A commemorative event is held every year at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Thiepval Memorial, organised by The Royal British Legion and the British Embassy, Paris, but in 2016 the UK and French Governments will host a significantly larger event.

Due to the high public demand and the limited capacity at the site, the event will be accessible by ticket only. Tickets for the event for residents of the UK and Ireland were distributed via a public ballot, which launched in September and closed in November; all entrants were informed of the results by the end of November, and were requested to submit some additional information by the end of January. The French Government are leading on the distribution of their allocation of the tickets.

In addition to the event at Thiepval, we are making plans to broadcast the event live to large screens in a number of towns across the Somme region, so that as many people as possible can see the event and participate, including those who are unsuccessful in the ballot.

There will also be a wide programme of events taking place in both the UK and France, which the public can participate in to mark both the 1st July and the 141 day duration of the battle.