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ROYAL BRITISH LEGION SOMME 100 COMMEMORATION MANCHESTER
IP: 109.157.152.114


Dear All,

Details of the Royal British Legion (RBL) Manchester National Somme commemoration to be held on Friday 1st July 2016 are below. Please be aware that we already have a full programme of regimental events planned to commemorate Somme 100 including a service at the Fusilier Memorial in Salford at 0730hrs and a concert at Salford University on the evening of Friday 1st July. This headquarters will not be coordinating interest in the National Commemoration approaches are to be made direct to the RBL

The Battle of the Somme was one of the defining moments of the First World War and involved thousands of British troops from across the UK. It was one of the bloodiest military battles in history. On the first day alone, the British suffered more than 57,000 casualties, and by the end of the campaign the Allies and Central Powers had lost more than 1.5 million men but the British Army that came out of the Somme would be the army that would go on to win the Great War. The German Army that came out of the Somme would lose.

The UK's national commemoration of the battle will be held in Manchester in conjunction with commemorative events being held in the town of Thiepval, France (the site of the battle).

The day’s events in Manchester are as follows:

12.30–1.00pm: Civic reception in Manchester Town Hall for invited guests;

1.30pm: Wreath laying at the Manchester Cenotaph in St Peter's Square for invited guests, led by the Bishop of Manchester;

2.00pm: Parade through Manchester City Centre, 5-6,000 people including serving personnel, cadets and Legion standards. The Royal British Legion have invited our veterans to take part in this parade, which will march through the City of Manchester.

The parade will be comprised of National Military, Regimental Associations and representatives of organisations with a direct link to those who fought in the Battle of the Somme or contributed to the war effort. Should any branch, or indeed any individual wish to participate in the National Manchester Parade, please email the RBL direct at: sommeparade@britishlegion.org.uk before 3 May 2016.

3–3.45pm: Service at Manchester Cathedral

Attendance at the cathedral service will be restricted to 1,000–1,200 invited attendees, but large screens in Cathedral Gardens and Exchange Square will broadcast both the Manchester service and the Thiepval events.

From 4.00pm, Heaton Park will host The Experience Field, an outdoor heritage event with more than 30 original bell tents housing First World War experts, activities and artefacts bringing to life many stories of nurses, soldiers and factory workers from the Home and Western Fronts. The Experience Field is free and open to all - no booking required.

7.30pm: A free public commemorative concert in Heaton Park featuring soldiers songs from the time performed by a national children's choir, interwoven with archive film. A breath-taking dance piece will then be followed at approx. 8.30pm by the Hallé Orchestra, who will play several well known pieces linked to the First World War, including a piece by George Butterworth, a young English composer who died at the Somme. For more information or to book tickets for the event in Heaton Park visit: www.quaytickets.com/sommeheatonpark.

All the best

Col Mike



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