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Live Reporting

Lauren Turner, Suzanne Leigh, Ruth Levis, James Percy, Alex Kleiderman and Peter Harvey

All times stated are UK

  1. We will remember them

    Wounded British soldiers
    Image caption: Wounded British soldiers at the Battle of the Somme

    That's all for our live coverage of the national remembrance of the Battle of the Somme. Thanks for following our updates and for sharing your commemorations with us online.

    To find out more about the BBC's World War One coverage, go to

  2. The battle of the Somme remembered

    Pozieres Memorial
    Image caption: Pozieres Memorial

    The battle of the Somme has defined our idea of the First World War. On the first day alone, 19,240 British soldiers lost their lives. The Somme campaign wore on for five months and, in all, more than a million soldiers from the British, German and French armies were wounded or killed. The British army advanced just seven miles. 

    For future generations, the battle became a symbol of the futility of war.

    How do we remember World War One?

  3. Reading my father's WW1 diaries

    Video content

    Video caption: Journalist Simon Heffer looks through his father's WW1 diaries.

    James Heffer was just 16 when World War One broke out, and by June 2015 he was in the trenches as part of The Cambridgeshire Regiment.His son, the journalist Simon Heffer, explains how his father ended up fighting at such a young age. 

    He also reads some extracts from James' diary, written as the Battle of the Somme commenced.  

  4. How WW1 changed the way we bury our war dead

    WW1 headstone

    In 1918 Fabian Ware, the Vice Chairman of the Imperial War Graves Commission, sent out a report setting out the plans for the WW1 cemeteries and monuments. 

    The blueprint for a foreign field

  5. Vintage uniforms

    Volunteers in World War One uniforms were not confined to the UK. This photograph of men paying their respects while dressed in the 1916 colours of the French Army was taken during the service at the Thiepval Memorial in the Somme.

    Two men in French WW1 uniform during Somme centenary commemorations
  6. Camilla visits great uncle's grave

    The Duchess of Cornwall has laid a wreath at the grave of a great uncle who was killed during the Battle of the Somme while serving with the Coldstream Guards.

    It was the first time Camilla, accompanied by the Prince of Wales, had visited Carnoy Military Cemetery, where Cpt Harry Cubitt is buried.

    He was the eldest of three sons killed during the war and the duchess told reporters a photograph had been placed beside the grave, although she did not know who left it.

    "I have never seen a photograph of him before," she said.

    "It is such a long time ago and it made me suddenly realise what it must have been like for my great grandparents, to have three sons within 18 months of one another being killed."

    Duchess of Cornwall and Prince of Wales at at Carnoy Military Cemetery in Carnoy
  7. Commuters moved to tears by 'ghost soldiers'

    BBC Arts

    The haunting image of thousands of men dressed as WW1 soldiers across the UK on Friday's centenary anniversary has produced an emotional response from those who've witnessed the commemorative journeys.

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  8. Moving UK-wide art event honours fallen Somme soldiers

    Soldiers in a station

    Commuters across the UK were stopped in their tracks on Friday morning as thousands of volunteers dressed in First World War uniforms took part in a unique event to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, organised by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with National Theatre director Rufus Norris. 

    Handing out cards with the names of the fallen, the "ghost soldiers" were seen at train stations, high streets and thoroughfares, with hundreds of people uploading photos to social media along with the hashtag #wearehere. 

    Find out more about the project

  9. Recollections from The Great War

    Radio 4 PM programme

    Video content

    Video caption: People from both sides of the conflict recall The Great War.

    Radio 4's PM put together a montage of voices from the BBC series The Great War. People from both sides remember the grim realities of the conflict.

  10. The British gain some ground

    History of World War One

    Map of the Somme

    By the end of the day the British had gained just three square miles of territory. 

    On the right wing of the Fourth Army forward trenches were captured. Across the rest of the line the battle was a disaster for the British, with the exception of the Ulster Division which was holding the Schwaben Redoubt. The French forces managed to gain land up to the German second line.

    The British forces suffered 57,470 casualties, including 19,240 fatalities.   

    Why was the first day of the Somme such a disaster?

  11. Epitaph: The First Day of the Somme

    BBC Radio Scotland

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    Video caption: Cathy Macdonald and Dr Ann Petrie recording our epitaph in Old St Pauls Episcopal Church

    In the vaulted chapel of Old St Pauls Episcopal Church in Edinburgh is a war memorial from where this evening's epitaph is recorded. The church is hidden down a close, in what was once the heart of Edinburgh’s old town slums. It gave up many of its men to the local regiments – five of them died on 1 July 1916 alone. 

    In the 16th Royal Scots McCrae’s battalion were: David Newton Smart, the eldest of three brothers to die in the war, Edward Anderson, the 19-year-old son of a type founder, and William Tait, a plumber’s apprentice. In the 15th Royal Scots: John Rosenbluth the son of a Russian book binder and William Arthur Hole, the son of the artist William Hole who made the frieze in the entrance hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. 

    The clip includes an interview between Cathy MacDonald and Professor Sir Hew Strachan of St Andrews University.  

  12. Nature, soldiers and the Somme

    Frank Gardner is the BBC's security correspondent, and a keen birder. Earlier this year, he travelled to France to document the therapeutic role that nature played in the trenches.  

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    Video caption: Frank Gardner documents the therapeutic role that nature played in the trenches.

    Song for the Lapwing

    And listen to Frank Gardner read a poem written by a soldier standing on guard duty in the trenches, watching the lapwings fly above him and wishing he could join them on their journey back to the green fields of Kent. British folk group The Young'uns, on location on the Somme, perform their interpretation of the piece.

    Video content

    Video caption: The Young'uns: Song for the Lapwing
  13. World War One at home

    How did the war affect people at home? Read fascinating stories that show how World War One changed the people and places of the UK and Ireland. 

    Find a story near you

    WW1 at home
  14. Timeline of World War One

    WW1 soldiers

    The First World War was the first truly global conflict – the battle raged not just in the trenches of the Western Front but in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  

    More than nine million soldiers and an unknown number of civilians lost their lives. Empires crumbled, revolution engulfed Russia and the United States rose to become a dominant world power.  

    Hew Strachan describes the 20 key moments of WW1

  15. Stories from the Scottish troops

    Brian Cox narrates the final short episode telling the stories of Scottish troops on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. This piece tells the tale of a medical officer and the 17-year-old private from Clydebank who lied about his age, taken from Captain (later Major) Duncan Pailthorpe's memoirs of the day. 

    (Courtesy of the Gordon Highlanders Museum.)

    Video content

    Video caption: 17:45 1st July, 1916
  16. A masterpiece reimagined

    WNO In Parenthesis. Photo credit - Bill Cooper
    Image caption: Welsh National Opera production of In Parenthesis. A live stream will be available from the Royal Opera House from 19:00 BST tonight

    Hailed as a masterpiece of 20th Century literature by the likes of WB Yeats, David Jones' epic poem In Parenthesis recounts the horrors of the Battle of Somme from a Welsh perspective - and all mixed in with a fair dash of Celtic mythology. 

    Adapted for the stage by Welsh National Opera, this new production, thanks to collaboration with The Space, will now be available for all to view online, streamed from the Royal Opera House from 19:00 BST tonight.

    Find out more about the live stream

  17. Keeping vigil throughout the night

    At Westminster Abbey on Thursday evening, students and teachers from 16 schools across the country kept vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, each one held in the memory of individuals who played their part 100 years ago. 

    The vigils took place throughout the night ending at 07:30 BST - the moment the soldiers went over the top on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. 

    Browse photographs and listen to individual stories from WW1

    The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, which is open to the public overnight for the first time in more than 50 years
    Image caption: The Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, which was open to the public overnight for the first time in more than 50 years