WW1 Photos Centenary Website: 2014-2018 By Paul Reed

Great War Centenary Plans Announced

Today was an exciting day for anyone with an interest in the Great War as the Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced the plans for the National Commemoration of the centenary period between 2014 and 2018. Unsurprisingly key dates like the outbreak of war, the First Day on the Somme and the Armistice, but plans were also outlined to remember Gallipoli, Jutland and Passchendaele, too. Cameron, who I thought spoke with some passion about the war, made it clear that the plans were a work in progress and actively sought input from interested parties to help shape what the period would become, and that is to be welcomed. The budget of £50 million sounds huge, but £35 million of that is for the revamp of the Imperial War Museum. Yet money will be made available for educating the next generation – funding for school visits to the battlefields was promised – and National Lottery funding would be allocated for local projects and heritage initiatives, which could potentially help save many crumbling memorials.

The Great War was an event that defined this nation and its population, and that of the Commonwealth. That the government is taking a serious and seemingly mature approach to commemorating the centenary of it is to be welcomed by all. No commemoration can ever hope to cover everything, but the funding of local projects should help ensure that some of the lesser known aspects of the conflict are brought into sharp focus.

Great War Photos is doing its bit for the centenary, too. Not only will the posting of previously unseen WW1 images continue here but I’m pleased that the Great War Photos archive will be used as part of a major centenary initiative and no doubt the site will post more about that in the future.

Thirty years ago when I first visited the Western Front, the battlefields were empty and forgotten; the hundreds of veterans I interviewed as a young history student earnestly thought that when they all faded away their war would slip into obscurity and never be remembered. These new plans ensure that 1914-18 will not slip from our conciousness and that the voices of that conflict will still be as vivid and important a hundred years later.

12 responses

  1. Geoff Bridger

    Thank you Paul for continuing to share with us some of your extensive photo archive. And for passing on your wealth of knowledge which fortunately for us all is enriched by the interviews of veterans conducted by you long ago.
    Very best wishes from your old chum,


    11/10/2012 at 16:06

    • sommecourt

      Thanks Geoff – your comments much appreciated old chum.

      11/10/2012 at 16:46

  2. Pingback: World War One Centenary - 2014 - World War 2 Talk

  3. Miranda

    So very pleased that continual education is part of the process, hopefully it will be a continual one and not just for the centenary period. If schools could just pick one soldier to research and explore his experiences i’m sure that would plant the seed of interest for many and promote the great work those fine men and women did years ago and the work that people such as yourself do today to keep that inspirational sacrifice alive.

    11/10/2012 at 22:00

  4. Stuart

    When, in the 1980s, I went hunting the graves of members of my secondary school in Dover who had fallen in World War One no-one at the school was interested and I was completely unaware that the school even had memorials to its old boys who had died.
    When in the past couple of years my own sons wanted to find and put a cross down on the grave of an old boy of their primary school who was killed on the Somme in 1918 the school kindly put up pictures and they were featured on local radio talking about remembrance, much to the pride of their parents!
    But still my kids have been mocked by other pupils of their school for doing so.
    Times have changed, but there remains work to be done.

    12/10/2012 at 11:49

  5. It may hearten you all a bit [even if from New Zealand] that our ANZAC Day commemorations have had a bit of a ‘youth’ resurgence here with families and the very younger generations taking part.

    Yes it is about educating and sparking interest in the newer generations … I think a stronger school curriculum relating to our own later defining moments of history rather than just pioneering/cultural education would help.
    Here’s a bit of a report from last years ANZAC Day:

    12/10/2012 at 19:57

  6. Oh yes…and THANK YOU for a great site Paul :)))) Really looking forward to more posts!

    12/10/2012 at 20:01

  7. Pingback: World War One Centenary - 2014 - Page 2 - World War 2 Talk

  8. Charles Voos

    Paul I have few WWI photos I found in an old box of photos. How would I send copies to you?
    Charlie Voos

    19/10/2012 at 23:35

    • sommecourt

      You can email them to ww1research [at] hotmail.com

      19/10/2012 at 23:38

  9. Learn about Michigan’s effort in the Great War at Michigan’s WW1 Centennial News Report on Youtube
    Musee Skupinski on Flickr, features many WW1 Uniforms but specializes in enlisted (O.R.’s) and Junior Officers on the Western Front.

    29/12/2012 at 00:04

  10. Doreen Jefford

    My grandad went down with the Good Hope 1914 is any thing arranged at Southsea I find it very hard to find out things about the Navy

    14/06/2014 at 13:13

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