Westminster Abbey: candles will be extinguished on August 4 to mark the moment Britain went to war in 1914

UK Government announces latest details of First World War Centenary events

Posted on centenarynews.com on 08 May 2014
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The British Government has released more details of the national events taking place on 4th August 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of war starting against Germany.

The commemorations in Glasgow, London and Mons in Belgium launch the UK's four-year Centenary programme. 

Britain's new Secretary of State for Culture, Sajid Javid, says it's "absolutely right" that remembrance has been put at the heart of the commemorations.

Below are the latest details of what's happening on 4th August. Centenary News will publish an international round-up tomorrow (Friday 9th May).

10am - Glasgow Cathedral: Commonwealth-themed service and Cenotaph service in George Square

Organised in partnership with Glasgow City Council, the service led by Dr Laurence Whitley, Minister of the Cathedral, will reflect the Commonwealth contribution to the war. It will be followed by a wreath-laying service at the Cenotaph in George Square, where a commemorative plaque will also be unveiled. Prince Charles will represent the Royal Family. 

The cathedral service will be shown live in George Square, which will be open to the public. 

7:30pm (UK time) – Commemorative event at St. Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons, Belgium

This commemorative event for around 500 guests is organised in partnership with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It will be based around music, poetry and readings that reflect the unique history of St. Symphorien. Similar numbers of British and German soldiers are buried here.

The site was given to the German Army by a Belgian landowner on condition that the cemetery provided a suitable resting place for the dead from both sides of the conflict and that all were buried with due respect. 

It contains the graves of the first British soldier killed on the Western Front and the last British and Commonwealth soldiers killed before the Armistice, along with the first recipient of the Victoria Cross in the First World War.

The Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry will represent the Royal Family.  

Mons City Council will screen the event live in the Grand Place, the main square in the town centre, for members of the public wishing to be involved. 

10pm – Candlelit Vigil at Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey will be hosting a candlelit vigil and evening of prayer and reflection. This will include the gradual extinguishing of candles with the final flame going out at 11pm, the exact time that Britain entered the First World War.  The Duchess of Cornwall will attend this service.

The vigil will end with the abbey in darkness, except for a single light on the grave of the Unknown Warrior. Entrance will be by invitation only.

Anglican churches around the UK, together with other faith groups, will participate in the evening of remembrance. St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast and Llandaff Cathedral in Wales will be among those holding services.

The people of England, Wales, Scotland are being invited to join the "collective moment of reflection" by turning their lights off from 10pm. The event is being organised as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK's cultural programme for the Centenary.

In a statement, the Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “The First World War fundamentally changed the world. It also took the lives of millions of people all over the world, and left still more with disabling injuries. So it is absolutely right that we mark its centenary and that we put remembrance at the heart of this commemoration. 

"We have created a programme of events that will help everyone in Britain, especially the young, understand and appreciate what’s happened, and the ultimate sacrifice that so many made during that time.”

More details of all events will be released in due course.

Source: UK Department of Culture, Media & Sport

Date of press release publication: 7th May 2014

Images: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News