THE sacrifice of war has been laid bare as part of a project commemorating the servicemen and women killed during the First World War.

The Shrouds of the Somme Project has seen 1,561 shrouds - one for each day of the Great War - laid out in the sacred Garth (or burial ground) at the heart of Salisbury Cathedral’s Cloisters.

The small shrouded figures represent the Commonwealth servicemen and women killed on each day of the war.

The project, which has been created by artist Rob Heard, will be available to view from tomorrow until Sunday (June 10).

Representatives from 5 Rifles, based in Bulford, laid the shrouds today, including Serjeant Christopher O'Brien, who has served in the military for 18 years.

He said: "It is an honour and a privilege to come down and not just represent the battalion but other soldiers. Soldiers that have died in the war and lost their lives for the greater good so we could have the life we have got today."

Sjt O'Brien says the laying of the shrouds also allowed him to remember the friends he has lost on military operations.

He said it was important to recognise the soldiers who have lost their lives and to pass that history on to educate younger generations.

There will be further exhibitions of the Shroud Project in Exeter and Belfast, and then 72,396 shrouded figures will be laid out at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park between November 8-18 to form a focal point as the nation marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the war to end all wars.

The shrouds will be on display during SSAFA’s First World War Living History event, which comes to the Close on Saturday and Sunday (June 9-10).

Installed as part of the Cathedral’s A New Dawn, a year-long celebration of the centenary of the end of the First World War and the changes that war brought about in British society, the SSAFA event is a key awareness-raiser for the charity.

On the Cathedral’s West lawn a replica First World War trench, manned by re-enactors from C-Company Rolling History, will give visitors a taste of life on the frontline, with a reconstructed fire step, tunnel and field hospital.

New this year, the Larkhill Living History group, known as the Garrison Artillery Volunteers, are bringing their First World War encampment, including an original 18 pounder cannon and costumed crew.

In the interactive display tent laid on by Royal Corps of Signals Museum there is a chance to get a hands on taste of wartimes communications, including using Semaphore and Morse code.

Alongside the SSAFA event Salisbury Cathedral guides are running free tours of the memorials in the Cathedral to those who sacrificed their lives in the First World War. These tours are based on information gathered by volunteer researchers working in the Cathedral’s library and archive collections.

The tours run from 2pm-3pm on Friday and Sunday, and 11am-12pm on Saturday.

There will also be a special Evensong on Sunday at 4.30pm at which The Ven Stephen Robbins, an Honorary Canon of Salisbury Cathedral and a former Chaplain-General of the British Army preaches. Music includes Mark Blatchly's choral setting of For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon’s 1914 war poem.