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100 Years Remembered

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Today, 1st July 2016, marks 100 years since the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. In a vigil held at Westminster Abbey, the Right Reverend Dr Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, said, "Society must strive to reach an accord and reject those who would stir up hatred and division". In the current uncertain times following the referendum result that concluded that Britain should leave the European Union, it is worth remembering those words and what the more than 1 million men who died gave their lives for. Freedom has given us the ability to develop and innovate, we would probably not have the engineering and technologies that we have today if those men had not fought for all of us.

Today, 1st July 2016, marks 100 years since the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. In a vigil held at Westminster Abbey, the Right Reverend Dr Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, said, “Society must strive to reach an accord and reject those who would stir up hatred and division”. In the current uncertain times following the referendum result that concluded that Britain should leave the European Union, it is worth remembering those words and what the more than 1 million men who died gave their lives for. Freedom has given us the ability to develop and innovate, we would probably not have the engineering and technologies that we have today if those men had not fought for all of us.

The men who fought at the Battle of the Somme would have thought that the very concept of the Internet or the World Wide Web so impossible as to have been even beyond the realms of science fiction. The idea that 6.8 billion mobile phones would be registered around the world would have been unimaginable. The idea that we would use computers, (which would not be invented for another 30 years!), to read a ‘blog’ like this, would have been impossible to believe. (The very word ‘blog’ is a truncation of ‘web log’.) But we all take this for granted.


On the first day of the Battle of the Somme some 19,240 soldiers were killed – the worst day in British military history. It should be noted too that, whilst it was men that fought on the front lines, women were hugely affected too. Many women were also in the Somme performing nursing duties and other support activities. The Battle of the Somme was a horrific battle that saw over 1 million people lose their lives.

As the fallout from the ‘Brexit’ vote continues, the atmosphere has, at times, been highly divisive and, frankly, unpleasant. There will be many challenges and many opportunities which are largely, as yet, unknown. For the digital world this will be of particular significance as both the UK and Europe grapple with the implications for the digital single market, with data sovereignty and with how to separate or ring fence data, amongst many others. But whichever side of the ‘Brexit’¬†argument one sits, it is worth noting the words of the Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, who said, “Those who fought bravely for our futures should never be forgotten”. Well said!

Lest we forget.