A CHURCH memorial service was held at the Great Dorset Steam Fair to commemorate those who lost their lives in the Battle of the Somme.

The county show took place over the Bank Holiday weekend at the Tarrant Hinton showground near Blandford Forum.

Among the 65,000 visitors and steam-power displays Show Chaplain Father Michael Foster held a special remembrance service to mark the centenary.

The service was held at 2pm on the Friday at the First World War trenches.

Dr Reverend Foster said: "It was a powerful image to commemorate 100 years since the Battle of the Somme at the reenactment trenches, it give people some idea of what life was like for the soldiers."

The First World War exhibition has been part of the show since 2014 with new exhibits added this year in honour of the 'bloodiest battle in human history'.

Father Michael's service was initiated by military gunfire, signalling a two minutes silence for visitors to remember the one million men were wounded or killed between July 1, 1916 and November 18, 1916.

Father Michael, who has been involved in the show for 17 years and Show Chaplain for the last five, said: "This year's show was a great success, the weather was wonderful. It is outstanding the sheer numbers that attend."

Throughout the four days an estimated 3,000 people made use of the church tent, located near the showground, which held Holy Communion each morning at 9am.

On the Sunday at noon the Directors Thanks Giving Service was held at Dean's Bioscope Stage with a special guest appearance from the Bishop of Sherbourne, the Right Reverend Karen Gorham.

Father Michael added: "The closing service is held to give thanks to all the hard work of the exhibitors, staff and traders who work exceedingly hard and to thank God for all the hard work that goes in for people's leisure."