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First World War (Commemoration)

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 12:50 pm on 26th June 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence 12:50 pm, 26th June 2014

I certainly agree. The BBC has a difficult balance to strike. In my view, it is doing that extremely well. I particularly commend its efforts to shine a light on some of the perhaps least well explored elements of the great war. We all know about the mud and the trenches. We know rather less about the home front. I hope that, as we proceed through the four-year centenary, we will have a more holistic view of what it meant to be alive between 1914 and 1918.

The UK’s commemoration will begin on Monday 4 August in Glasgow, where the JoyFest of the Commonwealth games will be replaced by the solemnity of Glasgow cathedral and remembrance in George square. In the evening, the evocative Commonwealth War Graves Commission site at St Symphorien near Mons has been chosen for an event based on reconciliation, which we know the public want and expect to see. German and Belgian representatives will join us, as will Heads of State and Government and the families of those interred, irrespective of nationality.

On the same day, the Step Short project in Folkestone will unveil its memorial arch over the road of remembrance, down which troops marched to embarkation. I congratulate my hon. Friend Damian Collins on bringing that important project to maturity. It is a flagship for thousands of independent projects up and down the country that have been inspired by the centenary.