At the end of the formal part of the Ceremony each person present is invited to take a small handful of poppy petals and to scatter them anywhere in or around the Crater, and to do so with the thought in mind that, in all probability, a young man lost his life on the spot where the petals landed.
This symbolic scattering of petals always begins with children casting the first petals into the Crater, followed by the congregation. Whilst the petals are being scattered the Somme Pipe Band plays 'The Lament'. Some of the congregation have expressed the view that this is the most poignant part of the Ceremony.
Scattering petals into the Crater, 1st July 1983 Ceremony and The congregation at the 1st July 1983 Ceremony
After the 2010 Ceremony the congregation were invited to stand around the rim of the Crater and to hold hands to form a complete unbroken human chain in an act of fellowship and reconciliation. The invitation proved to be very popular as an estimated 400 people stayed after the Ceremony to complete the chain.
A complete chain was also formed after the 2011 Ceremony when an estimated 600 people remained. It is hoped that this will now become a regular feature of the Ceremony.