'The Night Before the Somme' at the Imperial War Museum on June 30th (Photo: Centenary News)

Round-up of other Somme centenary memorial events

Posted on centenarynews.com on 03 July 2016
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As well as the commemorative events for the Somme held at Thiepval and Manchester, there were also a large number of other commeorations organised in the UK and France to mark the centenary of the battle. 

There were memorial services on July 1st at the French village of Contalmaison (wreathes were laid at a memorial to the 15th and 16th battalions of the Royal Scots); at Rancourt, where there was an offical French ceremony; at the Ulster Tower at Thiepval; and at the German Military Cemetery at Fricourt.

On July 2nd, Canadian delegations commemorated their country's involvement at the battle in a remembrance event at the Canadian Memorial at Courcelette.

And on July 3rd, New Zealand held a ceremony at the Cité Bonjean Cemetery in Armentières.

Other events and activities marking the battle included:

Imperial War Museum

Thousands of people attended a special event at the Imperial War Museum in London on the eve of the centenary. 'The Night Before the Somme' included musical performances, talks and a screening of the 1916 film 'Battle of the Somme'.

'Shrouds of the Somme', Exeter

19,240 shrouded figurines, each remembering a British soldier killed on the first day of the Somme, were laid out in Northernhay Gardens, Exeter, for commemorations on July 1st.

Tens of thousands of visitors have filed past the 12-inch (30cm) figures, the work of Somerset artist Rob Heard, during a week-long display. 

County Durham

Meanwhile, Beamish Museum, near Stanley, County Durham, UK, organised a rembrance weekend from July 1st with re-enactment groups, bands and displays..

The Bevis Marks Synagogue, London, UK

On June 30th, the Bevis Marks Synagogue commemorated the Jewish experience at the Battle of Somme. Two representatives from the Jewish Lads' and Girls' Brigade read out the names of the Jewish fatalities on the first day of the battle.

Patricia Hammond

The singer Patricia Hammond, who specialises in First World War songs, performed at commemoration events at Fricourt on July 1st, and then on July 2nd at Courcelette. 

Commemorative Cover

British Forces Philatelic Service (www.bfps.org.uk) has produced a commemorative cover to mark the Centenary of battle. 

East Neuk Festival

In Scotland, drawings of soldiers going to war, and then returning, were created on Elie beach on July 1st, as part of the East Neuk Festival. The sandy outlines provided a focus for tributes before being symbolically lost to the tides.

On July 2nd, East Neuk presented the world premiere of a specially commissioned choral work for the Somme Centenary. Memorial Ground - by American composer David Lang - was inspired by the stories of Scottish families and performed at a festival venue amid the poppy fields of Fife.