BBC: Battle of the Somme: Queen leads centenary remembrance events
The Queen has led events to mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme, as overnight vigils got under way on the eve of the anniversary.
Services have been held in Westminster Abbey in London and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
At a vigil in France the Duke of Cambridge paid tribute to the fallen soldiers saying "we lost the flower of a generation".
On Friday at 07:28 BST a two-minute silence will mark the battle's start.
It will be followed by events in the UK and near the WW1 battlefields in France.
The Battle of the Somme, one of WW1's bloodiest, was fought in northern France and lasted five months.
The British and French armies fought the Germans in a brutal battle of attrition on a 15-mile front.
In total, there were more than one million dead and wounded on all sides.
Read more ....
Update: Relaxing before the carnage: Heartbreaking photos of our troops on the eve of the Somme 100 years ago shortly before they went 'over the top' on the bloodiest single day in British military history (Daily Mail)
WNU Editor: We have a tradition in our family of lighting a candle every Friday night to remember those we know .... and do not know. Tomorrow our candle will be lit to remember the 1,000,000 who were killed or wounded in this battle.