Residents across Peterborough will come together on Monday August 4 to mark 100 years since Britain entered the First World War.
Veterans have been working with Peterborough City Council to plan the commemoration, which will include a civic service at the war memorial on Bridge Street and a typical 1914s evening on Cathedral Square to recreate the moment in Peterborough when residents learned that Britain had joined the war.
The day’s events will begin with a special service at the war memorial on Bridge Street to remember those who fought and died in the First World War. The service will also be a chance for people to remember those who have died fighting in other conflicts across the globe.
A civic procession will leave the Town Hall at 10.40am led by the Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor David Over, for the service at the war memorial led by the Dean of Peterborough, The Very Rev Charles Taylor. There will be a minute’s silence at 11am.
The Salvation Army band will be performing near to the war memorial from around 10.15am and there will be readings of poetry including 14-year-old Nooresher Mahmood who wrote the poem ‘We Still Remember’ when she was nine-years-old. Extracts from Peterborough At War 1914-1918, written by David Gray, will also be read out.
During the day there will be a car show displaying vehicles from the early 1900s around Cathedral Square and the cathedral precincts.
From 7.30pm there will be a special commemoration in Cathedral Square to which veterans and their families will be invited.
Guests will be asked to wear red and white to represent the red poppies and white roses that nurses sold during the war to raise money for the war effort.
A meal will be served featuring food from the era. The council has reserved a number of places at the meal for residents who lost a relative in the Great War. If you would like one of these places, which are free, please call (01733) 453533.
Music from the era will be played and there will be readings of poetry by past Peterborough poet laureates including Toby Wood and the present city poet laureate Peter Irving.
Although the meal is invite only, residents are invited to attend Cathedral Square where there will be music and an old fashioned fish and chip van serving food.
At 11pm, the exact moment Britain entered the war, a rocket maroon will be launched.
Residents will then be invited to light a candle next to a photo of their loved one which they are being urged to bring along. A service will then be held on Cathedral Square, led by Canon Bruce Ruddock from Peterborough Cathedral.
Lead image: Chris Brudenell for ESP Magazine.