Commemorating the First World War 

Town hall clock tower

Bolton will this week be remembering the outbreak, 100 years ago, of the First World War.

The anniversary commemorations started with Armed Forces Week last month, with a flag raising ceremony above the town hall, and a display featuring the armed forces and cadets.

The main commemoration is in August, to coincide with the British declaration of war 100 years ago.

  • A civic service will be held at Bolton Parish Church on Sunday, August 3, at 6.30pm.
  • Memorial service on Monday, August 4, in Victoria Square at 11am, when a wreath will be laid at the war memorial followed by the firing of maroons and a two-minute silence.
  • Service at Farnworth War Memorial on Monday 4 August at 7pm.
  • Service in the grounds of Bolton Parish Church on Monday 4 August at 10pm.
  • First World Centenary events at Bolton Library and Museum Monday 4 August. Living history actor at the Bolton Lives Gallery at noon, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm, and a talk by historian Charles Sandbach about ‘Ordinary Heroes of the First World War’ in the Library Lecture Theatre at 2pm.

The Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “This year marks a special and poignant anniversary for the start of the war and I encourage people to come along to the commemoration events to remember.”

“Many Boltonians joined up to serve in the armed forces during the conflict or supported the war effort at home. The services will be remember what they went through.”

The First World War started on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918, and the UK declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914. The immediate cause was the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo by nationalists from Serbia. On 28 July 1914 the Austro-Hungarian Empire declared war on Serbia. Alliances between the major countries led to them declaring war upon each other.

Around 9200 soldiers from Bolton are believed to have died in the fighting.

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