big Ben at the start of the UK nationwide two-minute silence (Photo: Centenary News)

100-second gun salute for Somme Centenary in London

Posted on on 01 July 2016
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London's Parliament Square echoed to the boom of artillery on the morning of July 1st 2016, as troops fired a salute to mark 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme.

The guns fell silent when the hands of Big Ben reached 7.28, signalling the beginning of a two minute silence across the UK in memory of all those who fell in one of the longest battles of the First World War.  

The ceremony, synchronised with tributes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, was a reminder of the massive bombardment that preceded the launch of the Allied offensive in Northern France a century ago.

Whistles blew to end the silence at 7.30 recalling the moment when tens of thousands of troops went 'over the top' on July 1st 1916 as a week-long artillery barrage lifted.

Overnight vigils was kept at the grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, and at the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh, to mark the eve of the Centenary.

Posted by: CN Editorial Team

Images: Centenary News