UK & World News

  • 4 August 2014, 8:09

Ceremonies To Mark 100 Years Since WWI

The centenary of Britain's entry into World War One will be commemorated in a series of events across Europe today.

:: 9.10am - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will attend a service at L'Abbaye Saint-Laurent in Liege, Belgium

:: 9.55am - William and Kate will lay a wreath at the Cointe Inter-Allied Memorial in Liege

:: 10am - The Prince of Wales will attend a Service of Remembrance at Glasgow Cathedral

He will be joined by 1,400 invited guests, among them representatives of Commonwealth countries, and senior military figures, charities and cross-faith groups.

Prince Charles will then lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in George Square.

:: 11am - Prince Harry will inspect a parade of troops in Folkestone

The event will mark the route taken by millions of young men who marched through the Kent harbour town on their way to northern France and Belgium.

Prince Harry will officially open a Memorial Arch in dedication to the veterans of the Great War.

:: 6.45pm - The British Government and Commonwealth War Graves Commission will host an international event at the small St Symphorien Cemetery, outside the town of Mons

It will be attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the King and Queen of Belgium and senior representatives from the UK, France, Ireland, Canada and Germany.

The cemetery was chosen because it contains an almost equal number of German and Commonwealth graves.

It is also the burial ground for the first and last British soldiers to be killed on the Western Front and the first soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in the 1914-18 conflict, Lieutenant Maurice James Dease.

There is a particular focus on the younger generation, reflected in the members of the Royal Family chosen to attend and various contributors to the event itself.

:: 10pm - People are being urged to turn off their lights for an hour to mark the moment the UK entered the First World War

:: 11pm - A candlelit vigil will be held at Westminster Abbey in London, mark the time Britain declared war on Germany, 100 years ago.

It will pay tribute to the famous words spoken by the Foreign Secretary of the time, Sir Edward Grey, who remarked as he gazed out of his office and over St James' Park, that "the lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime".

In memory of that, candles will be extinguished one-by-one until a single burning oil lamp remains at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

The lights on Tower Bridge and the Blackpool Illuminations will also go dark and households across the country are encouraged to join in.

A lone candle on the steps of Downing Street will be the only light in that Whitehall corridor of power where so many tough decisions were taken 100 years ago.

The First World War began on July 28 when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia following the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand - the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire.

Germany became involved in the conflict, invading neutral Belgium and Luxembourg and threatening France, forcing Britain to declare war on August 4.