WW1 Related Events in the United Kingdom

Royal Artillery memorial in London.

This page provides information about events related to the First World War taking place in the United Kingdom. Index to the listings:

Do you have any Great War related events?

Send us an email to webmaster@greatwar.co.uk giving us the date, location, contact details and description of your event.

Remembrance Ceremony — Act of Remembrance

Daily Act of Remembrance: Last Post & Reveille, National Memorial Arboretum

Inside the Millenium Chapel of Peace and Forgiveness, National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire.

Date: Daily (except Christmas Day) at 11.00 hours

Venue: Millennium Chapel, National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR

Admission: Free

(There is a parking charge at the National Memorial Arboretum for cars maximum £3.00 per day - all parking fees go directly to the NMA charity.)

The Millennium Chapel of Peace and Forgiveness is the only place where a daily Act of Remembrance takes place in England. The National Memorial Arboretum is located in the centre of England at Alrewas, near Lichfield, Staffordshire and is the place “Where our Nation Remembers”.

For further details see the National Memorial Arboretum website at:

Website: www.thenma.org Chapel

Website: www.thenma.org

Annual Commemoration of the Arrival of the Unknown Warrior

Memorial plaque to the Unknown Warrior, 10 November 1920.

Date: Saturday 10 November 2018 at 20.00 hrs

Venue: Main Concourse Platform 8, Victoria Railway Station, London SW1V 1JU

Admission: Free & open to all.

An annual ceremony of commemoration at Victoria Station by the London Branch of the Western Front Association, to remember the arrival of the Unknown Warrior on 10 November 1920.

  • 20.15 Parade Assembly
  • 20.20 Narration
  • 20.30 Last Post and one minute's silence
  • The Exhortation: They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old, Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemnA. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning We will remember them.
  • Reveille
  • 20.32 Presentation of Wreaths
  • Disperse
The Western Front Association logo

View a film (3m:23s) of the ceremony on 10 November 2014:

Website: www.youtube.com 10 November 2014 Ceremony

For enquiries or any more information you can visit the London WFA Branch at:

Website: londonwfa.org.uk

Website: londonwfa.org.uk Contact Us

Annual Act of Remembrance: 11.00 hours 11 November, The Western Front Association

The Western Front Association logo

Since the early 1990s the Western Front Association (WFA) has held an annual Ceremony of Remembrance at the Cenotaph memorial on Whitehall at 11.00 hours on 11 November.

11 November 2018 falls on a Sunday, and so the official Remembrance Sunday service will take place at the Cenotaph, this year also commemorating 100 years since the end of the 1914-1918 war.

For interest, below are links to short films of the Western Front Association Armistice Day ceremonies held at the Cenotaph in recent years.

Reflections: Film of the Western Front Association Annual 11 November Ceremonies 2014 - 2017

  • View a short film (4m:41s) of the 11 November 2017 ceremony with a reading by Cerys Matthews (filmed by Coburn Communications):

Website: youtube.com 11 November 2017

  • View a short film (2m:41s) of the 11 November 2016 ceremony, with the poem In Memoriam by Lt Ewart Alan Mackintosh read by Cerys Matthews (filmed by Coburn Communications):

Website: youtube.com 11 November 2016

  • View a short film (2m:30s) of the 11 November 2015 ceremony, with the poem My Boy Jack by Rudyard Kipling, read by Cerys Matthews (filmed by Coburn Communications):

Website: youtube.com 11 November 2015

  • View a short film (2m:30s) of the 11 November 2014 ceremony (filmed by Coburn Communications):

Website: youtube.com 11 November 2014

To see information for WFA events visit The Western Front Association website:

Website: www.westernfrontassociation.com

WFA logo by kind permission of the WFA

Annual Armistice/Remembrance Sunday Service, National Memorial Arboretum

Armed Forces Memorial, National Memorial Arboretum

Date: Sunday 11 November 2018; 10.40 - 11.30 hours

Venue: National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR

Admission: Free

The National Memorial Arboretum is located in the centre of England at Alrewas, near Lichfield, Staffordshire and is the place “Where our Nation Remembers”.

There is a parking charge at the National Memorial Arboretum for cars maximum £3.00 per day - all parking fees go directly to the NMA charity. Extra parking will be available. Visitors are advised to arrive early. The site will be open from 0800 hours.

For enquiries about Armistice Day/Remembrance Sunday arrangements see the National Memorial Arboretum web page at:

Website: www.thenma.org Armistice Day

Website: www.thenma.org

Annual National Act of Remembrance: Remembrance Sunday

The Cenotaph, Whitehall, London Royal British Legion Remembrance Poppy Wreath

Date: Sunday 11 November 2018 at 11.00 hours

Venue: The Cenotaph, Whitehall, City of Westminster, London SW1

Admission: Free public event with restricted access to the public.

On Sunday 11 November an official annual Service of Remembrance will take place at the Cenotaph in central London. Wreaths will be laid by Her Majesty The Queen, members of the Royal Family, senior military leaders, politicians and representatives of the Commonwealth.

Following the formal ceremony and wreath-laying The Royal British Legion co-ordinates a march past the Cenotaph, which includes members of ex-Service organizations and civilian organizations which have played their part on the Home Front in wartime.

Services of Remembrance also take place at 11.00 hours on Remembrance Sunday around the United Kingdom. For information visit the appropriate website of the local authority.

For more information about the Service of Remembrance on Remembrance Sunday 2018 at the Cenotaph in London you can visit the Royal British Legion website at:

Website: www.britishlegion.org.uk Remembrance Sunday 2018

Exhibition

Ambulance Trains: Railways and the First World War

Date: From July 2016

Venue: National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ

Admission: Free

A major programme of events, exhibitions and activities is being held at the National Railway Museum in York to commemorate the role of railways in the First World War. An ambulance carriage has been restored to feature as the centrepiece of the exhibition about the role of ambulance trains.

See an online virtual exhibition of the part played by ambulance trains in the First World War:

Website: firstworldwar.nrm.org.uk

To find out more you can visit the museum's website and follow the blog:

Website: www.nrm.org.uk WW1

Commemorating Peacetime in Dacorum

Date: 20 - 31 October 2018

Venue: Empty shop unit in The Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP1 1DX

Admission: Free

 

Date: 9 & 10 November 2018

Venue: Berkhamsted Civic Centre, 161 High Street, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 3HB

Admission: Free

The exhibition forms part of a project to commemorate the end of the First World War by The Dacorum Heritage Trust (an accredited museum), made possible by a grant from the Lottery Heritage Fund. The project will:

  • Gather information about local people and their stories, especially the contribution of women.
  • Host art workshops and handling sessions using the First World War as inspiration.
  • Create a collaborative art installation to highlight the signing of the peace treaty of 1919. This will involve folding and hanging of origami doves, each dove to represent one soldier from Dacorum.

To make enquiries about the project or to contribute First World War stories contact the Dacorum Heritage Trust at:

Email: ww1@dacorumheritage.org.uk

For further details about the project and exhibition visit the Dacorum Heritage Trust website at:

Website: www.dacorumheritage.org.uk

First World War in the Air

1WW exhibition

Date: to 31 December 2020

Venue: Royal Air Force Museum, Grahame Park Way Colindale, London, Greater London, England, NW9 5LL

Admission: Free

A major exhibition telling the story of the development of the war in the air in 1914 to 1918. Exhibits ranging from personal letters to historic aeroplanes relate the story of the Royal Flying Corps and the founding Royal Air Force in April 1918, incorporating stories of the men and women who worked on the ground and the courageous aircrew who flew the aircraft in those early days of aviation.

Website: www.rafmuseum.org First World War in the Air Exhibition

Photo courtesy of RAF Museum

“Wave” & “Weeping Window”: Installations from ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’

The “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” commemorative installation in 2014.
Ceramic poppy installation at the Tower of London in 2014.

“Wave”: 8 September - 24 November 2018 IWM North, Manchester

“Weeping Window”: 5 October - 18 November 2018 Imperial War Museum London

By 11 November 2014 888,246 ceramic poppies were planted in the dry moat at the Tower of London. It was an evolving installation called “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red”. It was a collaboration between ceramic artist Paul Cummins and theatre stage designer Tom Piper. The last poppy was planted on 11 November 2014. Each poppy represented a British military man or woman who died during the First World War. Over 4 million people visited the installation at the Tower of London.

Weeping Window, Black Watch Museum, Perth, Scotland in 2016.
Weeping Window, Black Watch Museum, Perth, Scotland

On completion of the evolving installation it was decided that two of the elements of the installation — “Wave” and “Weeping Window” — should be saved for the nation. The Backstage Trust and Clore Duffield Foundation have supported this. These two elements will tour the United Kingdom at selected locations thanks to sponsorship by DAF Trucks. In the autumn of 2018 they will be gifted to the Imperial War Museums and will be available for visitors to see at Imperial War Museum North and Imperial War Museum London.

See the WW1 Centenary Art Commissions website for information and updates about the touring project during 2014-2018:

Website: www.1418now.org.uk Poppies

Theatre

War Horse

National Theatre

On tour: 2018

Scene from War Horse the play Scene from War Horse the play

Based on a story by Michael Morpurgo, the First World War is the backdrop for this tale of bravery, loyalty, and the extraordinary bond between a young recruit and his horse. Actors, working with astonishing life-sized puppets by the internationally renowned Handspring Puppet Company, take audiences on an unforgettable journey through history.

At the outbreak of World War One, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France.

He's soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land.

But Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to the trenches to find him and bring him home.

The book on which the play is based came about after Michael Morpurgo had a chance conversation in his local pub nearly 30 years ago with an old soldier who had been to the First World War as a 17 year old ‘with ‘orses’ as he said. He discovered that over a million horses died in that dreadful war – and that was just on the British side – and that most of them that survived were sold off after the war was over, to butchers in France.

For information about the show and War Horse On Tour venues go to the website at:

Website www.warhorseonstage.com

Photographer: Simon Annand

Concert

Britten War Requiem

Date: Wednesday 3 October 2018, 19.30 hours

Venue: Westminster Cathedral, Victoria Street London SW1P 1LT

Tickets: £12.00-£50.00 (subject to booking fee)

Email: tickets@thebachchoir.org.uk

Telephone: 020 7127 9114

Website (Ticketmaster online tickets): www.ticketmaster.co.uk War Requiem

Composed in 1961 for the consecration of Coventry Cathedral, the War Requiem was inspired by the words of the war poet, Wilfred Owen. Owen was killed in action a few days before the Armistice on 4 November 1918. Nine of Owen’s poems are featured in the War Requiem, including Anthem for Doomed Youth, Futility and Strange Meeting.

Performance participants:

  • Orchestra - Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor - David Hill
  • The Bach Choir
  • Choristers of Westminster Cathedral
  • Staats- und Domchor Berlin
  • Organ - Philip Scriven
  • Soprano - Sally Matthews
  • Tenor - Andrew Staples
  • Baritone - Benjamin Appl

For further details about this concert visit the page on The Bach Choir website:

Website: www.www.thebachchoir.org.uk Britten War Requiem

Remembrance and Freedom

Date: Thursday 8 November 2018, 19.30 hours

Venue: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX

Tickets: £12.00 - £65.00 (subject to booking fee)

Website (Southbank Centre tickets online): www.southbankcentre.co.uk Remembrance and Freedom

Joining with The Royal British Legion, The Bach Choir will perform a concert in a tribute to the memory of those who lost their lives in the First World War. Proceeds from the concert will go to the Royal British Legion. The Bach Choir, joined by the Philharmonia Orchestra and conducted by David Hill, will perform works by:

  • Ralph Vaughan-Williams
  • Edward Elgar
  • Samuel Barber
  • Hubert Parry

The concert will include readings by celebrity guests.

Performance participants:

  • Orchestra - Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Conductor - David Hill
  • The Bach Choir
  • Soprano - Giselle Allen

For further details about this concert visit the page on The Bach Choir website:

Website: www.www.thebachchoir.org.uk Remembrance and Freedom

Performance

Symphony to a Lost Generation

Symphony to a Lost Generation logo

From June 2016 on tour (see website for venues & dates)

The past screams to the present. The world’s first fully holographic production, a moving depiction of the human tragedy of the First World War. 250 actors and dancers appear beside the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Choir and Lithuanian State Orchestra in Adam Donen’s epic symphony. The holograms allow an intensity of performance otherwise impossible on stage. Its scale and imagination is like nothing you’ve experienced. An emotional dramatic and musical expression of a time long past in a form impossible any time but now, produced by an Oscar-winning and Grammy-nominated team.

Symphony to a Lost Generation image

For details of booking, venue and tour dates and venues from June 2016 see the website.

Website: www.symphonytoalostgeneration.com

WW1 “Living History”

“GET ON THE FIRE STEP!” Trench Weekends: Royal Warwickshire Regiment 1914-1918 Living History Group

The Royal Warwickshire Regiment Living History Group 1
Royal Warwickshire Regiment Living History

The Royal Warwickshire Regiment 1914–1918 Living History Group will be living in the trenches at weekend events. Trench clearing, bombing, gas attacks. All vitally important skills Tommy needs to learn. Come and see The Warwicks in the trenches and find out what a “funk hole” was.

Please see the website for future events and for more information about the Royal Warwickshire Regiment 1914-1918 Living History Group:

Website: www.thewarwicks1418.com

1 Photograph by Craig Llewellyn (www.craigllewellynphotography.com) courtesy of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment 1914-1918 Living History Group.

Family Activities & Events

Discovery Trail & Activities at the Black Country Living Museum

Venue: Black Country Living Museum, Tipton Road, Dudley DY1 4SQ

Admission Fee

Telephone: 0121 557 9643

Email: info@bclm.com

Visit the Black Country Living Museum to find out about the museum's commemorations and activities to mark the centenary of the First World War and how it impacted local life this part of Staffordshire. A downloadable Discovery Trail helps visitors to explore the museum and its collections.

Website: www.bclm.co.uk World War One Centenary Events

WW1 Discovery Days

Trying on Uniforms at Staffordshire Regiment Museum

Dates: Dates for 2019 to be announced

Times: 10.00-16.00 hours

Venue: The Staffordshire Regiment Museum, DMS Whittington, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS14 9PY

Admission fee: See the 'Events' page at www.staffordshireregimentmuseum.com

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum organizes a series of exciting days at the museum throughout the year for parents and children in the school holidays and Bank Holiday Mondays.

Uniformed guides will take you on a detailed tour of the Museum’s fantastic WW1 trench system, and describe what life was like for soldiers during the Great War. A 500ft trench system contains ‘scrape’ holes, dugout, gun positions and even a tunnel, used during the period to undermine the enemy trenches that were often just a short way away.

Remembering the Battle of Gallipoli at the Staffordshire Regiment Museum

Ammunition boxes are strewn around, sandbags line the walls, original signage points the way as the visitor is immersed in a professionally created soundscape that takes you straight to the trenches of WWI France.

Parents and children will get the chance to try on uniforms, as well as handle weapons and equipment from the time, plus explore the museum and its fascinating collections.

Telephone (General Enquiries): 01543 434 394

Email (Education & Events Officer): attendant@staffordshireregimentmuseum.com

Website: staffordshireregimentmuseum.com

Night in the Trenches

Date: Saturday 10 November 2018

Venue: The Staffordshire Regiment Museum, Whittington Barracks, Whittington, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS14 9PY

Admission: Pre-booking essential.

This is one of the most popular events in the Museum’s calendar. Experience a soldier’s life in the WW1 trench system. Uniformed re-enactors take you back to evoke the conditions experienced and the life lived by our troops during the Great War.

See the website for further details of charges and timings.

Telephone (General Enquiries): 01543 434 394

Email (Education & Events Officer): attendant@staffordshireregimentmuseum.com

Website: staffordshireregimentmuseum.com

Carols in the Trenches

Carols in the trenches at Staffordshire Regiment Museum

Date: Saturday 15 December 2018

Venue: The Staffordshire Regiment Museum, DMS Whittington, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS14 9PY

Admission: Pre-booking essential.

Carols in the Trenches is an evocative re-enactment of the Christmas Truce. Go along to the Staffordshire Regiment Museum for an evening of carols set in the museum’s WWI trench system, concluded by a re-enactment of the Christmas Truce in No-Mans-Land.

See the website for full details of charges and timings.

Telephone (General Enquiries): 01543 434 394

Email (Education & Events Officer): attendant@staffordshireregimentmuseum.com

Website: staffordshireregimentmuseum.com

Lecture Programmes on WW1 Military History

The National Archives, Kew, Surrey

Free and paid lectures, events and tours to see behind the scenes at the archives and find out more on how to research family history using the archive collections. For more information and a calendar of events go to the National Archives' website at

Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk Events

The National Army Museum, London

The museum offers a programme of lunchtime lectures, conferences and study days. Led by experts, the programme aims to increase an understanding of history, the arts, science, and the world we live in today - through the exploration of military history.

For more information on events at the museum go to the National Army Museum's website at:

Website: www.nam.ac.uk What's On

Website: www.nam.org

The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset

The Tank Museum provides lectures as part of its events programme. For further information go to The Tank Museum Diary of Events at:

Website: www.tankmuseum.org Events

University of Birmingham Centre for First World War Studies

The Centre for First World War Studies is part of the Centre of War Studies at Birmingham University. The Centre holds events including seminars, lectures and conferences. For information on the lecture programme visit the website at:

Website: www.warstudies.bham.ac.uk Lectures 2017

University College London

Lectures held during June 2014 by the University College London can be watched online on YouTube.

University of Wolverhampton: First World War Research Group

The group organises study days, lectures, master classes and conferences. Directors of the Research Group are Professor Stephen Badsey and Professor Gary Sheffield.

For information about the First World War Research Group visit the website:

Website: www.wlv.ac.uk First World War Research Group

The Western Front Association (WFA)

The Western Front Association logo

Lectures, seminars and conferences are held at regular monthly Branch meetings and at a national level around the United Kingdom and internationally. Speakers include well-known military historians and WFA members with expertise in a wide variety of topics related to the First World War. For further information and a calendar of forthcoming events visit the WFA website at:

Website: www.westernfrontassociation.com WFA UK Branches Events

2014-2018 Centenary Event Listing Websites

14-18 NOW

Website for the cultural programme called 14-18 NOW. This is a major programme of commissions by contemporary artiststs, which will take place thoughout the United Kingdom to mark the centenary of the First World War.

Website: www.1418now.org.uk

BBC: World War One

Explore the WW1 section of the BBC website to find a wide range of things to do, BBC radio and BBC TV programmes, and much more.

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/ww1

Centenary Events Co-ordination: Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum has set up a website to co-ordinate a listing of the international events and resources which will be marking 100 years since the outbreak of The Great War. The website includes podcasts, latest news and projects.

Website: www.1914.org

Centenary News

A comprehensive website devoted to all aspects of the WW1 centenary. See this link for events:

Website: www.centenarynews.com Events

England Regional WW1 Centenary Programmes

Berkshire: Berkshire at War

A blog produced by the Berkshire Record Office.

Website: berkshirevoiceswwi.wordpress.com About Berkshire at War

Essex: The Last Poppy Has Fallen Project

Website: lastpoppyproject.wordpress.com Events

Hampshire Commemorates

Website: www.hants.gov.uk Hampshire Commemorates

Herts at War Project

Website: www.hertsatwar.co.uk

Kent & Medway in the First World War

Website: www.kent.gov.uk

Kent: University of Kent Gateways to the First World War Project

Website: www.gatewaysfww.org.uk

Nottinghamshire: Trent to Trenches

Website: www.experiencenottinghamshire.com Trent to Trenches

Staffordshire: The Great War

Website: www.staffordshiregreatwar.com

Staffordshire: The Black Country Living Museum

Website: bclm.co.uk World War One

Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers

Website: www.exploringsurreyspast.org.uk

Wiltshire

Website: www.wiltshireatwar.org.uk

Northern Ireland WW1 Centenary Event Programmes

Northern Ireland WW1 Centenary Committee

Website: ww1centenaryni.com

Scotland WW1 Centenary Event Programmes

Scotland and WW1

Website: www.scotland.org Scotland and WW1

Scotland and the First World War

Website: www.visitscotland.com Scotland and the First World War

Wales WW1 Centenary Event Programmes

Cymru’n Cofio — Wales Remembers 1914-1918

Website: www.walesremembers.org

Related Reading

Cover of War Horse book by Michael Morpurgo (film tie-in publication)

War Horse

by Michael Morpurgo

This book is about Joey, a farm horse requisitioned by the British Army for service in the First World War on the Western Front. The reader experiences the horrors of war and the compassion of the animals and humans in the story through the eyes of the horse. Written about 25 years ago as a result of Michael Morpurgo's conversations with First World War veterans, the story has taken on a new life as a highly acclaimed play and has been adapted into a major film by Steven Spielberg. Published by Egmont Books Ltd; Film tie-in ed edition (7 Nov 2011), ISBN-10: 1405259418 and ISBN-13: 978-1405259415

Cover of The War Horses book by Simon Butler

The War Horses: The Tragic Fate of a Million Horses Sacrificed in the First World War

by Simon Butler

The War Horses focuses on the horses, mules and donkeys that were requisitioned by the British Army to carry rations, pull guns and wagons full of munitions. The book is has received excellent reviews. It is illustrated with more than 200 photographs, includes eye witness accounts and reveals the great bond between the men and the animals they cared for in such difficult circumstances. Published by Halsgrove, 2nd edition (27 Sep 2011), ISBN-10: 0857040847 and ISBN-13: 978-0857040848

Cover of Warrior: The Real War Horse by General Jack Seely

Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse

by General Jack Seely

Warrior was a thoroughbred horse which went to France with Jack Seely in 1914. With Jack the horse survived on The Western Front for five years, both of them cheating death from bombs and bullets, and leading a cavalry charge by the Canadians in 1918. This republished edition is introduced by General Jack Seely's grandson, the well-known racing broadcaster and journalist Brough Scott. Published by Racing Post Books (10 Oct 2011). ISBN-10: 1908216107 and ISBN-13: 978-1908216106.

Related Topics

Events on The Western Front

Buglers of the Last Post Association play “Last Post” at a daily ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres, Belgium.
Buglers of the Last Post Association.

Events relating to the First World War on the Western Front battlefields:

Ypres Salient Events

Artois & French Flanders Events

Somme Events

Aisne Events

Centenary Events

2014-2018 WW1 Centenary Events