Lord Clark of Windermere tabled this Question for short debate:
4 March 2013
FIRST WORLD WAR: CENTENARY - QUESTION FOR SHORT DEBATE
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.
11 October 2012
Speech by the Prime Minister at the Imperial War Museum
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced funding of £5m for the new WWI galleries at the Imperial War Museum in a speech announcing plans to commemorate the First World War CentenaryRead his speech here
3 August 2012
Letter from the Australian Government's Department of Veterans' Affairs
The letter outlines the progress of the plans to mark the Anzac Centenary in Australia
Dr Andrew Murrison MP, the Prime Minister’s special representative and coordinator for the commemorations to mark the centenary of World War One, writes with an update on developments.
14 June 2012
UPDATE ON PLANS FOR CENTENARY OF THE GREAT WAR 2014–18
Dr Andrew Murrison MP, the Prime Minister’s special representative and coordinator for the commemorations to mark the centenary of World War One, will be outlining his initial thoughts and listen to the views of members of the group.
Tuesday 6th December, 2011 at 6.45pm in Committee Room 4, House of Lords
SPECIAL DISCUSSION MEETING: CENTENARY OF THE GREAT WAR 2014–18
10 November 2011: House of Lords debates Armed Forces sacrifice
Lord Selkirk of Douglas moved that this House takes note, on the eve of Remembrance Day, of the debt which our nation owes to all those who have sacrificed their lives in defence of the realm.
Chairman of the Group, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, spoke on two matters of particular concern during this debate:
Following my Question on 22 March to the noble Lord, Lord Astor, I was invited by Professor Hew Strachan to a seminar on preparations for 2014 at All Souls College, Oxford. It was attended by the DCMS and MoD Ministers, Ed Vaizey and Andrew Robathan, plus a large number of representatives from France, Flanders, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and India, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Imperial War Museum.
From listening to those discussions, it was very clear that other Governments are far more advanced with their planning than are ours. The Government of Flanders, in particular, has an amazing programme planned for 2014 and beyond" read contribution from Chairman of All-party Group in full
3 November 2011: BBC video footage from La Boiselle released
Peter Barton, one of two co-secretaries of this Group, is part of the La Boiselle Study Group whose purpose is to pursue a detailed long-term archaeological, historical, technological and genealogical study to help promote multi-disciplinary international study of First World War sites, attract a new generation of battlefield archaeologists, and encourage the perpetual preservation of a unique segment of battlefield in the village of La Boisselle, Somme.
31st October 2011: Battle of Gheluvelt remembered
97 years after the Battle of Gheluvelt on 31 October 1914, the 370 men of the Worcestershire Regiment were remembered in a commemoration service held in the Worcester park that stands as a permanent memorial to the event
13 July 2011: Presentation on commemoration of centenary of 1914
At its meeting on 13 July 2011, members of the parliamentary all-party war heritage group received a series of presentations on how other countries are planning to commemorate the centenary in 2014 of the outbreak of the First World War.
Within the Commonwealth, Australia has formed a national committee, on which two former Prime Ministers serve; in Europe, France is opening a new national museum on 11 November 2011, a day on which President Sarkozy will make a major announcement about how France plans to commemorate an event which is only matched by 1789 in the history of the republic; and in the United States, despite the fact that the country did not enter the war until 1917, a bill is passing through Congress to create a national committee to organise the centenary events.
While the Imperial War Museum has been named as the DCMS’s lead, it can only advance its own strategies and act as a clearing house for ideas by other museums and the media. As a result of the IWM’s educational remit, its role is somewhat circumscribed. For the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, who are preparing for a greater footfall in its cemeteries, and for the fact that its visitors will have different demands and expectations from the first pilgrims to the front in the 1920s, there can again only be a limited engagement within its limited range of responsibilities. For both organisations, most endeavours will necessarily be educational, and given that the First World War is part of the national curriculum, schools and academia are already planning how they will respond. In France and Flanders major commemorative and study projects are at present being put in place.Read briefing document sent to Prime Minister in full and accompanying letter from chairman of War Heritage Committee.
See Prime Minister's response
Minutes from meeting of Group on 23 May 2011
See the Minutes from the meeting of 23 May 2011.
22 March 2011: Chairman asks Question on plans for commemorating the outbreak of the Great War
A meeting of the All-Party War Heritage Group on 21 February gave Mr Kris Peeters, minister-president of Flanders,the opportunity to outline how his government proposes to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War in 2014.
The meeting was attended by eminent war historians, representatives of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Royal British Legion, the Guards Museum, the Guards' Chapel, the Imperial War Museum, the Flemish and Belgian governments, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
It was clear to everyone that the Flanders government have already given much thought to this centenary, and their plans are well advanced. They include a number of events in Flanders itself, a memorial concert at the Chelsea Hospital, an aerial photography research project being carried out by the University of Ghent and the Battlefield Museum in Ypres, the signing of the 'Flanders Fields Declaration' which commits its signatories not to forget 'this cataclysmic event', and most imaginatively – and generously – of all, the creation of a permanent garden of remembrance in front of the Guards' Chapel in Birdcage Walk in London, the earth for which will be brought over from Passendale by the Flemish administration. This garden will replace the present pond which is an inappropriate and unsafe eyesore.
By asking the Question on 22 March, chairman of the Group, Lord Faulkner of Worcester, hoped to acquaint colleagues in the House of Lords with what is already being planned in Belgium, to find out what plans the British government has for commemorating this centenary, and also to solicit support for the Guards' Chapel garden.
Minutes from meeting of Group on 26 July 2010
A meeting of the Group was held on 14 December 2010 when the Minutes from the first meeting of the reconstituted Group were agreed.
Dedication at Fromelles
19 July 2010: On the 94th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles, members of the Group travel to northern France to attend the dedication of the new CWGC military cemetery at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood)
See video footage of the ceremony from the BBC
Group reconstituted as All-Party War Heritage Group
Lord Faulkner of Worcesterhas been reinstated as Chairman of the Group.
The first Meeting of the reconstituted Group will be held on Monday 26 July 2010.
A summary of the Group's achievements to date can be found under Successful Campaigns.
First of Fromelles fallen buried
The remains of the first of 250 British and Australian soldiers killed in the 1916 Battle of Fromelles were reburied on Saturday 30 January 2010. Over the course of the next few weeks all the soldiers will be reburied with full military honours at a new cemetery close to the site.
Some useful links
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Imperial War Museum
- UK National Inventory of War Memorials
- War Memorials Trust
- The War Graves Photographic Project
- The Battlefields Trust
- Centre for Battlefield Archaeology
- The Western Front Association
- British Commission for Military History
- United Kingdom Parliament