2016 is the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and in particular 1st July is the centenary of the day that the offensive started. At 7.30am on 1st July 1916, the order was made to ‘go over the top’. By the end of that day 19,240 British soldiers had been killed and nearly twice as many had been wounded. The total number of casualties remains the largest number suffered by Britain in one day.
Since 2014 Cholsey has been marking the 100th anniversary of when local men were killed during the Great War with simple ceremonies. As, to many people, the Battle of the Somme signifies the tragedy of war, we plan to have a special ceremony to show our respect for those that fought. The ceremony will start at 7am on Friday 1st July 2016 and will be held at the Pavilion on Station Road. There will be music, readings, a video and we will observe a two minute silence at 7.30am. Afterwards there will be refreshments served and a chance for private reflection. The ceremony will be secular and all ages are welcome to attend.