If you’ve been around an opened web browser, you would have noticed that today is the anniversary is the Battle Of The Somme. Now I was unfamiliar with this particular battle but here’s a good summary of today’s history by The Guardian:
“The Battle of the Somme was expected to be a significant victory for the British and French against the Germans. However, carnage ensued on both sides – despite the frontline barely moving – in a battle that came to symbolise the horrors of trench warfare and the futility of the war. A total of 19,240 British soldiers died on the first day, making it the bloodiest day in the history of the British army. Among the worst hit of British forces were the “Pals” battalions, volunteer units of limited fighting experience who headed straight into German machine-gun fire. The 2,000 men of the 1st and 2nd Bradford Pals, both part of the West Yorkshire Regiment, suffered 1,770 casualties in the first hour of the offensive as they attacked the heavily fortified village of Serre.”
Wow. How horrific that day must’ve been. I should have realised something was up this morning because I did notice an elderly gentleman dressed in his uniform colours and had bouquets of flowers in tow. But Somme has been trending all over the internet because of of its anniversary. But something else has occurred. Something remarkable happened today. Take a look below.
Several hundreds of men were dressed in WW1 attire and marched throughout multiple towns up and down the country. Most where found in London, in places like Paddington & Waterloo but there were hundreds in other towns like Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester, Swansea, Plymouth and Glasgow (to name a few). Some broke out into song, notably the ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’ song (sung by the soldiers in the trenches) to the Auld Lang Syne melody.
Not sure of which PR firm or agency is responsible for this but whoever did it deserves a standing ovation. This is such a brilliant campaign that it really does stop you in your tracks. I’m a bit disappointed this didn’t happen around Coventry or Leamington because it must have been such a sight to witness. It’s a very sobering and quite chilling reminder of the many lives lost on that fateful night, let alone the whole war. And to top it off, the volunteers in their uniforms handed to people cards like these:
Truly inspiring. Cards that feature the soldier’s name, regiment region and name, how they died and their age. It is a much needed reminder of how hard these men fought for our liberty and freedom. Democracy is such a fragile concept (as anyone who’s seen the results and aftermath of last week’s Brexit can recognise) but it must be defended. Irregardless of your political views, skin colour, creed, gender, sexuality, religion or goals, we must show reverence to those who died for the sake of a better future. For their fellow countrymen and nation. There are more pics below!
Written by: JR
Pics: Twitter (search up #wearehere and #somme100 for more images)