News story: 100 years on: Lest we forget

On Monday 4 August, events across the UK and in Belgium will take place to remember the start of World War I 100 years ago. MOD will be covering the events on social media so you can stay updated throughout the day.

10.00-12.10: National service of commemoration for the Commonwealth, Glasgow Cathedral

The first of the national events taking place on Monday will be a Commonwealth Service and wreath laying with a march past in Glasgow, reflecting in particular the contribution of the Commonwealth nations during the First World War.

The event will be attended by HRH The Duke of Rothesay, as The Prince of Wales is known in Scotland, and 1,400 invited guests including Commonwealth representatives, senior Defence Ministers and military officials.

10.45-13.00: Step Short parade, Folkestone, Kent

This parade along The Leas in Folkestone marks the route millions of soldiers took as they marched to Folkestone Harbour to embark on their journey to France. The parade will include 97 tri-service military personnel and a command to ‘step short’ down the Road of Remembrance to the harbour will take place. HRH Prince Henry of Wales will take the salute at the new Memorial Arch on the Leas.

19.30-20.30 (GMT) Commemoration at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s St Symphorien Military Cemetery, Belgium

TRH The Duke of Cambridge, The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Henry of Wales will attend the international commemorative event at St Symphorien Military Cemetery.

The cemetery is particularly symbolic as it contains near-equal numbers of British and Commonwealth, and German soldiers. The first British soldier killed on the Western Front and the first recipient of the Victoria Cross in WW1 are also buried here.

Music will be performed by the Coldstream Guards Band, including the Last Post and Reveille, and a lone Scots Piper, from the London Scottish Regiment, will play “Flowers of the Forest” towards the end of the service.

22.00-23.00: Candlelit vigil service, Westminster Abbey, London

To close the commemorative events, a candlelit vigil service at Westminster Abbey will take place in the evening of 4 August. It will mark the time that the Declaration of War was signed by the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey. Sir Edward famously remarked that “the lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

Candles will go out one by one until a burning oil lamp remains at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. This lamp will be extinguished at 23.00, the exact time the British Empire joined the First World War.

You are invited to take part in the ‘Lights Out’ campaign during 22.00-23.00, switching off all your lights except for a single light or candle for a single shared moment of reflection.

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Chapel Street, Altrincham, was called the 'Bravest Little Street in Britain' by the press of 1914.

From 60 houses and a total population of less than 400 people, 161 men enlisted. This 2 minute recording helps put it into perspective: Chapel Street, Altrincham: England’s Bravest Street

My Great Grandfather who served in WW1 is listed as living on Chapel Street in 1901 census, but had managed to escape the poverty there by the time the war started. The 1911 census shows him married, living in Didsbury and working as a butcher.

29 of those 161 volunteers never returned.
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