Somme Centenary National Vigil – Somme Museum 30 June-1 July 2016

The ‘national level’ event will take place at the Somme Museum, Conlig. This is located on the edge of Clandeboye Estate, where the 36th (Ulster) Division camped and trained in the early part of the war.

The vigil will be mounted overnight from 7pm on 30 June through to 7am on 1 July. People are encouraged to come along and take part in the vigil through the night. Small groups of veterans or RBL members are especially welcomed.

The public are invited to attend a service of commemoration from 7am – 7.45am on 1st July at the Somme Museum. This will include The Last Post and Reveille, the blowing of whistles at 7.28am to commemorate the moment that the 36th (Ulster) Division went ‘over the top’, a two minute silence, the Flowers of the Forest played by a piper, the laying of wreaths and prayers. There will be a chance to get a look round the museum and have a cup of tea after the Service.

The event is open to the public, though people thinking of attending should note that seating space is very limited and you need to be there for 7am at the latest. 

Please contact for details.

The Royal British Legion Northern Ireland is driving an initiative to ensure that all war memorials in Northern Ireland and Counties Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan are manned by 7.20am on the morning of 1 July. The public is encouraged to participate in these activities. People can mark the moment by blowing whistles at 7.28am and then observing the two minutes silence.

To help with the commemorations the Royal British Legion has launched a toolkit – Remember the Battle of the Somme 1916-2016 which is available to pre-order in hardcopy and to download at

2 thoughts on “Somme Centenary National Vigil – Somme Museum 30 June-1 July 2016

  1. Gillian Graham

    I hope you can help me. I have heard of a vigil being held at Helens Tower, then I was told it was at the Somme centre and I just keep getting passed from council to centre with no one seeming to know what’s going on. After trying for weeks I’ve finally been directed to yourselves as I really want to be there and take part. My reason this is so important is that my great grandfather went over the top that morning and was only 1 of 2 from his company to survive. He recovered from shells hock in England and then returned to France to see out rest of the war. I have walking disabilities and have heard that the walk to Helens Tower would be quite a journey for me. Are there any going by car? What time does the overnight vigil start. I can bring my own seat for that. Most importantly I wish to attend the short memorial service. I’ve bought my own replica whistle and this means so much to me to remember the fallen in this way. Plz can you advise me. Thanking you. Mrs Gillian Graham


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