100 years on: We will remember them

To mark the centenary of the First World War, a memorial service will start at 2.45pm on Sunday on the East Lawns of the Royal Pavilion (Photograph: Andrew Hasson)
To mark the centenary of the First World War, a memorial service will start at 2.45pm on Sunday on the East Lawns of the Royal Pavilion (Photograph: Andrew Hasson)

People across Brighton and Hove are being encouraged to attend open-air ceremonies commemorating the start of the First World War.

People across Brighton and Hove are being encouraged to attend a series of open-air ceremonies commemorating the start of the First World War.

The Brighton war memorial

The Brighton war memorial

A number of events have been organised for Sunday and Monday - with the main event scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

A memorial service will start at 2.45pm on the East Lawns of the Royal Pavilion, with residents, visitors and community groups invited to come together to remember how the First World War touched the lives of people in Brighton and Hove.

The drumhead and interfaith service is being co-ordinated by Brighton and Hove City Council together with the Royal British Legion and will be led by the Right Reverend Dr Martin Warner, the Bishop of Chichester.

Councillor Brian Fitch, Brighton and Hove’s Mayor, and Peter Field, Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex, will also attend along with religious leaders, cadets, and veterans.

Cadets will build an altar from drums and local children will scatter poppy leaves.

Monday (August 4) marks the date 100 years ago when Britain entered the conflict. A wreath laying service will take place at the Royal Sussex Regiment War Memorial in Regency Square at 10.45am. The mayor will again be present. Space is limited at the site, so anyone wishing to attend this act of remembrance should contact the council on 01273 295514.

On Monday evening a commemorative service of Tisha be Av is taking place at Brighton and Hove Reform Synagogue, Palmeira Avenue, at 6.30pm. Sons, daughters, and grandchildren of Jewish soldiers who fought in World War One are now members of Brighton and Hove Reform Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Sussex. This service is part of the civic calendar of commemorative events and is open to all.

In a joint venture with the council, Brighton and Hove Bus Company is providing a WW1 Heritage Bus decorated with images of Brighton, Hove and Portslade as they were during the war.

It will be unveiled on Monday and run on normal bus routes around the city for the next four years. Images include a photograph of a wedding between a nurse and an officer who was awarded the Victoria Cross, Portslade camp and Robert Whiting, a former Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper, who fought in the war.

Information panels inside the bus provide further illustrations of life in the city during that time and more information can be found at www.brighton-hove.gov. uk/WW1. The images used were sourced from East Sussex Records Office at The Keep, the Royal Pavilion, museums, libraries and private collectors.

Martin Harris, managing director of Brighton and Hove Buses, said: "I am delighted that we could work with the council in paying tribute to all those wonderful people of the city who played their part in so many different ways in WW1."

Elsewhere, a major exhibition, War Stories: Voices from the First World War, is at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery until March next year. The exhibition brings to life the wartime experiences of 13 individuals whose intensely personal memories and extraordinary stories reveal the impact of war.

Throughout the summer there is an exhibition on the seafront of posters and photographs telling the story of how Brighton and Hove were transformed by the presence of the many military hospitals required to treat the increasing number of casualties returning from the Front. Dr Brighton’s War: Hospitals and Healing in Brighton can be seen until August 31.

Councillor Jason Kitcat, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “We will be remembering this historic anniversary in the city together with communities around the world.

"The war affected so many lives in so many different ways, and the council is supporting organisations with events and activities that reflect the courage, sacrifice and experiences of local people."

A round up of these and other events is available on the council's website at www.brighton-hove. gov.uk/WW1 and at VisitBrighton’s site: www.visitbrighton.com/first- world-war.

Commemorative events this summer are the start of a four year programme of events which will culminate in the anniversary of Armistice Day in 2018.