Vigil for the Somme at St Nicholas Church

Troops going over the top at the start of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 EMN-160624-150044001
Troops going over the top at the start of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 EMN-160624-150044001

Soldiers who died in the Battle of the Somme will be remembered at a special vigil at St Nicholas Church in Kenilworth during the early hours of Friday July 1, the battle’s 100th anniversary.

The candlelit vigil, organised by the Kenilworth branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and the church, will take place from 4.30am to 7.30am to reflect the times when the troops were forming up to prepare for when they went over the top.

At 7.30am there will be a minute’s silence, followed by a recital of the Wilfred Owen poem ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’. The Rev Dr Paul Fiske will then pray for the soldiers’ souls.

Francis Arnold, president of the RBL Kenilworth branch, said: “I have considerable empathy with those troops of 100 years ago - not only because I’m a retired Lieutenant Colonel who could well have been involved at the time, but because my uncle was badly wounded and shell shocked on that first dreadful day.

“They deserve our vigil. The courage, patriotism and self-sacrifice of those men should always be remembered.”

All are welcome to attend the vigil at any time between 4.30 and 7.30am.