The countdown to the 4th August began many months ago, with societies, museums, history groups, schools, universities and various other organisations and individuals planning how best to commemorate the day.
As the day itself arrived, international and local news, web, press and social media was full of information and images of what was going on around the world to mark the outbreak of war.
As well as many Church services taking place across the county, here are some of the other events that took place on the day:
- Prince Harry unveiled Step Short‘s First World War Memorial Arch in Folkestone – for a video of the event plus more news articles, visit the BBC News website.
- Ashford’s historic World War One tank, the last of its kind, was guarded by members of 133 Field Company Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for the 24 hours of August 4 – read more about the tank here and view other Ashford commemorations here.
- Kent County Council opened their commemorative exhibition, ‘In their own words’ focusing of the people of Kent during the First World War – see opening times here.
- Tunbridge Wells poet Siegfried Sassoon’s First World War journals have been published online by the University of Cambridge – read more from BBC news here or view the digital journals here.
- Tenterden railway which carried First World War hero Edith Cavell’s body, to be on BBC2 show Railways of the Great War, Friday 6.30pm – read more about the Kent & East Sussex Railway’s part in this here.
There are many other events, activities and projects taking place across the country; take a look at the Visit Kent’s Frontline Kent website for full details.
“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime” Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary, August 1914
Everyone in the UK was invited to take part in LIGHTS OUT by turning off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on 4 August, leaving on a single light or candle for a shared moment of reflection.
People took part in whatever way they chose, marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War either individually or by attending one of the many events being organised around the country for a collective experience. There were over 1,000 Lights Out moments registered on the 14-18 NOW website.
As well as the national Lights Out moments, four leading international artists were commissioned by 14-18 NOW to create special public artworks, for one night only. Each one has its own unique approach to creating a light source. Experience the artworks here.
View hundreds of Lights Out moments from across the country by following the Twitter hashtag: #LightsOut.
Amberley Publishing are currently looking at commissioning a series of books entitled ‘Voices of the First World War’. These will tell the story of the war in different counties across England, and will be published to tie in with the approaching centenary in 2014.
They are looking at compiling letters, diaries, and other contemporary literature from a range of ‘voices’ – those fighting abroad and living on the home front – into a book about Kent’s First World War. Kent was one of the most important sites of the war in Britain, and they would love to include it in their series.
The book Amberley Publishing are proposing will be largely made up of contemporary material, so the task would primarily involve typing up, arranging and editing the contemporary manuscripts, selecting images and photographs, and writing a short introduction to each section. Dependent on material, the book would probably be split into themes such as men at war, women at war, living at home, the front line, and what happened afterwards.
Amberley Publishing are a leading publisher of local history titles, and also have a strong track record in general history. They focus largely on British history, and consequently, are very interested in the effect of the First World War on home soil. A book on the subject would serve to increase public engagement in Kent culture and heritage, and would help focus media attention on the county as one of the major remembrance sites for the centenary. They are aware of the huge importance of a project such as this one. It is vital to record these ‘voices’ and allow them to tell their story, particularly as there are sadly few remaining who are able to remember this time.
Christian Duck, Editor at Amberley Publishing would like to hear from anyone who may be interested in, and have the expertise for, such a project. If you are interested and want to find out more about the work involved or royalty rates, please contact Christian Duck directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
A: Amberley Publishing, The Hill, Merrywalks, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 4EP
T: 01453 847814