To day I will think about members of my family particularly:

Thomas Swindells (1898 – 1916) who died on the first day of the Somme

George Paysden (1895 – 1916) survived the Somme but later died at Bailleul

Also thinking about my cousin John Beck (1956 -1979) KIA.

I will honour and remember them

The Battle of the Somme was a battle of the First World War fought by  the British and French armies against the Germans. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916.

It is estimated that there were 57,470 British casualtise on the first day of the Somme. Of these, 19,240 men died. The French had 1,590 casualties and the German 2nd Army lost 10,000–12,000 men. Few British troops reached the German front line.

The British troops on the Somme included Pals battalions, recruited from the same places or were of similar occupations. Over 2,000 of those killed on the first day were from the Ulster Division. In total 50,000 Irishmen were killed while serving in the British, Commonwealth or US armies in World War One.