We will mark the 100th Anniversary of the start of the 1st World War Battle of the Somme at Evensong at 7pm on July 1st.
The Veterans Organisation Standards will be processed to the High Altar and the Choir will sing an Anthem Grant Lord, the strength composed by its Musical Director, Tim Pratt.
The Battle of the Somme, fought in northern France, was one of the bloodiest of World War One. For five months the British and French armies engaged the Germans in a brutal battle of attrition on a 15-mile front.
The aims of the battle were to relieve the French Army fighting at Verdun and to weaken the German Army. However, the Allies were unable to break through German lines. In total, there were over one million dead and wounded on all sides.
The Allies used their 18-pounder Field Guns to bombard German trenches for seven days and sent 100,000 men over the top to attack the German lines.
July 1st was a disaster for the British. The Germans weathered the artillery fire in deep trenches and came up fighting. As the British soldiers advanced, they were mown down by machine gun and rifle fire. In total, 19,240 British soldiers lost their lives. It was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army. However, the French had more success and inflicted big losses on German troops. In spite of heavy British losses, Douglas Haig, the British general, agreed to continue the attack.
A special commemorative CD of remembrance music sung by the Priory Choir is on sale at the Tithe Barn to mark the Centenary of World War 1. The story lives on is priced at £3.99.