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St Osyth Remembers ‘THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME’ One Hundred Years Ago This Day


Residents gather at the Village War Memorial before the service

Today the Royal British Legion and local residents gather at the village war memorial to remember the Battle of the Somme, that began one hundred year ago today the 1st July 1916. The ‘Somme Offensive’ as it was known in military circles, lasted until the 18th November 1916 and was the most costly in terms of British and Empire troop losses through those killed and injured , with British Army alone bearing the greatest losses ever suffered, with 57,470 casualties.
It was during this battle that tanks were first used on the battlefield and for the first time the aeroplane played a very important part in both attack and reconnaissance roles. The phrase "Lions led by donkeys" was an expression of disgust at the loss of life where troops (the lions) were sent into battle by the generals (the donkeys) who were thought not to understand on the ground the disastrous results of their orders.


Chairs had been brought to the memorial for the elderly to use


Some of those present standing round the monument waiting to start.


The R.B.L. Standards are held aloft ready for the service to begin


The Lord’s Prayer being said at the opening of the service


Revd. Sharon Miles opens the service of remembrance with words of welcome to those attending, then leading everyone in the opening with the Lord’s Prayer. The Bugler , Ann Headworth, a member of the Clacton-on-Sea Cooperative Band, is standing to the right of Sharon and she will sound out the Last Post and the Reveille to begin and close the two minutes silence. You can listen on the two short movies below.


The Exhortation is said by Neil Williams, then the Bugler sounds off ‘The Last Post’ to begin two minutes of silence


The last 32 seconds of the two minute silence – then ‘The Reveille’ is sounded.

Mr. Basil Hutley retired President of the Royal British Legion, St Osyth Branch (above) lays the wreath on behalf of the Legion. The words in the centre of the wreath draw attention to the length of the ‘Somme Campaign’, which achieved so very little, for such a great loss of life one hundred years ago in 1916.


A reading by Mr Laithwaite

There are three short movies (of questionable quality) above. Click the arrow in the centre to run them.
Unfortunately these may not run on an older browser, but need an updated browser such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or Firefox.


Reveille has sounded, the R.B.L. wreath has been laid


Revd. Sharon begins the final prayer and a general blessing to those present this morning


The Standards are ready to be lowered for the National Anthem to conclude the service.


A carpet of poppies on the laid on the Steps


The R.B.L. wreath laid on the bed of poppies records the final thought for those who died during the Somme Offensive.

M.J.T.
7/7/16

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