First Minister to lead overnight vigil to mark centenary of the Battle of the Somme15 / 06 / 2016
First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones will lead commemorations at an overnight vigil at Llandaff Cathedral on 30 June to honour those who fought bravely in the largest battle of the First World War.
The vigil is part of the Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918 programme which marks the centenary of the First World War with commemorative events, projects and programmes across the length and breadth of Wales.
The Battle of the Somme is the central focus for this year’s commemorations and will be marked by an overnight vigil organised by the Welsh Government and the City of Cardiff Council. The public are invited to the event, alongside members of the Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and the Royal British Legion.
The vigil will conclude with a public service at the National War Memorial in Cathays Park, Cardiff between 7.00 – 7.30am on 1 July to coincide with the time the battle began one hundred years ago. The service will end with rapid gun fire and whistle blowing to signify the moment soldiers went over the top.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “I am honoured to lead an overnight vigil to remember and reflect upon the sacrifices made by the one million men who were wounded or killed during the Battle of the Somme.
“Those who fought bravely for our futures should never be forgotten. It is so important we all understand how the First World War changed our country forever, while we must also learn lessons to ensure such atrocities don’t ever happen again.”
Cllr Phil Bale, Leader of the City of Cardiff Council, said: “It is so important to remember those who gave their lives and fought in the Great War of 1914-1918. The battle of the Somme was the largest battle of World War 1. Its memory still resonates today and we must do what we can to ensure it continues to do so. This overnight vigil will play a small part in passing on the memories of those who fell and fought between July 1, 1916 and November 18, 1916.”