WW1 Related Events in the United Kingdom
This page provides information about events related to the First World War taking place in the United Kingdom. Index to the listings:
- Remembrance Ceremony — Act of Remembrance
- Exhibition Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace (Street Gallery); First World War in the Air
- Theatre War Horse
- Conference Remember Scarborough!
- WW1 “Living History” Staffordshire Regiment Museum
- Lecture Programmes on WW1 Military History
- 2014-2018 Centenary Event Listing Websites
- Regional WW1 Centenary Events Programmes
Do you have any Great War related events?
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Remembrance Ceremony — Act of Remembrance
Daily Act of Remembrance: Last Post & Reveille
Daily (except Christmas Day) at 11.00 hours
Millenium Chapel, National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR
(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 Millenium 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
Annual National Act of Remembrance: Remembrance Sunday
Sunday 8 November 2015, 11.00 hours
The Cenotaph, Parliament Street, Whitehall, London SW1
Public event with restricted access to the central area of the ceremony.
On the closest Sunday to 11th November an official annual Service of Remembrance takes place at the Cenotaph in central London. Wreaths are 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 11am on Remembrance Sunday around the United Kingdom at churches, war memorials and at The National Memorial Arboretum.
WFA Unknown Warrior Annual Commemoration
10 November, 20.00 hrs
Main Concourse Platform 8, Victoria Railway Station, London SW1V 1JU
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.
- 20.32 Presentation of Wreaths
For enquiries or any more information you can contact the London WFA Branch on email:
Annual Act of Remembrance: 11th November
Wednesday 11 November 2015, 11.00 hours
Cenotaph, Parliament Street, Whitehall, London SW1
Organiser: The Western Front Association (WFA)
Free, public event.
Since the 1990s the Western Front Association (WFA) has held an annual Ceremony of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, Whitehall on 11th November. Members of the public are warmly welcomed to view the ceremony.
Members of The Western Front Association may apply for tickets also to attend a Service of Remembrance and a lunch after the ceremony.
To see information for WFA events see The Western Front Association website:
Website: www.westernfrontassociation.com WFA Events
WFA logo by kind permission of the WFA
Armistice Day Service
Wednesday 11 November 2015, 11.00 hours
National Memorial Arboretum, Croxall Road, Alrewas, Staffordshire DE13 7AR
Allocated tickets: Armed Forces Memorial
Free admission to the Arboretum site: the Service will be screened.
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.)
For enquiries see the National Memorial Arboretum website at:
Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace 14-18 (Street Gallery)
Following the exhibition's highly successful showing in Paris from April to August 2014, the launch for the United Kingdom tour was on 4 August in London. This is a major touring street exhibition featuring 60 superb photographs by photographer and battlefield guide, Michael St. Maur Sheil.
The exhibition will visit key locations in the United Kingdom between August 1914 and November 1918. For information about the photographs, the educational role, how to request to host the exhibition, purchasing the brochure and copies of photographs, visit the website:
UK Tour: locations for 2015 to be announced
First World War in the Air
to 31 December 2020
Royal Air Force Museum, Grahame Park Way Colindale, London, Greater London, England, NW9 5LL
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 WW1 Air Exhibition
Performances in London extended to 14 February 2015
New London Theatre, Drury Lane, London; on tour in UK (see website for details)
Tickets from £15.00
The award-winning smash hit War Horse is playing at the New London Theatre. 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 ticket prices, availability, information about the show and shop go to the website at:
Photographer: Simon Annand
Western Front Association Day Conference: Remember Scarborough!
Saturday 13 December 2014, 10.00 - 16.30 (doors 09.00)
Venue: The Stephen Joseph Theatre, Westborough, Scarborough, YO11 1JW (immediately opposite Scarborough Rail Station)
Price: £20pp. Includes a featured 'Great War' lunch and refreshments during the day.
The conference will explore important Great War themes relating to the bombardment on 16 December 1914 of the East Coast towns of Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool.
This WFA Day Conference will comprise five superb talks:
- Dr Scott Lingren MA PhD Hounds to the Hunters: the East Coast Raid and the naval war, 1914
- Keith Johnston BA PGCE The Bombardment of Scarborough
- Trevor Boag BA PGCE The Great War on our Doorstep: reaction on the home front
- Mia Jones BA Propaganda and Memorialisation of the Great War
- Professor Peter Doyle BSc PhD Cgeol FGS The Home Front: the Forgotten War
Download the booking form here: Remember Scarborough Booking Form (pdf)
For booking enquiries and more booking details visit the Western Front Association website:
Website: www.westernfrontassociation.com WFA Day Conference
WW1 “Living History”
Carols in the Trenches
Saturday 13 December 2014. 19.30 - 20.30 hours.
The Staffordshire Regiment Museum, Whittington Barracks, Whittington, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS14 9PY
Admission: Pre-booking essential. See www.staffordshireregimentmuseum.com for details.
Carols in the Trenches is an evocative re-enactment of the 1914 Christmas Truce. Come 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 where British soldiers emerged from the trench to shake hands with their German counterparts who were dug in just yards away. A thoughtful, festive and uplifting evening.
Please see the website for further details.
Telephone: 01543 434 394
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 is closed for a major refurbishment until 2016. See the NAM website link below for lunchtime lectures, outreach activities and co-partnered temporary exhibitions currently being hosted by alternative venues.
Lunchtime lectures are being held in the Army & Navy Club, London. Please be advised there is a requirement for advance tickets and a dress-code.
For more information on the lecture programme go to the National Army Museum's website at:
Website: www.nam.ac.uk Lunchtime Lectures
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 Diary
University of Birmingham Centre for First World War Studies
The Centre for First World War Studies is part of the School of History and Cultures at Birmingham University. The Centre holds regular events including seminars, lectures and conferences. For information on the events programme visit the Centre for First World War Studies' website at:
Website: www.warstudies.bham.ac.uk Events
University College London
Lectures held during June 2014 by the University College London can be watched online at at YouTube channel www.youtube.com/UCLLHL
- Sex and the Somme, Dr Clare Makepeace, UCL History. Tommies queued in their hundreds to visit brothels in the First World War. Dr Clare Makepeace explores this little-discussed aspect of the war. She uncovers soldiers' reasons for visiting brothels, their reactions to them and the prostitutes, and how they dealt with the potential consequences: venereal disease. The findings give us fresh insight into what it meant to be a British man at war. Watch on YouTube
- Investigative conservation and the archaeology of the Western Front, Renata Peters, UCL Institute of Archaeology. Staff and students at the UCL Institute of Archaeology have been involved in the investigative conservation of objects excavated from Western Front trenches. Some of these objects were associated with unidentified human remains thought to be of soldiers killed in battles between 1914 and 1918, and provided important information for their identification. Others provided more questions than answers, but also shed light on the reality of life and death in the trenches. Watch on YouTube
- Reconstructing Broken Bodies: From Industrial Warfare to Industrial Engineered Tissues Prof Robert Brown, UCL Surgical Science & Mr Colin Hopper, UCL Eastman Dental Institute. Trench warfare protected combatants from many injuries, but left the head exposed, producing a massive demand for experimental facial reconstructive surgery. WW1 is acknowledged as the first ‘industrial scale’ war, but it has taken a century to stumble upon the concept of industrial scale tissue production. This very 21st century idea can be traced back to WW1 and the clinical pressures produced by industrial scale, non-lethal trauma. Watch on YouTube
- Science and the First World War, Prof Jon Agar, UCL Science and Technology Studies. This year is the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. By examining the lives of figures such as Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley and Fritz Haber, this talk will show how scientists on all sides were swept up in the tide of patriotism, militarism and nationalism, making contributions, some tragically brief, some devastatingly effective, to the waging of war. And what of the long-lasting effects? While some saw the Great War as an irreparable crisis of modern civilisation, with science as a symbol of inhumanity, others saw science as an internationalist project capable of healing wounds. Watch on YouTube
University of Wolverhampton: First World War Research Group
Study days, master classes and conferences. Directors of the Research Group are Professor Stephen Badsey and Professor Gary Sheffield. For information visit the website:
Website: www.wlv.ac.uk First World War Research Group
The Western Front Association (W.F.A.)
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 National Events & Conferences
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.
Centenary 2014-18: The Western Front Association
The Western Front Association website commemorating the First World War centenary, with a wide range of events information, podcasts, day by day timelines, the centenary in the media and lots more. You can add your event too. See the link below to visit the site:
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.
A comprehensive website devoted to all aspects of the WW1 centenary. See this link for events:
Website: www.centenarynews.com Events
An excellent website full of cultural news, listings and events for a wide range of subjects. A section of the website is dedicated to the First World War and includes lots of up to date information about all sorts of events and exhibitions for the 2014 -2018 centenary of the First World War.
See the website for more information:
Website: www.culture24.org.uk First World War
Regional WW1 Centenary Event Programmes
Nottinghamshire: Trent to Trenches
Website: www.experiencenottinghamshire.com Trent to Trenches
Staffordshire: The Great War
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
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
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.
Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One (hardcover)
by Kate Adie
416 pages. Published by Hodder & Stoughton (26 Sep 2013). ISBN-10: 1444759671; ISBN-13: 978-1444759679
by Sebastian Faulks
In 1910, before the outbreak of the First World War a young man, Stephen Wraysford, spends time in Amiens, northern France, working at the textile factory of René Azaire. Stephen has a passionate affair with Isabelle, the young wife of Monsieur Azaire. They run away from Amiens and Isabelle discovers she is pregnant. She leaves him without telling him.
This best-selling novel tells the story of Stephen Wraysford, his passionate affair with Isabelle in Amiens before the outbreak of WW1, and the horror of the war in the trenches that he finds himself in only a few years later. Published by Vintage: New edition edition (7 July 1994), 528 pages, ISBN-10: 0099387913 and ISBN-13: 978-0099387916
Events on The Western Front
Events relating to the First World War on the Western Front battlefields:
Tracing World War 1 Family History
See our pages for information and advice on finding out how to trace an ancestor who served in the military in the First World War: