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 Ceremonies
- Commemorative Journey
- Thankful Villages Run 27 July - 4 August 2013
- Railway Heritage Event
- Tracks to the Trenches, 12-14 September 2014
- Lecture Programmes on WW1 Military History
- 1914-1918 Centenary Events Co-ordination Website
Do you have any Great War related events?
Send us an email to email@example.com giving us the date, location, contact details and description of your event.
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
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
Annual Act of Remembrance: 11th November
11 November 2013, 11.00am
Cenotaph, Parliament Street, Whitehall, London SW1
Organiser: The Western Front Association (WFA)
Free, public event.
The Western Front Association (WFA) holds an annual Ceremony of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, Whitehall on 11 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 images for the 11th November 2012 Ceremony at the London Memorial (alternative location for 2012) see The Western Front Association website page at:
Website: www.westernfrontassociation.com WFA Annual Service of Remembrance 2012 Images
To see images for the 11th November 2011 Ceremony at the Cenotaph in Whitehall see The Western Front Association website page at:
Website: www.westernfrontassociation.com WFA Annual Service of Remembrance 2011 Images
WFA logo by kind permission of the WFA
Annual National Act of Remembrance: Remembrance Sunday
10 November 2013, 11.00am
The Cenotaph, Parliament Street, Whitehall, London SW1
Free, 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.
Our Friends, The Enemy
Friday 2 - Saturday 24 August 2013: Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013
In 1914, during the first Christmas of the Great War, individual incidents’ occurred between the Allied and German soldiers across the lines of the Western Front. The series of events which all took place on their own accord became some of the most incredible stories of the First World War.
Part of New Wimbledon Studio’s Fresh Ideas programme, Alex Gwyther’s “Our Friends, The Enemy” is a theatrical story combined with spoken word poetry and told through the eyes of Private James Boyce of the 1st Queens Regiment.
Boyce takes us on a journey through the events surrounding the Christmas Truce, from the horrific battles in the weeks leading up to Christmas to the first contact made with the enemy and the questioning of war.
The Christmas Truce is a Christmas story, one of true inspiration and one which has powerful relevance in today’s world.
Written and performed by Alex Gwyther. Directed by Tom O'Brien.
Touring production from 22 January to 3 August 2013
Theatre Venues: Basingstoke, Coventry, Blackpool, High Wycombe, Cardiff, Guildford, Malvern, Southend, Plymouth, Ipswich, Glasgow, Derby, Bracknell, Crawley, Llandudno, Truro, Northampton, Bath, Dublin, Canterbury, Bromley, Nottingham, Cambridge, Norwich, Milton Keynes, Brighton
Tickets: Links for online tickets can be made via www.birdsongthetour.com website or the appropriate theatre in person. Suitable for ages 12+
The Original Theatre Company & Birdsong Productions present an adaptation of the best-selling novel “Birdsong” by Sebastian Faulks. This touring stage version is directed by Alastair Whatley, with stage adaptation by Rachel Wagstaff. The production arrives after the recent announcement of a historic commemoration ceremony of the centenary of the start of World War I, to be held on Remembrance Day, 2014. Sebastian Faulks has been invited to sit on the advisory board for this event.
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 Stephen without telling him. A few years later Stephen is serving on the Western Front as a Lieutenant in the British Army. The mud, tunnels and trenches of the Somme and the Ypres Salient feature in his experiences of war and his relationships with the men under his command. Meeting with Isabelle again he discovers she has been badly scarred by a shell and also that she is in a relationship with a German soldier. Stephen finds comfort with Isabelle's sister, Jeanne. In 1918 Stephen is trapped underground in a tunnel collapse and is rescued by a German soldier.
The story of Stephen in love and war is brought to life by his granddaughter, Elizabeth, who has discovered his journals and embarks on her own journey of discovery, resesarching the 1914-1918 war, talking to Veterans, and finding out what happened to Isabelle and Stephen's baby.
Birdsong was ranked 13th in the 2003 BBC survey “The Big Read”, finding the nation’s favourite book. The novel was adapted for the stage by Rachel Wagstaff and opened at the Comedy Theatre, London (2010), and more recently was adapted for TV by Abi Morgan for a BBC 1 series (Jan 2012). This vivid and ambitious new production follows the launch of Sebastian Faulks’s latest novel “A Possible Life” (published Sept 2012). He was appointed CBE in 2002 for services to literature.
Rachel Wagstaff comments:
“Birdsong is in an incredibly powerful novel, and through the story of Faulks's fictional characters, we can understand what it might have been like for individuals caught up in this most extraordinary period of world history. Given the approaching centenary and the passing away of Harry Patch, the last surviving British Army Veteran to have fought in the Great War, it seems more important than ever that the courage and sacrifices of those who fought and fell for future generations are not only remembered, but understood. Lest we forget; lest we let suffering on such a scale ever happen again.”
Recognising the relevance this story has with the on-going impact of the conflict of war on everyday life the tour is proud to be supporting the charity “Help for Heroes”.
For information about the cast, learning resources produced to accompany the production, and information related to the show go to the website at:
Performances extended to 26 October 2013
New London Theatre, Drury Lane, London
Tickets from £15.00
The award-winning smash hit War Horse is now 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
Thankful Villages Run 2013
27 July - 4 August 2013
There are 51 “Thankful Villages” across the United Kingdom. These are villages where all those men who went to war in the First World War did return, albeit that many of them were wounded or mentally scarred from their experiences. Of the 51 villages there are 14 “Doubly Thankful Villages”, being those from which all the men who went into the Second World War did also return home.
From 27th July 2013 Medwyn Parry and Dougie Bancroft will ride Triumph motorbikes on a route to visit all 51 villages in the course of 9 days. They aim to raise £51,000 for the Royal British Legion during their Thankful Villages Run.
Medwyn and Dougie welcome all donations and will hope to meet with residents of the villages and members of the Royal British Legion as they make their way around the United Kingdom. You will also be able to follow their journey in real time over the internet too! To find out more about their project, where they will be and when, for a map of the route and how you can join them if you wish, see the website:
Railway Heritage Event
Tracks to the Trenches
12, 13 & 14 September 2014
Apedale Valley Light Railway, near Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire
A major event organized by the Moseley Railway Trust to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War and the major role played by the railway in the logistics and transportation of men, animals and machines in the war.
For full details about the forthcoming event, visiting locomotives and how to find the Apedale Light Railway visit the website for “Tracks to the Trenches”:
Great War Lecture Series, Eastbourne Redoubt
A programme of WW1 lectures will be held at the Eastbourne Redoubt organized by Tommies Guides Military Book Specialists. After the lecture there will be a break for refreshments, followed by a question and answer session and an opportunity for book signing as appropriate.
Saturday 3 August 2013
The Victoria Cross by Mark Smith (Firepower Museum)
Saturday 7 September 2013
Ghosts on the Somme by Andy Robertshaw
Saturday 5 October 2013
The Greatness of Haig by Peter Hart
Saturday 2 November 2013
Boy Soldiers of the Great War by Richard van Emden
Venue: Eastbourne Redoubt, Royal Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN22 7AQ (Tel. 01323-410 300)
Admission: Adults £12.00, concessions £10 per lecture. Ticket price includes entry to the museum.
Time: 2.30pm (doors open 2.00pm)
For full details visit the Tommies Guides website to request the relevant bulletin:
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: The National Archives: What's On?
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. The programme is aimed at ages 16 and above. Some events are related to school and college programmes of study. Booking is advised. For more information go to the National Army Museum's website at:
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: The Tank Museum: Events Diary
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: WFA National Events and Conferences
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:
Centenary Events Co-ordination
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.
by Sebastian Faulks
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
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.
Events on The Western Front
Events relating to the First World War on the Western Front battlefields: