The Somme Centenary Commemorations
On Saturday 1st July 2016, the UK paused to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme – the greatest loss of life in British military history. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall led the Nation’s tribute to the fallen, accompanied by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. The Prince of Wales read an extract from John Masefield’s book, ‘The Old Front Line’ and laid a wreath upon the Cross of Sacrifice that now stands adjacent to the remains of the historic German front line trenches. The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall then met with French and British school children amongst the graves of those lost in the battle.
Later in the day, Their Royal Highnesses attended a ceremony at nearby Ulster Tower to remember those from the province of Ulster who gave their lives during the Battle of the Somme.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall then took part in a Canadian-led event at Beaumont Hamel, where The Prince laid a wreath and gave a reading in English and French. After the Service, Their Royal Highnesses viewed the preserved trench systems from above.
At the end of the day, Their Royal Highnesses travelled to Carnoy Military Cemetery where The Duchess laid flowers on the grave of her Great-Uncle, Captain Harry Cubitt, who was killed during the second Battle of the Somme, aged 24.