On Friday 1 July a Service was held in the Parish Church of St Cuthbert's to commemorate the First day of the Battle of the Somme and, in particular, two Edinburgh battalions – 15 th and 16 th Royal Scots - who led the advance on the formidable German defensive position in front of the village of La Boisselle. The opening day of the Battle of the Somme was a disaster. 20,000 men were killed and a further 40,000 were wounded – most in the space of the first hour. The Edinburgh battalions lost more than three quarters of their strength, but pressed on towards the village of Contalmaison – the deepest penetration of the German line achieved that morning.
One hundred years later we remembered their sacrifice with simultaneous services in Edinburgh and Contalmaison.
The event was organised by McCrae's Battalion Trust supported by OASIS (the outreach arm of St Cuthbert's) in partnership with business matters and Work Place Chaplaincy Scotland.
The photos below show shots of the congregation, the Edinburgh Military Wives Choir, the Rolling Hills Chorus and flowers highlighting the three main colours of the Hunting Stewart Tartan worn by the Royal Scots.
We will rermember them.