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100 years from the outbreak of First World War, we remember

A DAY of events to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War will begin on Monday with a service of remembrance at Glasgow Cathedral.

HOMAGE: Lt Col Gib Duff of the Royal Regiment at the National War Memorial, Edinburgh. Picture: Gordon Terris
HOMAGE: Lt Col Gib Duff of the Royal Regiment at the National War Memorial, Edinburgh. Picture: Gordon Terris

The service, which will recognise the contribution made to the war by the Commonwealth nations, will be attended by 1,400 guests, including the Duke of Rothesay, Prime Minister David Cameron, and many Commonwealth leaders fresh from the closing ceremony of the Games the night before.

The service, which will be led by the cathedral's minister the Rev Dr Laurence Whitley, is the focal point of the UK's and the Commonwealth's activities to mark the centenary and will be the first of three national events held on August 4, 100 years to the day since Britain declared war on Germany.

As well as the Glasgow service, there will be a candlelit vigil at Westminster Abbey and a commemorative event at the St Symphorien cemetery in Mons, Belgium. The service at the Abbey will include the gradual extinguishing of candles, with the final light on the tomb of the unknown warrior being extinguished at 11pm - the exact time Britain joined the war.

People across the country will also be asked to turn out their lights as a reminder of Foreign Secretary Edward Grey's famous remark "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life time."

The service at Glasgow Cathedral will include prayers, music, poetry and readings from across the member nations of the Commonwealth. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers from former British colonies, including Canada, India and Australia, fought and died in the war and were critical to the success of the Allies in 1918.

The event has been organised as part of the UK Government's commemoration programme in conjunction with Glasgow City Council, with other events being organised by the Scottish Government, the highlight of which is a service at Edinburgh Castle on August 10.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid MP said the Glasgow Cathedral service was an appropriate way to honour and remember the lives of the millions who were affected by the war.

"The First World War changed the world. It resulted in more than a million British and Commonwealth service men giving their lives, often thousands of miles away from home," he said. "The events in Glasgow will honour those from the Commonwealth and beyond. We will never forget their sacrifice."

After the cathedral service, Glasgow's Lord Provost Sadie Docherty will lead a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial in George Square.

The Lord Provost said she believed Glaswegians wanted to be part of the commemorations. "Glasgow feels honoured to play such a major role in Britain and the Commonwealth's commemoration of the centenary," she said.

"We also hope that it will inspire everyone to investigate and learn about their own family First World War story to ensure that we remember these stories for generations to come."

Later in the day, everyone in the UK will also be asked to turn out the lights from 10pm to 11pm to mark the start of the war.

As part of the Lights Out pro ject, the artist Nalina Malani will also present a large-scale video projection across the western and southern facades of the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.

The day's events will be ­broadcast on television, beginning at 9.10am on BBC1 in a programme presented by Huw Edwards.

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