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

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

Daily (except Christmas Day) at 11.00 hours

Millenium 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 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

Website: www.thenma.org

WFA Unknown Warrior Annual Commemoration

Memorial plaque to the Unknown Warrior, 10 November 1920.

Friday 10 November 2017 at 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.
  • Reveille
  • 20.32 Presentation of Wreaths
  • Disperse
The Western Front Association logo

View a film (6m:40s) of the ceremony on 10 November 2012 (by Craig Humphries):

Website: www.youtube.com 10 November 2012 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 Cenotaph, Whitehall, London

Saturday 11 November 2017 at 11.00 hours

The Cenotaph, Whitehall, City of Westminster, London SW1

Organiser: The Western Front Association (WFA)

Free, public event.

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. Members of the public are warmly welcomed to attend the ceremony.

Members of the Western Front Association can attend a Service of Remembrance after the ceremony at the Guards Chapel and may apply for tickets for a private lunch.

Reflections: Film & Photographs of the Annual Ceremony

Website: youtube.com 11 November 2016

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):

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

Reflections on the 11am 11 November 2015 ceremony by WFA members, with photographs by Simon Gregor and Roy Backhouse:

The Western Front Association logo

Website: www.westernfrontassociation.com

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

Website: www.westernfrontassociation.com

WFA logo by kind permission of the WFA

Annual Armistice Day Service

Armed Forces Memorial, National Memorial Arboretum

Saturday 11 November 2017 at 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 web page at:

Website: www.thenma.org Armistice Day

Website: www.thenma.org

Annual National Act of Remembrance: Remembrance Sunday

Royal British Legion Remembrance Poppy Wreath

Sunday 12 November 2017 at 11.00 hours

The Cenotaph, Whitehall, City of Westminster, London SW1

Free

Public event with restricted access to the central area of the ceremony.

On the closest Sunday to 11 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 11.00 hours on Remembrance Sunday around the United Kingdom.

Exhibition

Ambulance Trains: Railways and the First World War

From 7 July 2016

National Railway Museum, Leeman Road, York YO26 4XJ

Free

From July 2016 a major programme of events, exhibitions and activities will take place 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

First World War in the Air

1WW exhibition

to 31 December 2020

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

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

Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies

Soldiers of the 10th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment marching to the trenches near Doullens, 3 July 1916. (IWMQ743)

to 8 January 2017

Imperial War Museum London, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ

Admission fee (IWM members free)

To mark the 100th anniversary of the release of the original blockbuster, The Battle of the Somme, the Imperial War Museum will stage an immersive new exhibition to explore how film-makers have found inspiration from war's inherent drama to translate stories of love and loss, fear and courage, triumph and tragedy into movies for the big screen.

Find out more about the exhibition and the museum:

Website: www.iwm.org.uk Real to Reel

Photo courtesy of Imperial War Museum

Remembering 1916 – Life on the Western Front

to 16 April 2017

Whitgift School, Haling Park, South Croydon CR2 6YT

This ambitious exhibition will bring together an outstanding range of original artefacts, including objects, photographs, letters, uniforms, and memorabilia. These are drawn chiefly from private collectors, British Pathé and the Whitgift archive. Remembering 1916 will be the first and only time these artefacts are seen together, to tell the story of this pivotal year of the war.

Visitors can expect to see original French and German uniforms, kit and equipment, as well as the original train sign of Verdun station. Learn more about some of the 31 former Whitgift pupils who sadly lost their lives in The Battle of The Somme, and also experience a reconstruction of working trench, showing soldiers 'going over the top'. There will be guided tours of the exhibition and a learning programme will be available to Primary and Secondary schools. This is not the first time Whitgift has staged a professionally executed, historical exhibition. In 2009, Hidden Treasures of the Mary Rose attracted 32,000 visitors, making it the most popular exhibition ever held in Croydon.

Email: f.stovald@whitgift.co.uk

Telephone: 020 8633 2185

Website: www.remembering1916.co.uk

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

Ceramic poppy installation at the Tower of London in November 2014

“Wave”: 12 April - 25 June 2017 The Barge Pier, Southend-on-Sea; 15 July - 19 November 2017 CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial

“Weeping Window”: 22 March - 29 May 2017 Maritime Museum, Hull; 9 June - 23 July 2017 The Silk Mill, Derby; 5 August - 25 September 2017 Y Senedd, The National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff; 4 October - 3 December 2017 Ulster Museum, Belfast

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

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: 2017-2018

Canterbury, Bristol, Liverpool, Oxford, Brighton, Bradford & Nottingham

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

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

Website www.warhorseonstage.com

Photographer: Simon Annand

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

Archives Open Day

Explore Your Archives: Commonwealth War Graves Commission Archives Open to the Public

Friday 25 November 2016, 13.30-16.30 hours

Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Marlow Road, Maidenhead SL6 7DX

Free

As part of a national project inviting people to explore the stories and facts about the people who lived in their communities the CWGC is opening its doors to show a variety of artefacts and documents to the public. Visit the CWGC website for full information about what you will be able to see at this special event:

Website: www.cwgc.org Archives Open Event

To register your interest to attend go to the Eventbrite website:

Website: eventbrite.co.uk CWGC Open Archives Event

WW1 “Living History”

Carols in the Trenches

Carols in the trenches at Staffordshire Regiment Museum

Saturday 10 December 2016

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum, Whittington Barracks, 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: 01543 434 394

Email: curator@staffordshireregimentmuseum.com

Website: staffordshireregimentmuseum.com

“GET ON THE FIRE STEP!” Trench Weekend & Carol Service

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

Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 December 2016, 10.00 - 16.00 hours

Park Hall Farm, Park Hall, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 4AS

Admission fee

Park Hall Farm Telephone: 01691 671123

Park Hall Farm Email: info@parkhallfarm.co.uk

The Royal Warwickshire Regiment 1914–1918 Living History Group will be living in the trenches on the site of a former Army barracks at Park Hall. They will be demonstrating trench routine, trench maintenance and giving kit talks throughout both days. A Padre will lead a Carol Service (weather permitting) on the evening of Saturday 10 December.

Please look at the Park Hall Farm website for details on opening times, admission prices and general enquiries.

Website: www.parkhallfarm.co.uk Admission & Opening Times

For more information about the Royal Warwickshire Regiment 1914-1918 Living History Group see their website:

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

WW1 Discovery Days

Trying on Uniforms at Staffordshire Regiment Museum

Dates for 2017: to be announced (see the Staffordshire Museum website).

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

Admission: See www.staffordshireregimentmuseum.com for details of charges and timings.

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: 01543 434 394

Email: curator@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 is closed for a major refurbishment until 2017. 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

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 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 on YouTube.

  • 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 about the lecture programme and to register your interest in advance, contact Dr Phylomena Badsey, MA:

Email: p.badsey@wlv.ac.uk

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 (W.F.A.)

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 2014-18: The Western Front Association

The Western Front Association logo

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:

Website: www.westernfrontassociation.com

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

Culture24

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

England Regional WW1 Centenary Event Programmes

Berkshire: BWW1

Website: bww1.org

Essex: The Last Poppy Has Fallen Project

Website: lastpoppyproject.wordpress.com Events

Hampshire Commemorates

Website: www.hants.gov.uk Hampshire Commemorates

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

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