Whistle blasts at Melton services will remember the Somme

This picture taken in 1916 shows soldiers from Melton based at the Remount (now the Defence Animal Centre) going to the western front and the Somme. The picture was taken on Thorpe Road, just before the entrance to the hospital EMN-160615-175753001

This picture taken in 1916 shows soldiers from Melton based at the Remount (now the Defence Animal Centre) going to the western front and the Somme. The picture was taken on Thorpe Road, just before the entrance to the hospital EMN-160615-175753001

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There will be three blasts of a whistle at the Melton war memorial at 7.30am tomorrow (Friday) as veterans gathers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

Three whistle blasts will be blown at war memorials across the country at 7.30am - marking the time that the same signal was given to the troops to go ‘over the top’ on a day that ended with over 27,000 British troops killed and with up to 59,000 allied casualties, the bloodiest tally of any single day of fighting before or since.

The commemorations will continue in Melton on Sunday.

A parade, led by Melton Band, will march off from Park Road at 10.45am, down Nottingham Street to St Mary’s Church.

A special drumhead service is set to be held in the church at 11am. Drumhead ceremonies were used during times of conflict as a point of worship when no real altar could be used. Drums are piled up and draped with standards or colours to form a ceremonial altar.

People are welcome to show their support at the parade and service.