First World War

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 9th July 2015.

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Photo of Graham Evans Graham Evans Conservative, Weaver Vale 9:30 am, 9th July 2015

What further steps his Department plans to take to commemorate the first world war.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

We will commemorate the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 2016 and the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 2016. We are in the early stages of planning appropriate events in 2017 and 2018.

Photo of Graham Evans Graham Evans Conservative, Weaver Vale

The Prime Minister Harold Wilson was severely wounded in 1915 at the Battle of Loos, which I understand will be commemorated in Scotland in September. Can my right hon. Friend assure us that when it comes to the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, it will be commemorated in the great northern cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield, recognising the contribution of the northern pals?

Photo of Graham Evans Graham Evans Conservative, Weaver Vale

I did mean Macmillan, sorry.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

And possibly the Wilson family, too. I am most grateful to you, Mr Speaker, for your assistance. My hon. Friend nevertheless makes an important point—that the sacrifice of our citizens in the first world war represented contributions made by every single part of the United Kingdom, and it is extremely important to commemorate that. As my hon. Friend will be aware, on the centenary day of 1 July next year, there is a major event at Thiepval in northern France. I am sure that other parts of the UK will want to participate, including the great cities that he mentioned.