Join Step Short in Folkestone on 1 July 2016 to remember the soldiers who lost their lives a century ago. This year, commemorations will mark both Canada Day and the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme.
Shepway District Council has organised a ceremony under the Memorial Arch in Folkestone beginning at 7.30am on Friday 1 July. The event will be launched with the ‘blowing of the whistles’, the signal for soldiers 100 years ago to ‘go over the top’. Ben Millbery is scheduled to play the Flowers of the Forest (Lament for the Fallen), the official lament of the Canadian forces.
The first day of the Battle of the Somme was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army. On 1 July 1916, 57,470 British soldiers were injured and 19,240 of those died. The British forces were made up of troops from Britain, Ireland, Newfoundland, South Africa and India. Just three square miles of territory were gained.
On 1 July, Shorncliffe Military Cemetery will also host a Canada Day service to remember the 305 Canadian soldiers who died during the Great War and are buried there. The cemetery is open between 11am and 1pm on the day.