Friday 1st July is the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. At Tottington we have been working towards this anniversary not only with lessons in History on the battle’s significance and the importance of remembrance but also the assembly Hannah Smalley and Tahlia Greenhalgh have created following their visit to the Somme in February this year.
All who participated in the battlefield trip were asked to come up with a project to mark the centenary and as you may have seen around school, our students have created poppies to commemorate those British soldiers who died.
The aim was to create 20,000 poppies, one for each solider British who died on the 1st July 1916 – most of these deaths occurred within the first 20 minutes. We have created approximately 10,000 in school and other poppies have been made and displayed in local churches, youth groups and in other schools in Bury and Lancashire….our students poppies are also on display in the village.
The poppies are decorated with flags of countries involved in the battles, facts about the battle, the names of soldiers who died etc… If you get chance in form period on Friday, please take the opportunity to discuss this momentous occasion with our students.
I have included a link to a short clip on the Somme which could form part of your in form remembrance. The film, based on the iconic remembrance poem, For The Fallen, will be screened in town centres, airports and train stations across the country. It is also hoped that it will be watched in schools across the UK. The poignant tribute features descendants of Somme soldiers aged five to 87 years old who together span the four generations since the battle began.
Participants in the film include Clive Adlam, whose father Tom Adlam was awarded the Victoria Cross for his part in taking a German trench. David Guyon, whose grandfather Major George Sutherland Guyon was killed in action on the first day, while leading the Bradford Pals. Of the youngest participants, Oscar Varns’ great great great uncle Ernest Copley was killed on 1 July 1916 at Fricourt and Francesca Loades’ great great grandfather Knightley Barlow survived. Between them they read: They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.
There was also a special Somme100 vigil held at Westminster Abbey.
The link below takes you to a website which contains a description of the battle through the eyes of those who were there. http://www.centenarybattlefieldtours.org/somme100
If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to ask me!