London Fire Brigade

Battle of the Somme Centenary Commemorations

01 July 2016

This morning our staff joined the rest of the country to take part in a national two-minute silence marking the moment the first wave of soldiers went over the top in the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916. The first day of the battle remains the bloodiest in British military history, with over 57,000 casualties.

At 0728  our crews paraded in their fire gear on station forecourts across the capital to pay their respects.

Commemorations in Parliament Square

Meanwhile firefighters from Soho fire station attended the centenary commemorations in Parliament Square. The station’s two fire engines and turntable ladder and their crews lined up with military and emergency service colleagues on the west side of the square for the two-minute silence. The silence was preceded by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery firing three guns for 100 seconds to mark the 100 years since the battle began.

Soho Green Watch Manager Larry Laws said: “When the guns fired the smoke lingered on the grass because of the damp morning air. It was a very moving occasion. We were very pleased and honoured to be there and to be able to pay our respects.”

Lewisham Fire Station

Image by @londoniumfinest

Bexley Fire Station

Fulham Fire Station

Find out more about our history in and out of wartime.