Local residents are invited to a commemorative service to be held on the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. The event will commemorate the men of the 11th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, the Cambridgeshire Volunteer Battalion (Cambridgeshire Pals), who were in the trenches of the Somme and suffered heavy losses.
The service at Ely Cathedral, 1 July, 11am – 12 noon, will include readings, poetry and song from pupils of Swaffham Prior Primary School, Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Colin Elsden, The Royal British Legion, descendants of some of the soldiers, the Chairman of the County Council and Canon James Garrard.
County Councillor Sebastian Kindersley, Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Commemorative events will take place across the country on the 1 July. We are pleased that local people will get the chance to remember Cambridgeshire soldiers of the 11th Battalion Suffolk Regiment who fought during the 141 days of the Battle of the Somme.”
This service is part of a project managed by Cambridgeshire County Council, funded by Heritage Lottery, which will create a ‘digital memorial’ on the Cambridgeshire Community Archive Network (CCAN) website. The digital memorial will be available on the CCAN Great War website, http://great-war.ccan.co.uk/, from the 1st July, and will be built upon through to November 2016.