Candlelit Vigil at new War Memorial caps fortnight of WWI Centenary events

Exactly 100 years to the day of Britain’s declaration of war against Germany in 1914, Slough Borough Council will hold a candlelit vigil at the new War Memorial in a key location in the centre of Slough.

Have you seen where the new war memorial is being installed? We've cleaned all the others too.

Slough tweeted earlier: Have you seen where the new war memorial is being installed? We’ve cleaned all the others too. #SloughRemembers

The borough’s new war memorial will take centre stage at key events over the coming fortnight, following its unveiling next Saturday.  It is being kept tightly under wraps until then, with few clues as to its design.

As well as the new memorial Slough has given all its key war memorials a major clean-up in the approach to the centenary, after earlier being accused of doing too little to commemorate the town’s fallen.

Residents will have a number of centenary events to choose from, including one in Colnbrook, each with a very different flavour.

Slough’s new war memorial is a testament to all those who have fallen, then and since and it is right it is at the centre of our commemorations next month.

Colnbrook’s traditional format tomorrow will resemble a Remembrance Day service with the Scouts playing an active role.

Slough will concentrate on the historical context, the sacrifices made, and the pivotal role the town had during the war. at its main event next Saturday.

August 4 1914. Germany invaded Belgium to outflank the French army.  The German Chancellor dismissed Britain's  protest at the violation of Belgian neutrality, which it guaranteed under treaty, saying that the treaty was just a chiffon de papier (a scrap of paper).  The United Kingdom issued its declaration of war on Germany, marking the start of World War I for this country.

Poppy seeds will be handed out by Slough free, in the hope that residents will plant them at home.

In Burnham a concert will be held in memory of the fallen, with a multi-denominational service to be held.  Schoolchildren have put on an exhibition of research into fallen heroes from the village to coincide.

Finally, a week on Monday, a candlelit vigil will be held at Slough’s new War Memorial at the exact time of the declaration of war against Germany, on August 4 1914.

National and international services will also be held by the Government on August 4 to coincide with the anniversary of the declaration of war.  These will take place in London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast and at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission St Symphorien Cemetery in Belgium.


What’s happening when?

Your definitive guide to local centenary events.

When Where What’s happening?

Saturday July 26

Colnbrook WWI Centenary Event

A low key but respectful ceremony will focus on wreath laying and religious readings.The Parish Council’s decision to focus on the cramped area around the Jubilee Clock instead of the War Memorial in St Thomas’ Church has raised eyebrows – particularly as the road itself will not be closed to traffic.  Nevertheless a small plaque will be mounted on the clock to bear the 41 names of the Colnbrook fallen identified in 1934 when the original War Memorial was consecrated – plus a further 8 the Parish says it has identified since June.

The memorial chapel in St Thomas' Church lists 41 from Colnbrook who fell during WWI

The 1934 War Memorial in St Thomas’ Church lists 41 from Colnbrook who fell during WWI

Area Dean Rod Cosh will make a short prayer before a bugler will play the “Last Post” and the Parish and CRA will both lay wreaths.  A longer service will then follow at St Thomas’ Church where a marquee will be erected for refreshments, with Asian food prepared by local residents.  A PA system will relay proceedings from the church to those unable to fit inside the church.

The event kicks off at 2pm at the Clock.

Saturday August 2

Slough Remembers

The Slough Remembers event which will run from 10am to 2pm in Slough town centre will give residents the opportunity to step back in time, taking part in activities and games of the time, hearing stories from the Edwardian era, finding out Slough’s role in the war and seeing images of Slough from 100 years ago.The mayor will unveil the new memorial at 11am as part of the key event in which Slough Museum is playing a major role.Almost life-size photos of Slough 100 years ago will decorate walls and hoardings along the High Street.Mayor of Slough, Councillor Shafiq Chaudhry, has issued an invite to residents to join him for the event:

“Nearly one hundred years ago, Britain declared war and men from across Slough and across the country took up arms and gave their lives.  One hundred years later we are commemorating their sacrifice, their courage and the lives they and those left behind had in our town so long ago.

“I would like to invite residents to join me … to learn more about the sacrifice people made and commemorate their actions.”

And all visitors will be encouraged to plant free bags of poppy seeds given out on the day.

Saturday August 2

WWI Centenary Concert 

Students of Burnham Park Academy and Burnham Grammar School will join the Burnham Concert Band and Pop Goes the Choir for a concert attended by Attorney General and Beaconsfield MP, Dominic Grieve, who will open the event.Tickets are also still available for £5.

Visit the venue in Windsor Lane or contact 01628 550380 for information.

Sunday August 3

All faiths church service

An all-denominations service will be held outside the Burnham Park Hall by the war memorial.All are welcome and seating will be available.

Burnham War Memorial will be the location of a  cross-denominational church service on August 3, and the Royal British Legion will On Monday, August 4, the Burnham Royal British Legion will light candles at the memorial as part of the national Lights Out event.

Burnham War Memorial will be the location of an all-faiths service on August 3, while the Royal British Legion will light candles at the memorial on August 4.

A free exhibition of displays from village schools and history groups began in Burnham Park Hall on Monday, including a project by local children who have researched fallen heroes from their village.

Monday August 4

Candlelit Vigil

The Slough Remembers Candlelit Vigil from 10pm to 11pm will include readings and poems from the time of WW1 with candles being lit and one by one extinguished in the run up to 11pm – the exact time Britain declared war 100 years before.The extinguishing of the candles is inspired by the quote from the 1914 British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey who, in the run up to Britain declaring war, remarked: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time”.Inspired by the quote, lights will be extinguished in council buildings to coincide with the vigil.  Similar Lights Out events will be held at towns throughout the country.The vigil will take place at the new memorial at junction of High Street and Windsor Road from 10pm.

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