THE centenary of the start of the First World War will be marked
by a candlelit vigil in Westminster Abbey on 4 August 2014. The
vigil will end at 11 p.m. - the moment that war was declared.
A four-year, £50-million centenary programme has been unveiled
by the Government, and includes funding to enable a teacher and two
pupils from every state secondary school in England to visit the
French and Belgian battlefields.
The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, said that pupils who
went on the battlefield trips, which will take place from this year
until March 2019, would be able to "pay tribute to the fallen; to
understand the scale of the suffering inflicted by the war to end
"Above all, these visits are a reminder that the First World War
is not ancient history, but a shared history that unites our
country. All of us have some connection with the conflict. No
community was untouched by a family tragedy."
Glasgow, which is to host the Commonwealth Games from 23 July to
3 August next year, will also play a part in the commemorations. On
4 August, the day after the Games end, a service of commemoration
will be held in St Mary's Cathedral, Glasgow, for Commonwealth
The centrepiece of the commemorations is intended to be the
opening of the refurbished First World War galleries in the
Imperial War Museum in London - founded in 1917 to record the
conflict. The whole museum is currently closed, and scheduled to
reopen on 29 July this year.
The Bible Society is asking people to send in their stories
about the Bible in the context of the First World War. It says that
more than nine million Bibles were distributed. Anyone with a
Bible-related story from the war is invited to email