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Havering honouring the fallen of the Somme 100 years on

PUBLISHED: 16:15 30 June 2016 | UPDATED: 16:29 30 June 2016

A British Grenadier Guardsman keeping watch on No Man's Land as his comrades sleep in a captured German trench at Ovillers, near Albert, during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Picture: PA/EMPICS

A British Grenadier Guardsman keeping watch on No Man's Land as his comrades sleep in a captured German trench at Ovillers, near Albert, during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Picture: PA/EMPICS

PA/EMPICS

Countries across the world are coming together tomorrow to commemorate the First World War's bloodiest battle, which saw thousands of British men, young and old, killed and wounded - including some of Havering's own.

The sun rises over wild poppies growing on the edge of a field at Thiepval in northern France, close to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA/EMPICSThe sun rises over wild poppies growing on the edge of a field at Thiepval in northern France, close to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA/EMPICS

Remembrance services and cultural events will mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, which began on July 1, 1916.

The opening day of the offensive was one of the darkest days in the history of the British Army, with 19,240 soldiers killed.

Tomorrow, Havering Council will lower flags to half-mast and observe a two-minute silence at 11am, but there will be no official service.

However, on Sunday the Elm Park community will join in remembrance at St Nicholas Church, St Nicholas Avenue.

A scene in one of the German trenches in front of Guillemont, near Albert, during the Battle of the Somme. It shows the havoc wrought by the British bombardment, with German dead visible in the photograph. Guillemont was captured by the British in late September, 1916. Picture: PA/EMPICSA scene in one of the German trenches in front of Guillemont, near Albert, during the Battle of the Somme. It shows the havoc wrought by the British bombardment, with German dead visible in the photograph. Guillemont was captured by the British in late September, 1916. Picture: PA/EMPICS

Led by the church and the Royal British Legion, a Holy Communion service, taking place from 9.30am, will pay tribute to all those who fell.

Mayor of Havering Cllr Philippa Crowder will be among those in attendance.

For members of the public interested in seeing the battle come to life through cinema, a screening of famous film The Battle of the Somme will be held at Romford Central Library, St Edward’s Way, at 1pm on July 11.

The soldiers who fought on the Somme became embroiled in a desperate battle of attrition and the action only ended after five and a half months, on November 18.

In total, 419,654 British soldiers were either killed, wounded or went missing.

The Recorder has published a free 24-page supplement to commemorate the anniversary, featuring the tales of some of those who fought and details of national and London-wide events taking place. Get your copy in tomorrow’s paper.

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