#WeAreHere - Centenary Commemoration of the Battle of the Somme

On July 1st, 1916 at around 7.28am the first British troops went 'over the top' into what was set to be one of the most hard fought and costly (in terms of lives lost) battles in modern history. Throughout the lengthy battle, nearly a million troops would be wounded or killed and in the first day alone, 19,240 British casualties were recorded.

Needless to say, such an event must be remembered to serve as a living memory of a time that humanity can ill afford to return to. 14-18-Now, the Centenary Arts Commission has been organised to do just that, a living art installation organised to bring the past into the present and paying fitting tribute to the importance of WW1. 

I was fortunate to be asked to document a small part of the national commemoration and observed soldiers inhabiting New Street Station in Birmingham dressed in full WW1 uniform, a truly emotional scene. Scenes like the ones I captured were repeated across the British Isles in a perfect tribute to all of those that sacrificed their lives one hundred years ago. It was clear by the public recognition of the large scale event that it resonated with many people as social media reacted wonderfully to images and videos shared. 

One of my very own Facebook followers remarked how she had explained to her children on why the people were dressed as soldiers - bringing the past to life for younger generations to understand the sacrifices made. Please see my images below and check out my Facebook page for more -  www.facebook.com/rossjukesphotography