The 1st July marks the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, one of the most deadly battles of the First World War. On this first day alone, the British Army suffered 60,000 casualties, including nearly 20,000 killed. This was the worst day in British military history.
The 36th (Ulster) Division was formed with units from the Ulster Volunteer Force, which had been raised in 1913 to fight against Home Rule in Ireland.
Newfoundland was a British Dominion at the time of the Great War and like many other countries of the British Empire an army of volunteers was raised for the war effort.
17,000 German soldiers are buried in the German Military Cemetery at Fricourt. Approximately 1000 of them died in 1914, 10,000 during the 1916 Battle of the Somme, and 6,000 during the German Spring Offensive in 1918 and following Allied counter-attack.
The village of Le Hamel was the theatre of the first successful example of a combined arms attacks in a battle planned and directed by Sir John Monash, the new commander of the Australian Corps. This 93 minute battle was used as a blue print for later battles of 1918.
In the Somme, bagpipes will be forever linked to the memory of the Great War. And thus, the Samarobriva Pipes & Drums are organising a major event that will unite hundreds of pipers in the city of Amiens in commemoration of the Battle of the Somme.