Bute marked the centenary of the Battle of the Somme at a service at Rothesay’s war memorial today (July 1, 2016).
In a service organised by the local branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland and led by The Very Reverend Andrew Swift, islanders paid tribute to the men of Bute who died in what was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army.
At 7.30am on July 1, 1916, British and French forces began the fight against the Germans in a brutal battle that would last for five months. On the first day alone the British Army lost 60,000 men, 20,000 of whom were killed.
Rev Swift said: “At 7.30am on July 1, 1916, a battle started by the River Somme in France, a battle that would continue for 141 days throughout that year.
“Today we remember that first day. Gunmen newly called to France, many never having been exposed to the horrors of war, went over the top of their trenches on this day, many of them besides their friends and family and so many of them died or were scarred in body or mind.”