Ceremony marks end of the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago

The Thiepval Monument is the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission memorial in the world.

The 100th anniversary of the last day of the Battle of the Somme, in which more than one million men were killed or wounded, is being marked with a service of Remembrance in the French village of Thiepval.

The battle began on 1 July 1916 with an offensive along a 15-mile front and claimed nearly 20,000 British lives by the end of the first day.

Total British losses were around 420,000: the French lost 200,000 and the Germans 465,000.

The Thiepval Memorial is inscribed with the more than 72,000 names and is the biggest monument coming under the stewardship of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The service marking the end of the battle on 18 November, 1916, will be led by the national chaplain of the Royal British Legion, the Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch.

By the end of the battle, British forces had advanced only seven miles and the German defences had not been broken.

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