The silence will start after a 100-second gun salute in Parliament Square, fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery (Photo: Centenary News)

Somme Centenary: UK two-minute silence on July 1

Posted on on 27 June 2016
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Britain will observe a two-minute silence on Friday July 1st 2016, marking 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme.

The nation will fall silent at 7.28 am, commemorating the moment when the first wave of soldiers went 'over the top' for the Allied offensive in Picardy in 1916.

A reading in Westminster Abbey and a 100-second gun salute fired by soldiers of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Parliament Square will lead up to the silence.

It will end with the blowing of whistles after the chimes of Big Ben at 7.30am.

A day of commemorations will follow in the UK and France, paying tribute to all those who fell in one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War.

On the Somme, there'll be an international remembrance service at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Admission is by invitation only.

The UK National Commemorations take place in Manchester, with a parade through the city at lunchtime and a commemorative service at Manchester Cathedral.

The 141-day Battle of the Somme resulted in more than a million Allied and German casualties (dead, wounded and missing).

July 1st 1916 is remembered as the worst day in British military history - 19,240 soldiers were killed, 35,493 wounded and 2,737 were missing or taken prisoner.

See the Somme UK Commemoration guide for details of local  events and vigils marking the Centenary. On June 30th, the Imperial War Museum in London will be hosting 'The Night Before the Somme'an evening of art, music and poetry.   

Source: UK Government (DCMS) and Imperial War Museums

Images: Centenary News

Posted by: CN Editorial Team