is sponsored by
GingerVideo - Video Production & Video Marketing, LambournBox of Blue Ltd - Website Design, Development and Marketing.

Commemoration of the Battle of the Somme

Commemoration of the Centenary of the First day of the Battle of the Somme

On Friday 1st July 2016 at 7.00 am

the War Memorial at St Michael and All Angels Church


  • Introduction
  • Poem. "The Soldier" by Rupert Brooke.
  • Hymn: 'O God, our help in ages past'.
    • Verses 2 & 3 sung by School only.
  • Psalm 121
  • Prayer
  • Exhortation
  • The Last Post will sound
  • Two-Minute Silence
  • Reveille
  • Laying of Wreaths and Crosses:
    • Names of our 'Fallen' to be read out as appropriate Wreaths are laid.
  • Kohima Prayer.
  • The Blessing.
  • The Whistle Sounds.
  • Disperse.

At 7:30 am on 1st July, one hundred years ago, the Battle of the Somme began.  It was one of the bloodiest military battles in history.  On this first day alone, the British suffered more than 57,000 casualties (for comparison, the population of Newbury in 2011 was 31,330).

 One hundred years later, on Friday 1st July 2016 at 7:00am (Please note: morning not evening), there will be a short vigil (around 30 minutes) to be held at the War Memorial in the grounds of St Michael and All Angels Church.

 The vigil will be along the lines of the 'Lights Out' event that was held in 2014 and will commemorate the start of the Battle of the Somme and the involvement of soldiers from Lambourn who were killed in the battle.  There will be another, larger event to be held mid-September to commemorate the entire battle, to remember the fallen and also to recognise that the battle tank made its first appearance on a battlefield in mid-September 1916.


O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

Beneath the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defence is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all our years away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.




World War I (WWI) was sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 and ended with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Find out what happened in between these momentous events in this WWI timeline.


  • June 28 - Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to Austria-Hungary's throne, and his wife, Sophie, are assassinated by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip while the couple was visiting Sarajevo.
  • July 28 - Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.
  • August 1 - Germany declares war on Russia.
  • August 3 - Germany declares war on France.
  • August 4 - The UK declares war on Germany, after Germany invades Belgium.
  • August 6 - Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia and Serbia declares war on Germany.
  • August 19 - US President Woodrow Wilson announces the US will remain neutral.
  • August 26 - The Battle of Tannenberg begins.
  • September 5 - The First Battle of the Marne begins. Trench warfare begins as soldiers on both sides dig in.
  • October 19 - Battle of Ypres begins.
  • November 3 - The UK announces that the North Sea is a military area, effectively creating a blockade of goods into Germany.
  • December 24 - The unofficial Christmas truce is declared.


  • February 4 - Germany declares a "war zone" around Great Britain, essentially effecting a submarine blockade where even neutral merchant vessels were to be potential targets.
  • February 19 - The Dardanelles Campaign begins.
  • April 22 - The Second Battle of Ypres begins. It is during this battle that the Germans first use poison gas.
  • April 25 - The Battle of Gallipoli begins.
  • May 7 - The British ocean liner RMS Lusitania is sunk by German U-boat, U-20
  • September 5 - Tsar Nicholas II takes personal control over Russia's armies.


  • February 21 - The Battle of Verdun begins and was the longest battle of World War I and one of the bloodiest.
  • May 31 - The Battle of Jutland, the major naval battle of the war, begins.
  • July 1 - The Battle of the Somme begins. During the battle, tanks are first introduced into battle.


  • January 19 - Germany sends the secret Zimmerman Telegram to Mexico in an effort to entice Mexico to join the war. The British intercept and decipher the coded message.
  • March 15 - Russian Tsar Nicholas II abdicates.
  • April 6 - The US declares war on Germany.
  • July 31 - The Battle of Passchendaele (also known as the Third Battle of Ypres) begins.
  • November 7 - The Bolsheviks successfully overthrow the Russian government during the 1917 Russian Revolution.
  • December 17 - The armistice agreed upon between the new Russian government and the Central Powers goes into effect.


  • January 8 - US President Woodrow Wilson issues his Fourteen Points to peace.
  • March 3 - Russia signs the Treaty of Brest Litovsk, a peace treaty between Russia and the Central Powers.
  • March 21 - Germany launches the Spring Offensive.
  • April 21 - German flying ace, Baron Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron), is shot down.
  • July 15 - The Second Battle of the Marne begins.
  • November 9 - German Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicates and flees Germany.
  • November 11 - Germany signs the armistice at Compiegne, France. Fighting ends on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month