Manchester City Council

Sports, leisure & the Arts Somme 100 - Heaton Park in World War One

Somme 100 Commemoration

On 1 July 2016, Heaton Park turned back the clock 100 years to commemorate the first day of the Battle of the Somme, on the very ground where the Manchester Pals prepared to go to war. The event was commissioned by The National Commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme, and produced by Manchester City Council on behalf of HM Government.

It brought together people to commemorate the courage shown and the sacrifices made by those who fell, those who survived, and the many thousands of men, women and children across all nations whose lives were irrevocably changed by the battle.

At sunset, people remembered together and recalled the lives of our ancestors through music, dance, film and words. It reflected on the losses endured and the lessons we may still learn.

The event marked the end of a day of national commemoration that began with overnight vigils and events across the UK and France.

As part of the event, thousands of these individually designed Memory Squares were created by people to form a physical path in tribute to those affected by the battle. They were all laid into a temporary, 80 metre long path, which become known as The Path of the Remembered.

The Path of the Remembered was developed in association with 14–18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Arts Commissions.

As a legacy, a commemorative area is being developed within Heaton Park using images from the memory squares to create an area of reflection. The project is funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds.

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