June 28, 2016
Burnham-On-Sea church service to honour Battle of Somme war dead

Burnham-On-Sea's St Andrew's Church will be holding a special service this Friday morning (July 1st) to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Battle of the Somme.

The service, starting at 11am, will last 15 minutes and will contain a roll-call of all those local people who died in the battle, alongside stories from the survivors of that tragic event.

The Revd Graham Witts, the Vicar of Burnham, said: "The Battle of the Somme began with whistles being blown at 7.30am on the morning of 1st July 1916. By the end of the day 19,240 British soldiers had died."

"Among these were Alfred Herapath of Homebush, Burnham-On-Sea, Leslie Knight of Victoria Street, Burnham, and Ronald Young of Eton Road, Burnham."

"Before the Battle of the Somme ended in November 1916 they would be joined in death by another six local soldiers whose names are recorded on our War Memorial boards in St Andrew's Church."

He added: "One may wonder why we are recalling this event. There are a number of reasons - not least to remember that ordinary, often frightened, young men, gave their lives in the cause of peace."

"War was waged by the politicians of the day and the peace was signed by politicians - but, it was the ordinary soldier who daily pressed the case to bring about that peace - and often at horrific cost."

"We did not know them, but they were the children of ordinary families from Burnham like you and I. In a small and seemingly wasteful way, they played their part that enables us to live as we do in a freely democratic society. We should remember them."

This Friday's service will be open to all.


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