UK Prime Minister, David Cameron today set out the Government’s plans to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War in 2014.
Speaking at IWM London, Mr Cameron said that he wanted to build a truly national commemoration, worthy of this historic centenary.
David Cameron said: “In total, over £50 million is being committed to these centenary commemorations, and it is absolutely right that these commemorations should be given such priority.”
“As a twenty year old soldier wrote just a week before he died ‘But for this war, I and all the others would have passed into oblivion like the countless myriads before us . . . but we shall live for ever in the results of our efforts’”
The Government’s principal partners in the commemorations will be IWM (Imperial War Museums), the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and the Heritage Lottery Fund, but will encompass support for a multitude of other initiatives, large and small, as they come together in the months and years to come.
The four-year programme will take the form of:
National commemorative events to mark the anniversary of the start of the First World War in 2014, the first day of the Battle of the Somme (2016) and Armistice Day(2018). Other anniversaries across the period will also be marked in different ways;
The opening, in 2014, of refurbished First World War Galleries at IWM London;
An enduring educational legacy costing £5.3 million, jointly funded by the Department for Education and the Department for Communities and Local Government, which will allow two student ambassadors, plus a teacher, from each maintained school in England to visit First World War battlefields and undertake research on local people to their school who fought in the War;
At least £15m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, including a new £6m community projects fund, announced today, to enable young people, working in their communities to conserve, explore and share local heritage of the First World War
A grant of up to £1million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to support HMS Caroline, the last surviving warship from the First World War fleet. She will now have a secure future in Belfast, where thousands of people will be able to visit her and learn about her unique role in the First World War.
An advisory panel headed by Culture Secretary Maria Miller will be appointed to oversee this work and offer independent oversight of the UK’s preparations for the centenary.
Light a light on the Centenary Wall to show your support and get the latest updates from the First World War Centenary Partnership and Programme.