Today, throughout the UK and in many countries overseas, the start of the First World War is being commemorated.One hundred years ago, the deadliest of conflicts began.In many villages and towns, the sacrifice of families and loved ones made during a period of four years of war will be remembered at special services and ceremonies held in the UK and Belgium.In Glasgow, heads and representatives of Commonwealth countries, many of whom were last night celebrating the close of the successful Commonwealth Games, will attend a commemoration service in the City’s cathedral.
One such area that has been holding events leading upto today is North Devon. Over the weekend memorial services and exhibitions were held in Bideford,Berrynabor,Barnstaple and West Down. A flypast of Sea King aircraft and a wreath laying ceremony was arranged at Barnstaple.The annual flower show in West Down was WWI themed,and today in the hall at St Calixtus Church a special exhibition will be open from 10.a.m. and later, an open air service will be held in the church hall grounds, ahead of 11 p.m. and the marking of the time of the announcement of war a century ago.
The annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show is almost upon us again. This year, amongst the beautiful gardens and splendid exhibits developed to amaze and entertain over 40,000 visitors daily over a four day period (20th to 23rd of May),there will be themes to remind us vividly that it is the centenary of the First World War.
The RHS says that the gardens laid-out around the Great Pavilion to mark the outbreak of war will bring a visual representation of life at that time, and how people were affected by events. For this section,exhibitors will include the Royal British Legion with its allotment garden,The ABF The Soldier’s charity with a garden styled as No Man’s Land, Help for Heroes will get its message across with its garden depicting the Victoria Cross,and called Hope on The Horizon.
Since 1913, the RHS has staged its show within the grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, except for short periods during the two World Wars. If you are not lucky enough to be given or to buy tickets for this show there will be the usual extensive press coverage by the BBC and others.
Also, throughout this year there will other opportunities to reflect on this important time of reflection for an event in history which massively reshaped our World. Many charities and organisations will be marking this time with their own commemorations. We shall be looking out for these, and bringing to these pages dates of upcoming events large and small around the UK, together with available reports. By way of starting this project, we will be returning to the Royal British Legion and the Tower of London for their combined tribute, a sea of ceramic poppies covering the moat area;and the opening of the new galleries at the Imperial War Museum (from 19th July)