1. Monday 4 August 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the start of Britain's involvement in WW1
  2. About 17m soldiers and civilians worldwide were killed between 1914 and 1918
  3. Royal Family members and world leaders attended commemorative events in the UK and elsewhere
  4. An international ceremony of reconciliation was held outside the Belgian city of Mons
  5. The day's events ended with a candle-lit vigil at Westminster Abbey and "lights out" events around the UK
  6. Click here to explore BBC History coverage of the centenary, including stories, pictures and guides

Live reporting

By Tom Moseley, Patrick Evans, Dhruti Shah, Anna Jones, Claire Bates, Nick Eardley, Kerry Alexandra, Kate McGeown and Gerry Holt

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That ends our live coverage of events commemorating the centenary of Britain's entry into World War One around the UK and overseas.

At Glasgow Cathedral David Cameron said: "It's right to remember that there was a cause that these young men volunteered for and that was to stop the domination of Europe by one power and to go to the defence of a defenceless country, Belgium."

At Liege Prince William said: "The fact that the presidents of Germany and Austria are here today and that other nations, then enemies, are here too, bears testimony to the power of reconciliation."

Julia Moore

BBC News at Guildford Cathedral

The service at Guildford Cathedral has come to a close and the last few people are making their way home. A nine-year-old girl, Kate told our reporter that she "was there to remember".

The candle-lit vigil was beautifully peaceful with many poignant moments for reflection; not least a reading by Tam Williams of "This is no case of petty right or wrong" by Edward Thomas which includes the lines:

"This is no case of petty right or wrong

That politicians or philosophers

Can judge. I hate not Germans, nor grow hot

With love of Englishmen to please newspapers."

News from 1914

The world on the brink of war

Getty Images
British troops moving up to the trenches

Remembering World War One

World War One was the most catastrophic conflict the world had ever seen. Around 17 million soldiers and civilians were killed between 1914 and 1918.

Ben Maeder

BBC Cumbria


In Whitehaven's Castle Park the crowds were asked to bring their own candles to the service and they responded well!


Former head of the British Army Lord Dannatt gave a reading from Westminster Abbey's Great Lectern: "nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more".


At Llandaff Cathedral in

Cardiff this evening, Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan gave a sermon in which he described war as a "sign of human failure" but said it was sometimes necessary as "the lesser of two evils".


"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."

A final reading by Canon in Residence Andrew Tremlett brings the service at Westminster Abbey to a close.

Ashley Heath

BBC Wiltshire


Soldiers of 3 (UK) Div, based in Bulford in Wiltshire, begin their evening service at their garrison church.

Getty Images

"Oh, it's you that have the luck, out there in blood and muck: You were born beneath a kindly star"

Actress Penelope Keith read the poem Many Sisters to Many Brothers, by Rose Macaulay, at the Westminster Abbey service

News from 1914

The world on the brink of war

Museum of the Mercian Regiment (WFR Collection)
Ernest Egerton, the haulage hand from Staffordshire awarded the VC

A Village Hero Decorated for 'Reckless Bravery'

Ernest Egerton worked in Florence Colliery near Stoke. He enlisted aged 18 in the 3rd North Staffordshire Regiment in 1915.

Ernest was decorated after launching a solo attack on enemy dugouts at Passchendaele Ridge on 20 September 1917. His citation for the Victoria Cross read that the "reckless bravery of the NCO relieved in less than 30 seconds an extremely difficult situation. His gallantry is beyond all praise."

Here is author Sebastian Faulks, reading in Westminster Abbey from his novel Birdsong.:


Tom Bayly

BBC News at Westminster Abbey

Crowds have gathered outside the Abbey, many with candles of their own flickering in the darkness, as those inside the Abbey, and across the nation, reflect on the events of 100 years ago.

Get involved


Paul C Cooper

Paul C Cooper's lights out remembrance.

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Dan Allen

Dan Allen emails: "To the men and women that gave their lives such that I may live mine."

Actor Mark Gatiss gave a reading from Poets' Corner at Westminster Abbey.


In Westminster Abbey, there is a reading from Cardinal Vincent Nichols before Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi extinguishes the second of four candles. The Duchess of Cornwall will put out the final one.

BBC Radio 5 live

BBC Radio 5 Live is being broadcast from Birmingham, where a lights out commemoration is taking place in the cathedral.

Listen live here (UK only) or on this page using the video and audio carousel.

News from 1914

The world on the brink of war

Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
Major General Sir Fabian Ware with King George V at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium

Fallen but not forgotten

At the start of the war, the graves of fallen soldiers were not marked or recorded. Fabian Ware, a commander of a Red Cross unit, was determined things should change.

With his persistence, the War Office realised that proper care of the war graves would boost the morale of troops. His diligence was recognised when the

Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission was established by Royal Charter with Ware as its vice-chairman.

News from 1914

The world on the brink of war

National Trust
Rudyard Kipling's former home - Bateman's, Sussex, then and now

Rudyard Kipling's War

Rudyard Kipling is renowned for his poetry and children's stories, but his writing during World War One was driven by political discomfort and personal stress.

Kipling had predicted the war. He financed rifle clubs and spoke at recruiting meetings long before it began. When war broke out, the British public looked to him for commentary.

Kipling's only son, John, for whom he had written his best-loved poem; If, was killed in action just six weeks after his 18th birthday.

Kipling was devastated. He became a prominent member of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, offering simple epitaphs and verse to mark individual actions and events.

Sophie Sulehria

BBC News, Bedford


At the

Higgins museum:

While the lights are out, letters written by visitors tonight hang inside the museum. They are written to friends, family or an unknown soldier who fought in WW1. Just one light remains on as people read poetry and letters.

News from 1914

The world on the brink of war

Getty Images
A nurse serves tea to wounded British soldiers

Shell-shocked soldiers

Soldiers who served in World War One endured some of the most terrible forms of warfare ever known. They witnessed death and mutilation caused by exploding shells, machine guns or silent but deadly poison gas. During the war

80,000 men were diagnosed with shell shock.

Lights are being switched off at some of the UK's most famous buildings:


A single candle stands outside Downing Street.

An hour's darkness will mark 100 years since the beginning of World War One, recalling the words of Sir Edward Grey at the start of the war in 1914.

News from 1914

The world on the brink of war

Howard Payton and Martin Cree
The Pope family, at home in Dorchester, Dorset, before WW1

Ten Brothers sent to the Front

Alfred Pope ran a successful business in Dorchester, Dorset. Like most families in Britain, World War One was to take its toll on his family.

Ten of father Alfred's sons saw active duty in the war - and three of them died. Of Alfred's four daughters, three of them were actively involved with the Red Cross and nursing in Dorchester. The other daughter became one of the country's thousands of widows when her husband was killed in action.

Ben Maeder

BBC Radio Cumbria


Some of the lights have already been lit by members of the Royal British Legion on the cenotaph in Whitehaven's Castle Park.

Later a male voice choir will sing songs from the First World War, and organisers have encouraged locals to bring their own lights and candles to the service. It's thought 622 Whitehaven men lost their lives in the Great War.

Nick Higham

BBC News

St Symphorien military cemetery was the perfect venue for what was billed as an "event of reconciliation".

Princes and politicians, soldiers and civilians came together to remember: enemies a century ago, allies now.

They read from the letters and diaries of those who'd fought and died. Musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle played Brahms' German Requiem and the music of George Butterworth, killed on the Somme.

And as dusk fell they laid wreaths at the foot of an obelisk among the trees erected by the Germans in honour of the British dead, in a ceremony that was beautifully conceived and executed.

News from 1914

The world on the brink of war

Elsie Knocker, the 'Angel of Pervyse', who nursed just metres from the Belgium Front

The Angel of Pervyse

Born in Exeter, Elsie Knocker lived and worked metres from the front line in Belgium. She set up a first aid post in the cellar of a house near Ypres with her friend Mairi Chisholm. Their work so close to the battlefield was recognised internationally and they became celebrities of the conflict.

Known as the angels of Pervyse, their fame enabled them to return to Britain to raise funds to continue their front line first aid.

Tom Bayly

BBC News, at Westminster Abbey

Among the well-known faces seen entering the Abbey; actors Mark Gatiss and Penelope Keith, former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, Deputy Labour Leader Harriet Harman, and Birdsong author Sebastian Faulks.

News from 1914

The world on the brink of war

Getty Images
The Unknown Soldier arrives in London on 11 November 1920

The Unknown Soldier

In memorials to previous wars the ordinary soldier was seldom remembered. During the First World War a British chaplain, the Rev David Railton, was struck by the sight of an anonymous grave in Northern France. He made it his mission to find a way to

commemorate all the unknown soldiers who lost their lives in the war.

Julia Moore

BBC News, at Guildford Cathedral


People are beginning to arrive for the candle-lit vigil. The Earl and Countess of Wessex are expected shortly.

Here are selections of the many fascinating

tweets shared under #Remember and posts on
Facebook sent during the day's commemorations

News from 1914

The world on the brink of war

Ron Davies
Beauty outside Roberts the grocer's shop in Minsterley, Shropshire

What a beauty

Mules and horses provided the backbone of the vast logistical operations of armies on both sides.

During the conflict the British Army deployed more than a million horses and mules.

One such horse was Beauty, the grocer's horse from Minsterley, Shropshire. Beauty would have been trained in a remount centre nearby, and from there sent overseas.

History doesn't relate what became of Beauty but it's unlikely he was returned to his owner. Many were sold abroad to work on farms or for meat.

News from 1914

The world on the brink of war

Museum of English Rural Life
A horse drawn self-binder driven by a Land Girl

The Women's Land Army

As men from the farming communities headed to war, women were required to work the land and keep food supplies maintained. Across Britain women workers did a range of tasks including milking, ploughing, herding and other heavy work. By 1918, there were 23,000 women working in the fields.

At Goring Heath Farm, on the Berkshire border, women ploughed the land and gathered in the harvest.

Hear the WW1 memories of Kathleen Gilbert.

"The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time." Those were the words of Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey on the eve of war. Details of "lights out" events taking place across the country

are here or at

Jennie Dennett

BBC Radio Cumbria


In Barrow, white crosses are placed at St Mark's church for the 128 fallen of the Central parish. "Each cross represents not just an individual but a shattered family", Lay Preacher John Hazlehurst says.