RELATIVES of Worcestershire soldiers who died in the bloodiest single day of the First World War are being offered a unique opportunity to visit the graves of their loved ones.

Thousands of Worcestershire men were killed or wounded during the battle of the Somme, a name that has become a byword for the suffering of a generation.

On the first day of the battle – July 1, 1916 – more than 20,000 British soldiers lost their lives.

It went down in history as the blackest day of the British Army.

Birmingham War Research Society organiser Alex Bulloch MBE said: “Many men from Worcestershire were heavily involved in the fighting at Ypres and on the Somme.

“Tom Turrall of the Worcestershire Regiment won a Victoria Cross for saving the life of a badly wounded officer at La Boisselle during the Somme fighting.”

Ypres was the scene of three great battles. The third, better known as Passchendaele, has come to symbolise the suffering and waste of trench warfare.

Mr Bulloch added: “Our organisation takes relatives to the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried. This special service is included in the price.”

The trip will run from July 12 to 15, the coach departing from Birmingham the evening before the first advertised date. For more information, contact Mr Bulloch on 0121 459 9008 or Brian Long on 01629 650780.