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Clackmannanshire Council Online

Clackmannanshire honours those who fell at the Somme

Published on:


June 2016

As part of the nation's Remembrance of the Battle of the Somme. Provost Derek Stewart is inviting Clackmannanshire residents to join him at a commemoration event.

The event takes place at 10am on Friday 1st July at Alloa War Memorial.

The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest battles in history and has come to symbolise the enormous losses and dreadful conditions of the First World War. It took place in Northern France around the River Somme from 1 July to 18 November 1916. Now, a century later, communities across the country will be acknowledging the sacrifice of those who died.

Provost Stewart said: "A century after these events, the trauma of this battle is still strongly felt. Almost every community across the UK was deeply affected by the loss of men who had gone to fight at the Battle of the Somme. This event is an opportunity to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice."

With the French and British armies calling upon troops from the colonies and the French Foreign Legion, units from 25 nations and 50 countries were involved in the Battle of the Somme. In four months of combat, the total number of men killed, wounded and missing reached over one million and entire nations were sent into mourning. Casualties amounted to 420,000 for the British, 190,000 for the French and 420,000 for the Germans. The landscape of the north-east of the Somme was completely devastated; villages were razed to the ground and fields were turned into lunar-landscapes by shelling.

Notes to Editors
  • The Battle of the Somme is synonymous with the nation's Remembrance of the First World War and the futility of trench warfare.
  • Fighting at the Battle of the Somme began on 1 July 1916 and lasted four and a half months.
  • The Battle of the Somme was the largest Western Front battle of the First World War, with fighting along a 25 kilometre front.
  • There were almost 60,000 British and Imperial casualties on the first day of the battle, of which nearly 20,000 were killed.
  • At the start of the battle, most of the British Army had been an inexperienced mass of volunteers. Going over the top at the Somme was the first taste of battle for many men, as a large number were part of "Kitchener's Volunteer Army" which was formed by Pals battalions, mainly recruited from the North of England.
  • Of the approaching half a million British and Imperial casualties suffered in the 141-day battle, a third died. When the offensive finally came to a halt on 18 November 1916, the Battle of the Somme had claimed a million casualties; 430,000 from Commonwealth countries.
  • Fifty one Scottish battalions took part in the campaign, including the renowned 16th Battalion Royal Scots 'McCrae's Battalion', which was largely composed of professional and amateur sportsmen and their supporters. The Battalion lost 12 officers and 573 soldiers in the attack on the first day.