On Friday 1st July at 11am, two minutes of silence will be observed at Henley Royal Regatta to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. The remembrance will take place in the Stewards’ Enclosure, with the remaining regatta areas also invited to observe the silence, which will commence with The Last Post.
In addition to the 11am tribute, boats competing on Friday 1st will have a poppy sticker attached to the hull. There will also be an exhibition on rowers and World War I staged in the prize tent, courtesy of the River & Rowing Museum.
The Battle of the Somme, which began on July 1st 1916, was the largest battle fought during World War I, killing or injuring over a million men. Fought between British, French and German armies near the Somme river in France, the battle continued from July until the 18th November 1916 when heavy rain made continued fighting too difficult.
Sir Steve Redgrave, Chairman of the Committee of Management of the Regatta said: “It is crucial we never forget what happened on the battlefields of the Somme and we must honour the memory of those brave soldiers who fought for our freedom.
“There has always been a wonderful link between rowing and the military and it is believed that hundreds of international rowers died at the Battle of the Somme and I know attendees at the Regatta will respectfully join me in commemorating all those that fell.”
This is not the first time the regatta has observed a silence to commemorate a national or global event. Last year, a minute’s silence was held to mark the death of 38 people in Tunisia after a mass-shooting at a holiday resort in Port El Kantaoui.