Students remember Battle of the Somme 100 years on

Sixteen schools across the country to take part in national remembrance service at Westminster Abbey

To commemorate today’s centenary of the Battle of the Somme, five students and a teacher from 16 schools across the country took part in the National Service of Commemoration and Remembrance at Westminster Abbey in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh yesterday, 30 June. 

The service brought people together to pay tribute to those who fought in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Following the service, a public overnight vigil took place at the Abbey, with each school playing an important role in this act of remembrance. 

Throughout the night, in the countdown to 07:30am on 1 July, vigils took place at the grave of the Unknown Warrior, accompanied by narration to tell the story of the battle through the words of the men and women who played their part 100 years ago. Each vigil will be in memory of one individual, with each school telling one piece of the story. 

Many schools that perform the overnight vigils were selected from those who have completed a Legacy110 commemorative project, as part of the national education programme for the First World War Centenary. From those school groups, two of the students have participated in the government-funded First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme, run by UCL Institute of Education (IOE) and Equity.  

“We are delighted to see so many young people involved in this national event, building upon their excellent centenary projects, truly creating a lasting legacy for the First World War Centenary,” said Jerome Freeman, Programme Director of the First World War Centenary Battlefields Tour Programme. 

Schools participating in the Vigil at Westminster Abbey:

The Bishops Stortford High School

Heartlands High School, Haringey

St Ivo School, St Ives, Cambridgeshire 

The Charter School, Southwark

Swavesy Village College

Cambourne Village College, Cambridgeshire 

Carshalton Boys Sports College

Vale School, Tottenham

St Thomas the Apostle College, London

Richmond Park Academy, East Sheen

St Johns, Gravesend

Emerson Park Academy, Hornchurch

Clarendon Academy, Trowbridge

Ernest Bevin College, Tooting

St Alban’s Girls School

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