Greg Hands MP and Cllr Nick Botterill joined Stoll Veterans and staff at a commemorative service at St John’s Church in Fulham to reflect on the sacrifice that people made during the Battle of the Somme…

Fr Simon Brandes led the service and read the Act of Remembrance. In a Prayer of Commemoration Fr Brandes urged people to never forget the bravery and courage of those who experienced the Battle of the Somme and faced the daily pounding of artillery, gun fire and shrapnel.

There were readings by Chief Executive, Ed Tytherleigh, and Stoll resident, Val Gritz, who read July 1st 1916 by Lady Aimee Byng Scott. Buglers, Sue Wallace and Major Roy Clarke from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Association (Corp of Drums London) played the Last Post and the Reveille.

Greg Hands MP said: “I am moved to be here today at St. John’s Fulham with Stoll to commemorate 100 years since the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The traumatic events of that day should remind us of our need and obligation to look after our wounded and disabled Veterans.”

Stoll resident, Ian Paul Belcher, who served in Northern Ireland and on UN peacekeeping missions, said: “Thousands of young men were killed on this very day. They believed in a just cause and they died for it. It’s important we remember them. Wives lost husbands, mothers lost sons, sisters lost brothers.”

60,000 men died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme – over 600,000 died before the end of the battle. Nearly half of those who died were support personnel including medical, catering and logistics staff.

1st July 2016 marked the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and this is also Stoll’s centenary year. Stoll has been providing support and housing for the nation’s ex-Service men and women since 1916 and is hosting a series of events to mark this throughout the year.

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