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Abbey to mark 1914

by
14 June 2013

by a staff reporter

PA

Focal point: Remembrance crosses at the Westminster Abbey garden, prior to Armistice Day, in 2012

Focal point: Remembrance crosses at the Westminster Abbey garden, prior to Armistice Day, in 2012

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 all wars.

"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 leaders.

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 contactus@biblesociety.org.uk.

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