Remembering the First World War: 100 Years On

Victoria Eggs

Posted on July 03 2014

Today, 4th August 2014, marks 100 years since Britain entered into the First World War. It has been a Century since Belgium's rejection of Germany's ultimatum, led to British forces declaring war upon the German Empire.

To mark the start of one of the largest conflicts in history, services are being held across the UK, in addition to the striking art display at the Tower of London and the nationwide #LightsOut remembrance.

For those that have visited the Tower of London recently, or simply walked past during their morning commute, they would have been hard pressed not to notice the sea of red that has developed in the Tower's iconic dry moat. Over 888,000 ceramic poppies will eventually fill the well known site, with the installation growing over the summer, to culminate in the last poppy being planted on 11th November (symbolically marking the end of the First World War).

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A Yeoman walks amongst the field of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

However, should you want to commemorate the centenary without being able to travel to London, there is also a National Lights Out remembrance in which you can take part in this evening. From 10-11pm, everyone in the UK is being encouraged to turn out our lights, leaving only a single candle (or light) in a national moment of reflection. This symbolic act of reflection stems from the words spoken by Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary on the eve of the War.

"The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

As Victoria and I are Hertfordshire girls, we are also interested to see the Herts at War exhibition, which launches from today in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. With talks and events running with the involvement of authors and military historians it's looking to be a great event. One of the displays in the exhibition which caught our eye, is the photoshopping of black and white photographs into colour, and features soldiers from the Hertfordshire Regiment heading to war from Letchworth Train Station in 1914.

WW1 in colour

A digitally remastered coloured photo of soldiers from Hertfordshire, prepare to leave for war from Letchworth Train Station, 1914. Copyright: Dan Hill/BNPS.

From tomorrow, each poppy in the Tower of London's moat will be available to buy for £25, with proceeds shared amongst a selection of military charities. The Royal British Legion hope to raise over £15million should all the poppies be sold. Visit www.britishlegion.org.uk for more details. Or for more information on the Herts at War exhibition, visit www.hertsatwar.co.uk

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