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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

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