Sat, Oct 13, 2012 - Page 7 News List

Britain announces WW I memorials for 2014-2018

AFP, LONDON

Britain plans to stage events across the country and take thousands of children to visit the battlefields of World War I to mark the centenary of the conflict, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday.

The commemorative program starting in 2014 is also to encompass key anniversaries in 2016 and 2018 and costs around £50 million (US$80 million).

As part of the commemorations the government will also undertake a huge upgrade of the Imperial War Museum in London so future generations can be educated about the conflict, which left 16 million people dead worldwide.

The prime minister said events would be held on Aug. 14, 2014, to mark 100 years since Britain declared war on Germany; on July 1, 2016, to mark the centenary of Battle of the Somme; and on Armistice Day in November 2018.

There will also be events to mark the battles of Jutland, Gallipoli and Passchendaele.

“Our ambition is a truly national commemoration worthy of this historic centenary,” Cameron said.

“A commemoration that, like the diamond jubilee celebrations this year, says something about who we are as a people,” he said.

“This was the extraordinary sacrifice of a generation. It was a sacrifice they made for us, and it is right that we should remember them,” Cameron added.

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