Shrouds of the Somme: artist Rob Heard's 19,240 figurines commemorating the number of British troops killed on the first day of the Somme were displayed in Exeter and Bristol (Photo: Centenary News)

WW1 Centenary Year 2016 - Remembered in Centenary News pictures

Posted on centenarynews.com on 30 December 2016
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Pictures taken by the Centenary News team recall some of the many events over the past year, marking First World War anniversaries from 1916.

Verdun - February

As commemorations got under way to mark the Battle of Verdun Centenary in February, the Mémorial de Verdun museum reopened after a €12.5 million redevelopment. 

An additional floor at the museum provides a panoramic view of the former battlefields towards Douaumont Ossuary and the French National Military Cemetery, focus for the 2016 commemorations.

Nicolas Czubak, historian and teacher attached to the Mémorial de Verdun, talks to visiting journalists beside the 155mm gun turret at Fort Douaumont.

Figures placed along the route of 'La Voie Sacrée' are a reminder of the truck convoys which kept Verdun supplied during the 10-month battle. This example was photographed by CN contributor Patrick Gregory in May, as France prepared for its main centenary commemorations, led by President François Hollande, and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. 

Jutland - May

Ahead of the Jutland Centenary commemorations, descendants of the British and German commanders involved in WW1's biggest sea battle gathered for a remembrance service in London's Trafalgar Square. Nick Jellicoe pays tribute (above) at the memorial to his grandfather, Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. 

Reinhard Scheer-Hennings (left), great grandson of Admiral Reinhard Scheer, pictured with Nick Jellicoe after the wreath-laying.

Nicholas Beatty, in front of the bust of Vice Admiral Sir David Beatty, with a miniature set of his grandfather's medals.

The Jutland Centenary ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Memorial, May 31: Britain's Royal Navy also held commemorations at the identical memorials in Plymouth and Chatham. Germany remembered the Battle of Jutland (Die Skagerrakschlacht) with a service at the Laboe Naval Memorial, near Kiel.

Wreaths laid by President Joachim Gauck of Germany, and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, during the May 31 remembrance service at Lyness Royal Naval cemetery, part of the UK national commemorative events held in the Orkney Islands. 

'Weeping Window' - the travelling Tower of London poppy installation - visited St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall for the Jutland Centenary. 

Kitchener & HMS Hampshire Centenary - June

A new commemorative wall was dedicated at the 1920s Kitchener Memorial in Orkney, to commemorate more than 730 men who perished with Britain's War Minister, Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, when the cruiser HMS Hampshire struck a mine in 1916 en route to Russia. Neil Kermode, project coordinator for the Orkney Heritage Society, is pictured after the centenary ceremony at Marwick Head on June 5.

A section of the new HMS Hampshire Memorial. The wall also honours nine men killed later in June 1916 when the drifter Laurel Crown was sunk by an explosion while searching the same seas for mines.

Lady Emma Kitchener, great great niece of Field Marshal Kitchener, arriving for the centenary service with her husband Julian Fellowes, creator of the British television drama series 'Downton Abbey'.

Battle of the Somme - July

100 years after the start of the Battle of the Somme, the leaders of Britain and France, and senior members of the British Royal Family, gathered in the shadow of the Thiepval Memorial on July 1 to remember all those who fell in one of the First World War's bloodiest campaigns. 8,000 members of the public, chosen in a ballot, also attended.

In London, a gun salute was fired in Parliament Square, ending  with two minutes' silence at 07.28 to commemorate the first troops going 'over the top' on the morning of 1 July 1916.

The UK's national remembrance cemeremonies for the Somme took place in Manchester, with a march-past at the Town Hall, and a WW1 'Experience Field' of activities, events and talks in Heaton Park.

During the four-month Somme Centenary period, commemorations were also held at:

*Newfoundland Park, remembering troops from the Dominion of Newfoundland (now part of Canada) who fell in the disastrous attack at Beaumont-Hamel on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

*Delville Wood, where South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma, inaugurated a new memorial to South Africans of all races who fought in the First and Second World Wars.

*Pozières, commemorating Australia's first action on the Somme.

*Longueval, remembering New Zealand's first major action on the Western Front.

The Danger Tree, artist Scarlett Raven's innovative digital art exhibition commemorating the Somme, made its debut in Greenwich on July 1 before travelling to Liverpool.

'The Night Before the Somme'an evening of art, music and poetry drew large crowds to the Imperial War Museum, London, on June 30.

In the run-up to the Somme Centenary, actor and comedian Hugh Dennis visited a North London Cemetery in April to launch the Living Memory Project - a Commonwealth War Graves Commission initiative encouraging the British public to explore 'forgotten' memorials in the UK.

Remembering Captain Charles Fryatt - executed July 1916

Captain Charles Fryatt, a British ferry captain executed in 1916 for attempting to ram a German U-boat in the North Sea, was remembered with a ceremony at Liverpool Street Station in London. The Master of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, Captain Flavian D’Souza (above, right), laid a wreath at his memorial on the July 27 centenary. He was accompanied by the Clerk of the Company, Commodore Angus Menzies.

Tank Centenary - September 

Tanks were first used by the British Army at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on 15 September 1916, an assault launched as part of the Allied offensive on the Somme. Ahead of the Centenary, WW1 tank crewmen's relatives gathered at the Honourable Artillery Company in London with historian John Taylor (centre, in white shirt) and Philippe Gorczynski (first right), who discovered the remains of a buried British tank near Cambrai.

100 years after the first tanks rolled into action, Britain's Tank Museum displayed a Mark IV replica in Trafalgar Square, London, on the September 15 Centenary.

Armistice Day & The Somme - November

The 2016 Armistice Day commemorations coincided with events marking the 100th anniversary of the conclusion of the Battle of the Somme on 18 November 1916.

The Western Front Association's annual Armistice Day parade at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London (above), remembered both Verdun and the Somme.

Sylvie Bermann, French Ambassador to the UK, addresses France's November 11 ceremony at the statue of Marshal Foch near Victoria Station, London.

At Folkestone, schoolchildren planted hundreds of metal poppies on November 19 to mark the conclusion of the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago. They surrounded the 'Folk Stones', a memorial artwork of 19,240 individually numbered pebbles, each representing a member of the British forces killed on the first day of the Somme.

Mark Wallinger (left), the Turner Prize-winning artist who created the 'Folk Stones' in 2008, with Damian Collins, Member of Parliament for Folkestone and Chairman of Step Short, a charity dedicated to preserving the former Channel port's military heritage.

Shrouds of the Somme, an installation created by British artist Rob Heard (above), was displayed at Bristol Cathedral from November 11-18. The memorial of 19,240 shrouded figurines was widely acclaimed after its first showing for the July Somme Centenary in Exeter.

All images © Centenary News (Nigel Dacre, Peter Alhadeff, Patrick Gregory)

 

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