Remembering the heroes of the Battle of the Somme

At 7:30 AM on Saturday 1 July 1916, British troops clambered from their trenches to advance across no man's land towards the German lines.

But the attack was largely a disaster.

In just a few hours, 19,240 British troops were killed out of a total of 57, 470 casualties, making it the bloodiest day in British military history.

Thousands of soldiers from the North West died on the Somme and all this week, we'll have a series of special features to mark the event on Friday.

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Bible that survived the Somme and Afghanistan

Sergeant Major Jason Rollins with the Bible Credit: British Army

A bible that has survived since the Battle of the Somme will be carried as the Mercian Regiment marches through Chester today to mark a hundred years since the action. It belonged to Private Arnold Bishop who died in the fighting in France, and handed down to Jason Rollins. The 2nd Battalion Sergeant Major took it with him when he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. He was given it by his grandmother.

She told me how proud she was that I had become a Sergeant Major and told me to remain safe on tour and to take the bible as protection.

– Sgt Major Jason Rollins
The Mercian Regiment march in Chester with the Bible today Credit: British Army


Soldiers share relatives' stories of Battle of Somme

Tens of thousands of people are expected in Manchester to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

A parade featuring military personnel and descendants of those who fought at the Somme will leave Albert Square at 2pm, continuing along John Dalton Street and Deansgate to finish at Manchester Cathedral, where a service of remembrance will be held at 3pm.

Colour Sergeant Lee Vout and Major Andy Holsgrove told us about their relatives who fought in the Battle of Somme.


Photos: Chorley Pals memorial for Battle of Somme

An event is being co-ordinated by the Chorley Pals memorial Trust to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice at the Battle of Somme.

Chorley Pals memorial for Battle of Somme Credit: Victoria Grimes
Chorley Pals memorial for Battle of Somme Credit: Victoria Grimes
Chorley Pals memorial for Battle of Somme Credit: Victoria Grimes

Councillor Peter Wilson, Deputy Leader of Chorley Council, said:

The 100th anniversary is an important date in our borough’s history because so many residents put their lives at risk in what was one of the bloodiest battles in the history of the British Army.

It’s quite right that we pay our respects and having the 3 Medical Regiment march through the town is a fitting way to recognise the sacrifices that people made.

– Councillor Peter Wilson
  1. National

Nation falls silent in Battle of the Somme remembrance

The nation has fallen silent to honour the thousands of soldiers who died in the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago.

The battle was the bloodiest day in British military history, with 60,000 soldiers killed on the first day alone.

Ceremonies were held across the country, with a two-minute silence ending at 7.30am - the time when British, Commonwealth and French forces went 'over the top' in northern France.

In London, people lined Parliament Square to pay tribute, with the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery manning three guns which were fired every four seconds for 100 seconds to mark the silence.

The battle lasted for 141 days.

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