Cer­e­monies mark Somme cen­te­nary

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - What’s On -

A day com­mem­o­rat­ing the 100th an­niver­sary of the Bat­tle of the Somme takes place to­mor­row (Fri­day) in Great Chart.

Two cer­e­monies will take place at the vil­lage’s St Mary’s Church with spe­cial guests in­clud­ing the Mayor of Ash­ford, Cllr Ge­orge Kowa­ree, and Ash­ford MP Damian Green.

The Bat­tle of the Somme, fought in North­ern France, was the blood­i­est of the First World War. For a gru­elling 141 days, the Bri­tish and French ar­mies fought the Ger­mans, with more than 57,000 ca­su­al­ties on its first day alone.

Seven sol­diers from Great Chart lost their lives in that bat­tle and there will be a flag for each of them on dis­play at the me­mo­rial event.

Great Chart i s renowned f or i t s col­lec­tion of First World War let­ters sent back to loved ones by men in the ser­vices Dur­ing that ter­ri­ble con­flict. Some of these let­ters sent by sol­diers will be read out dur­ing the ser­vice.

The commemoration will also host an ex­hi­bi­tion of the let­ters writ­ten to Great Chart woman El­iz­a­beth Quin­ton Strouts, who sent out al­most 1,000 let­ters and 6,000 parcels to en­listed men from her vil­lage. They will re­main in St Mary’s church for 141 days un­til Novem­ber 18 to mark the length of the bat­tle.

The first event - at 10am - will see chil­dren from five schools in­volved in a church ser­vice and lay­ing wreaths at the War Me­mo­rial. A twominute si­lence will be­gin at the me­mo­rial at 11am, fol­lowed by a sec­ond ser­vice in the evening at 7.30pm.

Sol­diers from the Lan­cashire Fusiliers on the Somme

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.