MORE THAN 1,000 people came together to commemorate the anniversary of a ferocious battle.

In the Town Park in Witham residents and councillors came together to watch a Drumhead service marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Jane Coleman, deputy town clerk at the town council, said: "It was a sombre and moving occasion.

"Before the service a salute was taken outside the Town Hall by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Jonathan Douglas-Hughes, the MP Priti Patel and councillors Frankie Ricci and town mayor Patrick Horner.

"During the service, the Town Mayor laid a special Somme wreath combining blue cornflowers, representing our French allies, with red poppies on behalf of the town."

The dedication reads: “Today we commemorate the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. In grateful thanks, the People of Witham July 1 2016.”

The Essex Army Cadets Corps of Drums played and the service was conducted by Reverend Cannon Sally Lodge, Team Rector at St Nicolas Church.

Music was performed by the Essex Yeomanry Band.

The event was organised by Witham Town Council in partnership with the Royal British Legion.