On the night of 30 June 100 years ago, thousands of soldiers waited at the front line not far from here at Thiepval for the whistles to sound at 7:30 am on 1 July for the start of the Battle of the Somme. Thousands upon thousands died that day and so many more over the months that followed.
The horror of that battle, of the millions that died or were wounded during the First World War, marked profoundly the nations that sent an entire generation of young men to their death. “Never again” was the cry, and yet the sacrifice of so many and their heartfelt desire for peace seems today to fall on ears that will not hear.
That desire for peace in Europe seems especially poignant this week as Great Britain has voted to withdraw from her close ties with the European Union. I pray that we will each work for peace and understanding and tolerance in our families, our communities and our nations.
I took this photo on Thursday morning, a reminder of blood shed in fields near our Church, fields that would later look like this.