World War I: Anniversaries

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 1st October 2015.

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Photo of David Mackintosh David Mackintosh Conservative, Northampton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what further steps his Department is taking to commemorate the First World War centenary leading up to 2018.

Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

A national commemorative event will be held on 31 May 2016 to mark the Battle of Jutland and the wider war at sea.

There will be a national commemorative event to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme at the Thiepval Memorial in Northern France on 1 July 2016. The Government is working with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on a £1.6m refurbishment of the Monument to ensure that it endures for future generations and on a lighting installation that will see the Monument lit from 1 July 2016. In addition we are working with partners to encourage Somme commemorative activity across the UK.

There will also be national events to commemorate the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) in 2017 and the end of the conflict in 2018.

In addition Government will continue with established programmes for the conservation, repair and protection of War Memorials; the Cathedral Repairs Fund; Schools Battlefield Tours; and the laying of commemorative paving stones and the restoration of graves of Victoria Cross recipients buried in the UK.

The poppies sculptures 'Wave' and 'Weeping Window' will go to locations throughout the UK starting with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives, and St George's Hall, Liverpool.

There will be a series of school debates beginning next year to look at the causes, conduct and consequences of the War.

We encourage local communities to get involved in commemorating First World War events. Heritage Lottery Fund has recently made available an extra £4m for communities to explore, conserve and share local heritage of the First World War to ensure that these projects can continue throughout the centenary period.

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