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Volunteers sought for Battle of the Somme commemoration events

PUBLISHED: 10:45 14 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:45 14 June 2016

On the first day of the Somme, British and Commonwealth troops suffered a total of 57,470 casualties

On the first day of the Somme, British and Commonwealth troops suffered a total of 57,470 casualties

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The council is marking the 100th anniversary of the battle

Events are to be held across the borough of Bromley to mark the 100th anniversary of one of the First World War’s bloodiest battles.

The council is taking part in the Whistle for the Somme, organised by the Western Front Association, and is looking for early risers to take part in the commemorations on July 1.

At each ceremony, there will be a brief description of the battle, and at 7.30am three short blasts will be blown to mark the exact time the troops went ‘over the top’.

The ceremonies will be held at the major war memorials at Orpington, Beckenham, West Wickham and Chislehurst, and short prayers will be said afterwards.

Nicholas Bennett, the council’s heritage champion, said: “We welcome volunteers who would be prepared to blow the whistle at other memorials in the borough at 7.30am on the morning of July 1.”

The Battle of the Somme began on July 1, 1916.

At 7.30am, whistles were blown along a 15-mile front line to mark the start of the advance by British and Commonwealth soldiers towards the German lines.

By the end of the first day, British and Commonwealth troops had suffered a total of 57,470 casualties, 19,240 of whom had died.

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