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Monday, 20 June 2016

Cheshire East salutes fallen in Battle of the Somme

 

Cheshire East Council is to hold a ceremony of commemoration to mark the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Veterans groups, dignitaries, schoolchildren and other members of the public will gather for a poignant ceremony and wreath laying at Nantwich War Memorial at 10.30am on July 1.

Mayor of Cheshire East Councillor Olivia Hunter will lead the tributes on behalf of Cheshire East Council to the fallen from the First World War battle.

The Battle of the Somme, which began at 7.30am on July 1, 1916 is the single bloodiest day in British military history.

The British Army suffered a staggering 57,540 casualties that day, of which more than 19,000 were killed.

The battle lasted until November 18, 1916 and was one of the costliest of the First World War. In total, more than one million soldiers were killed or wounded.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “It is tremendously important that today’s generation continues to remember and honour the sacrifice made during the First World War by families across what is now Cheshire East.

“There were few families in Cheshire who did not suffer some loss during this cataclysmic and brutal battle. It is only right that now, 100 years on, we pay tribute to their great sacrifice.” 

The ceremony will be attended by representatives of the Royal British Legion, Cheshire Regiment Association, Cheshire East Council and Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire David Briggs as well as local schools.

Members of the public are warmly invited to attend (seating, however, will be limited).

The commemorative event is part of the Council’s four-year programme of remembrance of the sacrifice by the people of Cheshire East during the First World War.

Cheshire East will be marking a number of key anniversaries in the period up to November 11, 2018, when the centenary of the signing of the Armistice will be commemorated.

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