Singing soldiers pop up at train stations across UK

Men dressed as First World War soldiers turned up unannounced in towns and train stations across Britain yesterday to mark 100 years since the Battle of the Somme began.

It was unclear who set up the visits from servicemen. Picture: PA
It was unclear who set up the visits from servicemen. Picture: PA

Travelling by train and the London Underground, the imitation soldiers surprised onlookers by stopping to pose and sing wartime songs in cities including London, Belfast, Sheffield, Manchester and Glasgow.

When not singing, the men remained silent, handing out cards with names of those who had died to members of the public. The cards contained the age, regiment, and date on which Somme servicemen died and the battalions they served in.

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It is not clear who organised the surprise event, with no organisation coming forward to admit their involvement.

Helen Taki, 68, of Edmonton, London, said: “It’s a good idea because I suppose some of them didn’t have any families. They died and nobody knows where they are and this is just a memory of them, really.”

Members of the public stopped what they were doing to observe the soldiers quietly marching through the stations and streets, staying in line as if they were back in 1916 on their way to war.

Emotional passers-by said they were pleased to see that so much effort had been put into commemorating those who fought for Britain.