01 August 2014
On the 4 August 1914, the UK took its first steps in WWI by declaring war on Germany and 100 years later, on Monday 4 August 2014, remembrance ceremonies will be held to mark its centenary.
The brave soldiers, who put their lives on the line and fought for their country, were famously referred to as “lions being led by donkeys”.
EU leaders held a ceremony in Belgium to commemorate the beginning of the war. In a similar fashion, everybody in the UK is invited to take part in ‘Lights Out’. This will consist of every household turning off their lights, on the 4 August, from 10pm to 11pm and leaving just a single candle lit.
The Fallen by LAURENCE BINYON (1869-1943)
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her Spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again,
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt' as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness
To the end, to the end, they remain.
The Soldier by RUPERT BROOKE (1887-1915)
If I should die, think only this of me;
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends, and gentleness,.
In hearts at peace, under an; English heaven.
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