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Friday, 01 July 2016 - 8:42
Centenary of Battle of the Somme Marked with Overnight Vigil at Westminster Abbey
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Queen attended a service at Westminster Abbey on Thursday evening, the eve of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the deadliest chapters of the First World War.

Her Majesty laid a wreath of roses on the grave of the Unknown Warrior inside the ancient abbey in London before a bugler sounded the Last Post.

An honour guard of soldiers and civilians were holding an overnight vigil at the grave, ending just before 7.30 am, the time British toppos were sent into the battle on 1st of July 1916.

The evening service in tribute to the fallen heralded the start of events in the UK and France commemorating the battle which began on July 1 1916 - a day that became the bloodiest in British military history with almost 20,000 dead.

It was intended to be a decisive victory for the British and French against Germany's forces but by the end of the four-month campaign in northern France, more than a million soldiers had been killed and wounded on both sides and the First World War would drag on for another two years.

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