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Great War marked by series of events

An epic commemoration of the First World War will begin in 2014, 100 years since its start.

Next year sees the start of four years of events across Britain and further afield to mark the centenary of the Great War.

The war began in June 1914, with Britain joining on August 4, 1914. As war was waged over the next four years, millions of lives were lost as the devastating conflict raged, until the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918.

A century on, the country will commemorate those who gave their lives with a programme of events.

Each of the 430 men awarded the Victoria Cross - the British Empire's highest medal for military valour - in the First World War will have their names enshrined in a paving stone in their home town.

The first two, laid in August 2014, will commemorate Charles Garforth of Willesden Green in London and Sidney Godley of East Grinstead.

The scheme has also been extended to see foreign combatants who won the VC fighting for Britain during the First World War honoured.

More than 170 heroes from Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa will be remembered across the globe, as well as Nepalese Gurkhas whose stories are to be preserved.

Events will also include a service for Commonwealth leaders at Glasgow Cathedral; an event at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons, Belgium; and a candlelit vigil at Westminster Abbey.

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