Candlelight service at war memorial

War Memorial in Daventry
War Memorial in Daventry

Two memorial events on Monday will mark the centenary of the United Kingdom’s entrance into the First World War.

Residents are invited to join civic leaders at Daventry District Council’s (DDC) offices in Lodge Road at 10.30am for a ceremony to mark the beginning of the conflict in which at least 700,000 British soldiers lost their lives.

The ceremony will mark the anniversary with a two-minute silence and the raising of the Union Jack. There will also be a reading of poems by John McCrae and Robert Laurence Binyon.

A candlelit service organised by the town council and the Royal British Legion will also take place from 10.15pm at Daventry War Memorial in Abbey Street.

Candles for the service will be available for free from the town council’s offices in New Street or people can take their own.

A new oak plaque in remembrance of the 144 soldiers from Daventry who lost their will also be dedicated at the gathering.

DDC will join hundreds of local authority groups across the country marking the anniversary with a Lights Out event, in which people across the country are invited to turn off their lights from 10pm-11pm, leaving on a single light or candle.

Daventry Mayor Cllr Ron Fox, said: “The Great War was the war to end all wars.

“A generation of brave men and young boys – some underage – who answered the call to arms to fight for King and Country paid the ultimate price.”

He added: “Some still lay where they fell under foreign fields, leaving broken families back home, and some returned home broken for the rest of their lives. This was the cost and we will remember them.”

Cllr Alan Hills added: “The moment Great Britain entered into the First World War changed the course of history for millions of people around the world. It’s important that we reflect on this historic date and remember the many, many lives that were lost.”