30th June 1916. The sun sets over the Somme, but the artillery bombardment continues. Thousands of men wait for first light. Dawn breaks: it is a bright, sunny day. The artillery bombardment lifts. 7.30 am: whistles sound along the lines. The men scramble up the ladders and out of the trenches. The largest British army ever mustered goes over the top. One hundred and forty-one days’ fighting begins.
One hundred years later, we keep vigil to remember those who fought in the Somme Offensive. As we keep watch, we hear their story. We listen to their voices and the voices of their families; the voices of those who worked behind the lines and in the war effort at home; and to German voices.