The Battle of the Somme took place from 1 July to 18 November 1916 and has come to symbolise the enormous losses and dreadful conditions of the First World War.
The Battle of the Somme has been described as the most devastating battle in modern military history. The Fourth Army, the first to be deployed, was largely made up of units from the north of England (where, of course, the majority of the munitions factories were located) as well as those from Scotland and Ireland. Nearly half of those first deployed on the Somme were support personnel, medical, catering, and logistics staff.
A Prayer of Commemoration
Eternal God, our refuge and strength, on this day we remember before you all who experienced the battle on the Somme: those who faced the terrible waste and devastation, who fought against all the odds, endured the clinging mud, and the squalor of the trenches. We recall with thanksgiving the loyalty shown to comrades and the bravery of those who overcame their fear, the courage of those who daily faced the pounding of artillery, gun-fire and shrapnel. May we never forget the devastating loss of this battle, the anxiety on the home-front, and the sacrifices that were made. Through our remembrances today, strengthen our resolve to oppose naked aggression, to defend the weak, and to speak your word of peace in times of conflict and insecurity. This we ask in the name of the Prince of peace, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen