On this very day 100 years ago the first day of the 141-day campaign.July 1 1916, was and still is the deadliest day in the history of the British Army. Almost 20,000 British Empire soldiers lost their lives in just 24 hours.

Today, a commemorative service will take place at the Thiepval Memorial To The Missing which towers over the rolling Picardy fields in northern France where so many fell.

A National Commemorative Service will take place at 3pm at Manchester Cathedral, followed by a people’s procession through Manchester to Heaton Park at 7:30pm. The free event will close with live performances of music, poems and dance linked to the First World War.Here are some photos from

The service in memory of the Accrington pals at Serre Credit: Philip Gornall
The service in memory of the Accrington pals at Serre Credit: Philip Gornall
French military band wait for ceremony to begin Credit: Philip Gornall
Waiting for the ceremony to begin Credit: Philip Gornall
Veterans at Thiepval Credit: Philip Gornall
Veterans at Thiepval Credit: Philip Gornall
Veterans at Thiepval Credit: Philip Gornall