First World War Centenary

Tommy Silhouette statue in Marlowes Hemel HempsteadWe’re marking the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War. The aim of the programme is to commemorate the milestone, while fully reflecting:

  • on the horrors of war, including the suffering caused by the 37 million military and civilian casualties during the war.
  • commitment to learn the lessons of the past to help build peace in the future.

Cllr Neil Harden, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services, said: "There are many commemorative events being held throughout the borough marking the centenary of the end of the First World War. It's so important that we stop to remember the sacrifices made in the two world wars and subsequent conflicts, especially in this centenary year.

"We're very proud to play a part in recognising the contribution and sacrifice made by the men and women from our own community."

The full programme of events are still being finalised, but below is a taste of what's planned:

Tommy silhouette

We’ve contributed to the There But Not There project by purchasing a Tommy statue. The funds raised by this campaign, organised by the charity Remembered, will contribute to the important work carried out by the project’s beneficiary charities. The statue has been installed in the Rainbow Memorial Garden in Hemel Hempstead town centre, alongside a commemorative installation organised by the Royal British Legion.

The 6ft tall silhouette of a solider will be displayed throughout the Armistice period to celebrate the centenary of the end of the First World War and to honour those who lost their lives in the conflict.

Armistice / Remembrance Day - Sunday 11 November

RAF Halton bandArmistice Day will be celebrated on Sunday 11 November 2018. It will be a day to commemorate the Armistice signed between the Allies of the First World War and Germany for the ending of hostilities on the Western Front. The day, which overlaps with Remembrance Day, is celebrated annually.

As in previous years, there will be a march at 10.30am from Bank Court in Hemel Hempstead on the morning of Sunday 11 November to mark Remembrance Day.

The march is once again being organised by The Royal British Legion, and supported by RAF Halton, The Royal Anglian Regiment, members of the scouting community and emergency services.

Mayor Cllr Rosie Sutton will join the march as it makes its way to the war memorial at St John's Church in Boxmoor. The Mayor will join her civic party, wreaths will be laid and The Last Post will be sounded. A service will follow at the church at 11.15am.

Battle's Over tribute - Sunday 11 November

Lighting the Beacon for the centenary of the end of the First World War On 11 November 2018, the United Kingdom and its friends overseas will mark the day 100 years ago when the guns fell silent at the end of the First World War.

The Battle’s Over tribute will begin from 6.30pm in St Mary's Square in Hemel Hempstead Old Town.

Timetable of events

  • 6.30pm - Dacorum Community Choir performs while guests assemble.
  • 6.42pm - Bagpiper Regina Whyatt  plays Battle's O'er.
  • 6.43pm - Welcome from Mayor of Dacorum Cllr Rosie Sutton.
  • 6.45pm - Dacorum Community Choir to perform We Will Remember Them by Will Todd.
  • 6.53pm - Mayor of Dacorum Cllr Rosie Sutton to read Tribute to Millions.
  • 6.55pm - Bugler Paul Burr (Salvation Army) to play Last Post.
  • 6.56pm - A two-minute silence will be observed.
  • 6.58pm - Bugler Paul Burr, Salvation Army to play Reveille. Royal British Legion, Royal Anglian Regiment and Beds and Herts Regiment will raise Standards.
  • 7.00pm - Beacon to be lit.
  • 7.05pm - St Mary's Church to ring out for peace.
  • 7.30pm - St Mary's Church will invite everyone to attend their contemplative service of music and readings in the church followed by refreshments.

Yarn bombing

Yarn Bomb Hemel Hempstead - a Facebook group of local people - have installed a knitted and crocheted poppy display in the Forum, Hemel Hempstead. They have similar displays around the town centre. The poppies are for sale and all donations go to the British Legion.

Tring Yarn Bombers have made more than 12,000 poppies to commemorate not only the men who fought in the First World War, but the millions of animals who served alongside the men. The poppies have been displayed in various areas around the centre of Tring, such as Tring Library, in Dolphin Square, outside of St Peter and St Paul's church, the bus shelter outside the Forge car park and Tring Memorial Gardens.

Dacorum Heritage Trust exhibition

Dacorum Heritage Trust Origami DovesDacorum Heritage Trust is hosting an exhibition titled Commemorating Peacetime in Dacorum at Berkhamsted Civic Centre. It will be open from Friday 9 November (Midday to 4pm) until Saturday 10 November (10am to 4pm).

The exhibition will explore some of the remarkable stories of the local men and women who contributed to the war effort. It will feature an art installation of more than 1,000 origami doves, which have been folded by members of the local community. Each dove represents a soldier whose name features on a war memorial in Dacorum. There will also be an art installation of 100 canvasses painted and created by local children inspired by the theme of the First World War.

The exhibition was previously held in the Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead between 20 and 31 October.

Please email collectionsmanager@dacorumheritage.org.uk or call 01442 879525 for any queries regarding the Dacorum Heritage Trust exhibition.

County at War - Life on the Home Front film

Robert Voss, the Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, has commissioned a film about the part Hertfordshire played during the First World War, called A County at War – Life on the Home Front – The Armistice Centenary Edition. Contact Justin Apthorp at acountyatwar@gmail.com for copies of the DVD.

Leverstock Green

Residents of Leverstock Green will be creating a field of poppies around the War Memorial on Church Road using recycled plastic bottles. These will be 'planted' on 8 November.

A free War Is Over exhibition will be displayed at the Holy Trinity Church in Leverstock Green between 9 and 11 November. It will focus on the effects of the First World War on the village. On Sunday 11 November at 5pm there will be a free screening of the 2017 film Journey’s End, followed by a Vigil for Peace at 7.30pm.

Carey Baptist Church

Carey Baptist Church in Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead, will be marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War with two special events. Further details can be found on its website.

More information

If you know of a significant Dacorum event that is missing, please email eleanor.cornforth@dacorum.gov.uk.

A list of First World War centenary events taking place across Hertfordshire can be found on Hertfordshire County Council's website