Battle-of-the-somme-solider

WWI soldiers appear across the UK in emotional Battle of the Somme tribute

Onlookers were moved to tears by the powerful performances

By Alexia Dellner, 01 July 2016
WWI soldiers appear across the UK in emotional Battle of the Somme tribute

Moving tributes were seen across the UK today, as volunteers dressed as World War I soldiers appeared in transport hubs and city centres as part of Battle of the Somme commemorations. 

Today marks 100 years since the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the deadliest day in the history of the British Army. Almost 20,000 soldiers from the British Empire lost their lives in just 24 hours, making the battle the bloodiest day of the First World War and in British military history.

To mark the centenary of the 141-day campaign, the 'soldiers' appeared in towns and cities across the UK including Leicester, Manchester, London, and Belfast. The volunteers silently handed out cards to passers by, with each card bearing the name of a soldier who died at the Somme on 1 July, 1916.

 

Powerful scenes and moving tributes to #WW1 soldiers in Belfast today #wearehere #Somme100

A video posted by The MAC (@themacbelfast) on

Occasionally the participants broke out into song, singing We're Here Because We're Here, a song that was sung in WWI trenches to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. 

By the time the battle ended on 18 November 1916, it had claimed the lives of 420,000 British soldiers. Described as a living memorial, the commemoration was described by onlookers as 'powerful' and 'moving,' with some viewers even brought to tears. A collection images posted on social media of today's #WeAreHere memorials can be seen here. Did you see any of these soldiers on your way to work this morning?  Let us know on social media using #goodliving