On Friday 1st July 2016, Manchester hosted a series of national events on behalf of HM Government, commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. In the afternoon a Cenotaph service and Parade of military and home-front organisations walked through the city centre, followed by a National Commemorative Service at Manchester Cathedral.
At 7.30pm, Heaton Park – a training ground for soldiers in WW1 – hosted a free ticketed concert featuring a national children’s choir, archive film, dance, spoken word, the Hallé Orchestra and the unveiling of a temporary installation of the Path of the Remembered.
This project was call out to the nation.
The Battle of the Somme is widely regarded as one of the most resonant episodes of World War One. A century on, it can be hard to comprehend the scale of the battle and look beyond the statistics, and the imagery of the trenches. The Path of the Remembered encourages us to focus on the stories of the individual men and women who were directly affected, helping us understand the impact of the battle, not just in 1916, but on the following decades and the lives we lead today.
People of all ages were asked to take a moment and pay a creative tribute to someone affected a century ago, by designing a simple memory square and uploading it to this website. Many of the memory squares submitted were dedicated to family members (men and women), or people from their area, or to highlight little known stories. Once uploaded these memory squares were then printed onto ceramic tiles to form a temporary installation, the Path of the Remembered at Heaton Park on July 1st. The online versions are available here for all to read and share.