Friday 1st July 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the start of The Battle of The Somme.

DMWS staff from across the UK and Germany paid their respects at services and parades to remember those who fell at The Somme 100 years ago. 

The Battle of the Somme, one of WW1’s bloodiest battle, was fought in northern France and lasted five months, with the British suffering almost 60,000 casualties on the first day alone.  More than a million men were killed or wounded on all sides .

DMWS Welfare Officer, Ann Mckenzie joined thousands of people at a ceremony to mark the centenary at the ‘Memorial to the Missing of the Somme’ in Thiepval, Northern France.  The service was attended by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as well as David Cameron and other leading political and religious leaders.  Ann laid a wreath of poppies on behalf of DMWS and spent time paying her respects and remembering those who lost their lives in this terrible battle. She said “It was a wonderful and moving service and I felt priviledged to attend to pay my respects to those who fell and to lay a wreath of behalf of DMWS”.  

On the same day , four DMWS Aged Veterans Welfare Officers from our Greater Manchester team, Donna Harrison, Tim Nelson, Paul Doherty and Jan Hardy, were proud and honoured to be part of the remembrance parade in Manchester.

The parade mustered outside Manchester Central Hall in Albert Square before stepping off from the Cenotaph led by members of the Kings Regiment band and serving personnel from each arm of the Armed Forces.  The march made its way along Mount Street, around Albert Square, John Dalton Street, Deansgate and Victoria Street stopping outside the cathedral.  Members of the public lined the route as Manchester paused at 14:00 for a 2 minute silence to remember those who fought and died at the Somme.  Following the parade there was a service at the Cathedral which was attended by His Royal Highness Prince Andrew.

The parade was a great demonstration of the pride in, and support for the military across the region with representatives of the Army, Navy and RAF as well as personnel from veterans support agencies out in force. 

DMWS have provided support to The Armed Forces Community since 1943 and is proud to serve them to this day. 

Published: 6th July, 2016
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