Yesterday evening, Blake was truly honoured to photograph an extremely poignant event at the oldest synagogue in Britain, the beautiful Bevis Marks. The evening started with the landmark launch of ‘We Were There Too’, an incredible online database of Jewish soldiers during World War 1.
Proceedings then moved into the main synagogue, where an emotional commemorative service to mark the centenary of the bloodiest conflict in British military history. The Battle of the Somme was fought between British and French soldiers, and German forces on the Western Front. Nearly 20,000 British soldiers were killed on the first day alone. The battle lasted for another 20 weeks, seeing a shocking 1 million men on all sides wounded or killed. Short readings were delivered by community leaders, veterans and volunteers. The memorial candle was lit, and the evening ended with a rousing rendition of God Save The Queen – the first time we had heard it sung in a synagogue – it truly sent shivers down the spine.