The centenary of the Battle of the Somme, which took place during the First World War, will be marked at St Cuthbert’s Church in Bedlington next week.
St Cuthbert’s and the Tyneside Scottish Association, in association with Northumberland County Council and West Bedlington Town Council, will be holding a special commemorative service.
On July 1, 1916, whistles blew along the front line trenches and thousands of British Empire troops scrambled out into ‘No-man’s Land’ with French Empire soldiers for the battle against German Empire troops.
So began the Battle of the Somme. On the first day alone, the British Army suffered 57,470 casualties – 19,240 of them were killed or died of wounds.
Among those British combatants were a number of men from across Bedlingtonshire.
The battle went on until November 1916 and more than one million men were wounded or killed in total, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.
The service, which will take place on Sunday, July 10, from 3pm, will be attended by Col Glenton, Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Northumberland and President of the TSA, representatives of the Church of England, county and town councillors, veterans and cadets, among others.
The City of Newcastle Pipe Band will lead a parade of the uniformed contingents to St Cuthbert’s from the council offices in Front Street at 2.30pm.
All are welcome to either view the parade or to attend the service. If attending the service, you must be in your seat by no later than 2.50pm so that everyone is in place for the arrival of the parade.
Students from a number of schools in the area are producing work on the theme of ‘The Battle of the Somme’.
This work will be on display in St Cuthbert’s from Monday to Friday, July 8. There is no entry charge to this exhibition.