Epsom & Ewell Borough Council will be flying the Town Hall and Market Place Union flags at half-mast on 1 July in recognition of the ten local residents who were killed in the first day of the Battle of the Somme. 1 July 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the first day of the battle.
The 1 July 1916 was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army, with 19,240 British soldiers losing their lives.
Over the course of the battle, which lasted five months, the Allies suffered 624,000 casualties. About 420,000 of them were from British and Commonwealth forces – 125,000 were killed, 70 from Epsom & Ewell.
The local residents who were killed on the first day of the battle were:
Bourne Hall Museum will be holding an act of remembrance for all those who died on June 30, beginning at 7.30pm with a showing of the film, ‘The Battle of the Somme’ followed in the Park by an act of remembrance at 9pm.
The Museum is also holding a Service of Remembrance at the Commonwealth Graves section at Epsom Cemetery on Ashley Road in Epsom on 1 July at 7am.
The silent film, The Battle of the Somme was seen nearly half the population of Britain, 20 million people, in the autumn of 1916. The film remains one of the most watched in British cinema history, a record only broken by Star Wars. The Battle of the Somme was different from anything made before. It took real-life footage and turned it into a main feature with mass appeal. The film showed images of the first week of the ‘Big Push’, the joint offensive which began in July 1916 where British and French armies hoped to break through the German lines and achieve victory on the Western Front. Bourne Hall Museum will be showing the film at various dates throughout the summer.
Information from Epsom & Ewell Borough Council