The whistles blew, the piper played a Scottish lament and the crowd stood in silence as they awaited 7.30am, zero hour. Today, July 1 2016, throughout the UK and France, we commemorate the Battle of the Somme.
The battle that lasted one hundred and forty-one days, came at a price; one million men becoming casualties of this horrific trench war. In excess of twenty-five thousand being killed on the first day.
Young men from the age of fifteen-years upwards marched into a sanguineous destiny. The live's of whole families changed, as they heard the news that they would never see their fathers, brothers and uncles again. The young soldiers hopes and aspirations disappearing in the blink of an eye.
Approximately twenty-two thousand men lie in unmarked graves in France and for many years their sacrifice and that of the others was forgotten. However, one hundred-years on, we now recognise what every man did for us and today we can all say thanks.