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Access to the Sites of Remembrance - Ceremonies 2016

Photo credit - Yazid Medmoun - CD80
The Somme is looking forward to welcoming tens of thousands of visitors to the sites of remembrance for the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. Local authorities and the government are working closely with their counterparts from other countries to ensure that everything runs smoothly and safely.



Schedule of 1st July 2016 Ceremonies

7:28 Lochnagar Crater, La Boisselle
9:14 Contalmaison
12:00 Thiepval Memorial to the Missing
14:30 Ulster Tower
16:00 Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont-Hamel
17h30 Fricourt German Military Cemetery

Please click on each ceremony for more information.
Please note: access to these ceremonies is by ticket only, registrations are now closed and visitors will only be able to attend one ceremony. A security zone will be in place around these sites of remembrance from 8pm on 30 June 2016 (see below)


List of Prohibited Items for all 1 July Ceremonies

Access to the Thiepval Memorial 

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has advised that access to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing will be limited between 16 June and 9 July:
- 16 June to 26 June 2016: restricted access
- 27 June to 3 July 2016: closed
- 4 to 9 July 2016: restricted access

During this restricted access period, visitors must pre-arrange their visits with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Escorted visits will take place at the following times: 
16 June - 26 June: 9.45 - 10.15; 10.30 - 11.00, 11.15 - 11.45, 14.00 - 14.30, 14.45 - 15.15, 15.30 - 16.00
4 July - 9 July: 9.45 - 10.15; 10.30 - 11.00, 14.45 - 15.15, 15.30 - 16.00

Please contact the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at events@cwgc.org if you would like to visit the memorial during the restricted access period. More information available here.

The Thiepval Vistor Centre and Museum will remain open as usual during this period

Access to other sites of remembrance

Please note that some sites concerned by the ceremonies may have to close for security reasons on 30 June or in the days leading up to 1 July. It is advisable to contact the site managers before making your visit.

Shuttle bus services

For this year’s ceremonies, access to the ceremonies will be made exclusively by coach: shuttle bus service from designated car parks or coach operators listed and identified by the ceremony organisers.
The shuttle bus service will start several hours before the beginning of each ceremony and access to each site will be closed approximately one hour before the ceremony begins.
Visitors should thus park their vehicles at the designated car parks and await their shuttle-bus service. To avoid confusion, each ceremony shall be given its own car parking zone. This information will be provided by the ceremony organiser along with tickets or passes.
Visitors will also be able to arrive at the Albert Railway Station, where shuttle buses will transfer them to their ceremonies.

It will be impossible to attend more than one ceremony on 1st July 2016.
Guests will not be permitted to drive directly to the site, nor to arrive on foot.

Security Zone

Due to the large number of people who will be attending the ceremonies on 1st July 2016, French authorities will be strictly limiting access to the whole general area surrounding the Thiepval Memorial and other sites of remembrance affected by the ceremonies, between Miraumont, Mametz, Aveluy and Beaumont-Hamel.

The security zone will be in place from 8pm on 30 June 2016 to 8pm on 1 July 2016.

The zone will only be accessible to emergency vehicles, official vehicles, organisers, shuttle buses and officially recognised tour coaches, but local inhabitants and businesses in the perimeter will be given special passes to exit or enter the zone. No other vehicle will be allowed to travel in the security zone.

Guests will not be permitted to drive directly to the site, nor to arrive on foot, as they may have done in previous years.

Please visit the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website to learn which cemeteries and memorials will be inaccessible during these times.

Groups seeking to visit other sites in the region are requested to contact the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at enquiries@cwgc.org.


Security zone between the 30 June (8pm) and the 1 July (8pm)

Download a map of the security zone :

Carte de la zone de circulation réglementée
The diversion itinerary:
Déviations 1er juillet 2016 - pdf - 1,4 Mo

1 July Information Leaflet
1 July Information Leaflet

If you have booked accommodation within the perimeter of the security zone over the 1st July 2016, please contact your accommodation providers about receiving a special pass.