(Image © Office de tourisme de Béthune-Bruay)

Centenary events to mark Battle of the Boar's Head in France

Posted on centenarynews.com on 15 June 2016
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Commemorations are planned in Northern France to mark the centenary of an attack mounted by British troops to divert German attention on the eve of the Battle of the Somme.

100 years ago, the village of Richebourg l'Avoué was the scene of the Battle of the Boar's Head/La Bataille de la Tête de Sanglier.

Soldiers from the Royal Sussex Regiment suffered heavy losses in the action, which took its unusual name from the distinctive shape of a network of trenches.

Tributes will be paid at a remembrance service in Richebourg on June 30th 2016, bringing together local representatives and their counterparts from the Sussex coastal town of Worthing. It takes place at St Vaast Post Military Cemetery. This will be mirrored across the Channel, with a 'Drumhead Service' at 5pm outside Worthing Town Hall.

'The day Sussex died'

The St Vaast ceremony is the centrepiece of commemorative events to be held in Richebourg, near Béthune in Pas-de-Calais, from June 25th-July 3rd.

The programme also includes exhibitions highlighting the  impact of the First World War, and a guided bus tour on July 1st of key sites in the Battle of the Boar's Head.

More than 330 British soldiers fell in five hours of fighting on June 30th 1916. The attack was aimed at misleading the Germans over Allied intentions as troops massed for the launch of the Somme offensive much further south.

Such was the scale of the losses that it's remembered as 'the day Sussex died."

After the Great War, Worthing adopted Richebourg l'Avoué, providing blankets, clothes, seeds and tools to help rebuild the community under a UK scheme to assist devastated areas of France.

More information about the Battle of the Boar's Head commemorative events (in French & English) can be found here. The programme is organised by the community of Richebourg and Béthune-Bruay Tourist Office, in partnership with Worthing Borough Council and the Royal Sussex Living Group. Events taking place in Sussex include an exhibition at Worthing Town Hall from June 27th-July 1st.

Images © Office de tourisme de Béthune-Bruay 

Posted by: CN Editorial Team