Gr8at: Shrouds of the Somme

Even now, over 100 years later, the words Battle of the Somme send a cold shiver down the spine. Though any war is brutal and casualties can be heavy, the battle between the British and French troops against the Germans in northern France is infamous for the horrific loss of life. More than three million men fought in the battle and one million men were wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history. To mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, 72,396 shrouded figures have been laid out in rows, shoulder to shoulder covering an area over 4,000 square metres across the South Park Lawn in the Olympic Park, best known for being a pivotal part of the 2012 Olympics. Each figure represents a British serviceman killed at The Battle of the Somme who has no known grave, many of whose bodies were never recovered from the battlefields. The Shrouds of the Somme is a poignant tribute.

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18 thoughts on “Gr8at: Shrouds of the Somme

    • It was hard to find the right words. I remember covering it in my history class. It’s impossible not to feel a set of emotions. Gratitude for their sacrifice. Sadness for the price they paid. Horror for what they must have seen and experienced. And guilt as in another lifetime that could easily have been me.

  1. There are people that say these wars should be forgotten after the last remaining veterans have passed over, but I think on the contrary we must remember what an awful time this was, how many boys were lost within months of going over to France. Thank you for sharing these photos I didn’t know about this memorial, who organised it do you know?

  2. First thank you Alex for that emotional post. The sacrifice of these courageous men has to remain in every memory. They knew that fighting there was for the Liberty of future generations and they had such a strong belief that they didn’t hesitate to give their life for that cause. My family is a “military” one (husband and son), believe me that the remembrance tradition is being explained and transmitted to our younger generation. Never forget!

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