Huw Edwards and Kirsty Young to present BBC commemoration of The Battle Of The Somme

Huw Edwards BBC News

The beeb are to broadcast a series of live programmes to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, forming part of the BBC World War One Season.

“The Battle of the Somme was one of the bloodiest of World War One and has come to symbolise the horror of warfare.” – Phil Dolling, Head of BBC Events

Presented by Huw Edwards in Thiepval, France, and Kirsty Young in Westminster Abbey, London, The Centenary Of The Battle Of The Somme: The Vigil will be broadcast live from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursday the 30th of June on BBC Two. One hundred years on from the eve of the battle, commemorations will begin at Westminster Abbey where Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will lead the Nation’s remembrance at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

Immediately after, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales will attend a vigil service at The Thiepval Memorial in France – The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorial to the Missing. The memorial bears the names of more than 72,000 men who died on the Somme and have no known grave.

Vigils will be held through the night in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as communities across the nation come together to remember all those lost at the Somme in locations including the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle, Clandeboye and Helen’s Tower, County Down and The Welsh National War Memorial, Cardiff.

At 7.30am on the 1st of July 1916, whistles were blown up and down the British front line and thousands of men climbed from their trenches into no man’s land; it was the first day of the Battle of the Somme. To mark this moment, Huw Edwards in Thiepval and Kirsty Young in Westminster Abbey present The Centenary of the Battle of the Somme: Zero Hour, a special live broadcast from on Friday July 1st on BBC One. The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery will fire their guns on Parliament Square and two minutes silence will be observed. BBC Radio stations will also observe the two minutes silence.

Coverage continues later that morning live on BBC One from 9.15am to 12.15pm with The Centenary of the Battle of the Somme: Thiepval. TRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales will join Heads of State and 10,000 spectators. Guests include members of the public from various countries, military personnel and British and French school children. The commemoration will reflect the story of the whole battle, from its first day on 1 July to its conclusion on 18 November 1916 and remember the one million men killed or wounded on both sides.

Huw Edwards presents The Centenary of the Battle of the Somme from 11pm – 12.30am on Friday 1st July on BBC Two which bring the beeb’s edited highlights of the day’s moving Somme Centenary commemorations including the National Commemorative Service at Manchester Cathedral.

“For just under five months a brutal battle of attrition raged culminating in over a million men killed or wounded. We come together, exactly one hundred years on, to remember and pay tribute to all those who lost their lives.” – Phil Dolling, Head of BBC Events

Kirsty Young - BBC Radio 4 / BBC

One comment

  • I see Phil Dolling has conceded that it was men who were killed, men’s suffering, men’s agony. I expect Kirsty Young in her feminist, BBC way will be referring to the ‘men and women’ who made the ultimate sacrifice on the Somme.