A veteran of the war in Afghanistan will lead a ceremony to honour the First World War dead before a candle-lit service marks 100 years since Britain entered the conflict.

Corporal David Phillips will recite the names of 20 men from Oxfordshire regiments during the Turning the Pages ceremony at Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral on Monday.

The service will last from 10.45am to 11.30am, with an hour-long vigil starting at 8pm.

Cpl Phillips, of A Company 7 Rifles, will recite the names of 10 men from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and 10 names from the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars.

The 47-year-old former St John’s College student said: “This is about being able to acknowledge the sacrifice made by those who served in our regiments over the last 100 years.

“My grandfathers fought in the First World War, my father in the Second World War and I have served in Afghanistan.

“So it’s something that’s very moving for me to be able to do.”

The names of 10 men from each regiment who died in both world wars are usually read out in the Military Chapel, at the cathedral in, St Aldate’s, every three months. But Monday’s service will pay tribute to men from the regiments who died fighting in 1914.

Veteran of the Royal Green Jackets and The Rifles, Major (retired) Terry Roper, helped to organise the service.

The 65-year-old chairman of the Oxford branch of the Royal Green Jackets Association, said: “It’s very important that the youngsters of today realise the sacrifice that was made.

“It’s only right that a soldier from the modern day regiment reads out the names of his forefathers who fell in 1914.”

Monday’s vigil will include readings and prayers.

Afterwards, people can sit in silence while candles are symbolically put out one by one until 11pm – marking 100 years since Britain declared war on Germany.

Sub Dean Canon Edmund Newey, said: “The vigil is an opportunity for us to remember and honour the memory of those who died in the First World War, to share the grief and pride of those communities and to pray for peace.”

The ceremony will mirror Westminster Abbey’s service, in London, which will be broadcast live at the cathedral from 10pm to 11pm.

The names

TEN members of 2nd Battalion The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry will be remembered: 

  • Cpt Alan Humphrey Harden 
  • Lt Christopher Fowler Murphy 
  • Sjt Arthur Richard Allsworth, 21 
  • L Cpl William Earnest Dawes, 21 
  • Bugler William Edward Green 
  • Pte John Harris, 19 
  • Pte Archibald Keeler 
  • Pte Albert Newell 
  • Pte Leonard Rainbow 
  • Pte Henry Tucker, 22 

All were killed on October 21, 1914. They have no known grave. Their names are recorded at Ypres on the Menin Gate Memorial

Events Sat-Tues

Saturday, August 2

  • At Bicester Avenue Garden Centre, historians and former soldiers will commemorate the start of the First World War from 10am to 4pm. Bicester’s Local History Society and representatives from the Royal British Legion, the Royal Navy and Help for Heroes will attend and share local stories.

Oxford Mail:

Bicester’s Local History Society

Sunday, August 3

  • A service to commemorate the start of the First World War will be held by The Royal British Legion in Kidlington. Kidlington branch chairman Stan White said the service at St Mary’s Church, in Church Street, would run from 2.30pm.
  • St Mary the Virgin Church, in Shipton-under-Wychwood, will rededicate the church’s war memorial at 7pm before a vigil from 7.30pm.
  • A ceremony will take place in St Mary’s Church graveyard, Thame, where relatives will place a cross on war graves in the cemetery. There will be prayer stations in Headington’s Lime Walk Methodist Church from 3pm to 5.30pm. From 5.30pm there will be a short service of hymns, readings and prayers.

Oxford Mail:

Part of the memorial at St Mary’s Church Thame

  • Charlbury Station will commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with poppies, poems and a choir at 6pm. Sixty yards of red poppies have been planted along the platform at the Cotswold Line station. Signposts naming the battlefields to which Oxfordshire soldiers travelled are set among the poppies.
  • Henley Town Council is marking the outbreak of the war with a Drumhead Service in Henley Town Square at 3pm.The Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, Tim Stevenson, will attend and will unveil a memorial plaque dedicated to the fallen of Henley, which includes the names of a number of local men who were omitted from all previous memorials in the town.
  • A church service will be held at St Mary’s Church, Church Road, Thame, at 6pm. Then as part of the Thame Remembers project, pictured, which will honour each soldier from the town who has died in conflicts in the past 120 years, special crosses will be laid at 7pm on the graves and memorials of all soldiers buried there.

Monday, August 4

  • Stained glass windows will be blessed and dedicated in Banbury Town Hall, pictured, in Bridge Street, at a service the Bishop of Dorchester, the Rev Colin Fletcher, will lead from 7.30pm. Afterwards, the beat of a muffled drum will accompany a civic procession to St Mary’s Church, in Horsefair, at 8.30pm. A vigil will begin at 9pm before the names from the church’s war memorial are recited at 9.30pm.

Oxford Mail:

Banbury Town Hall

  • Trinity College in Oxford will launch an exhibition of the earliest surviving author’s manuscript of Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen. Trinity College owns a copy that was written out by the poet in 1916 for a friend and no earlier versions are known. Also on display in the chapel will be a list of the 159 students and graduates of Trinity who died in the war. The exhibition will be opened during a chapel service starting at 11.30am.
  • St Frideswide’s Church in Botley Road, Oxford, will be open from noon to 2pm to give people the opportunity to visit the church’s war memorial. The memorial features the names of 82 local men who were killed during the First World War.
  • At St Kenelm’s Church, Minster Lovell, near Witney, a candle-lit vigil with readings, hymns and prayers will be held in the churchyard from 8pm.
  • The names of 1,300 Abingdon men who fought in the war will be read out in St Helen’s Church, Abingdon, from 7.30pm. The reading is expected to last about three hours. It will be followed by an hour-long candlelight vigil at the Abingdon Cenotaph from 10pm to 11pm.
  • THE Every Sad and Lonely Thing exhibition at Wantage Vale and Downland Museum will run until Thursday. Entry is free and displays objects, family stories and contemporary art. The name is inspired by a line in a poem from Lieutenant William Noel Hodgson who died aged 23 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. For more information go to wantage-museum.com s EIGHT trees have been planted outside Carterton Community Centre to remember each soldier with town connections killed in the First World War.

Oxford Mail:

Chairman of the centre, Brian Crossland, is pictured with the trees.

 They were planted by the centre last autumn and plaques will be unveiled next to the mountain ash trees during a special ceremony. Each plaque, donated by Carterton Lions Club, features the name, rank, regiment, date of death and age of the soldiers, who are included on the war memorial outside the town hall. RAF Brize Norton station commander, Group Captain Simon Edwards, will give a reading, and will be joined by about 100 representatives from his station, the Royal Air Forces Association, Royal Naval Association and Royal British Legion. The service will begin at 10.45am, with a two-minute silence at 11am and poems, prayers and readings until 11.30am.

  • St James Church in West Hanney will hold a remembrance service from 10.45pm. A half-muffled peal of bells will be followed by meditations, prayer and quiet reflection until 11pm, the time that Britain’s ultimatum to Germany expired.
  • EXETER College will be commemorating its 143 students who went to fight in The Great War. On Monday, Rector Frances Cairncross will lead a deputation of staff, students and the college choir to a church in East Peckham, Kent. There they will hold a memorial service for the college’s first student to be killed in the war, Cpt John Norwood, who died on September 8, 1914, his 38th birthday. His family created a memorial for him at the church. In September, staff from the college will attempt to visit the final resting places or memorials of all 143 students in northern France.

Tuesday, August 5

  • THE people of Cholsey will hold an Act of Remembrance on the centenary of the death of each man connected with the village who died during the First World War. At 11am on each of the days, the community will gather in the foyer of Cholsey Pavilion in Station Road to hear about each of the 50 men lost in war and then hold a minute’s silence. A booklet with the details of each man will be on permanent display. The first is on Tuesday and the last will be on Armistice Day, 2018. Each ceremony is open to anyone to attend. For further details please contact the parish clerk on 01491 652255.
  • The Bodicote Royal British Legion branch will meet at the village war memorial to lay wreaths from 10.55am.

Future & longer running events

Now until November 2

  • STORIES from the trenches to Downing Street during the war will be told at Oxford’s Bodleian Library until November 2 this year.
  • Letters and diaries of politicians, including a note from Asquith, soldiers and civilians, all in some way connected with Oxford University, are on display at the exhibition, which covers the outbreak of war until 1916. For more information go to ww1centenary.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ 
  • The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford has invited visitors on a First World War tour “with a difference”. The free 20-minute tour will take place every Wednesday from 3.15pm.
  • The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has a display of First World War coins and medals on display.

Oxford Mail:

A letter written by Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith 

Tuesday, August 5

  • THE newly-opened Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum opens its First World War exhibition, Oxfordshire Remembers 1914-18 (Part One). It will feature 12 display boards on how the Great War affected the county and how its impact is still being felt today. The exhibition will close on August 31, 2015.

Oxford Mail:

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum

Sunday, August 10

  • Lime trees will be planted in The Avenue, in The Wild Garden, in Shipton-under-Wychwood, from 3pm, to honour men from the village who died in the war.

Friday, September 5, to Sunday, September 7

  • Oxford’s English Association will hold its Centenary Conference on British Poetry of the First World War. It will include scholars and members from poetry societies from around the world. Anyone who would like more information should email Prof Tim Kendall at T.Kendall@exeter.ac.uk From Saturday, September 6 from Saturday, September 6, until January 2015 s THE Home Front Henley exhibition will be at the River and Rowing Museum, Henley, from Saturday, September 6, until January 2015. Go to rrm.co.uk for more information and prices.

September 11

THE Museum of Oxford is planning numerous events to mark the centenary.

  • On Thursday, September 11 at 2pm Memories of Oxford Town Hall during Wartime will be held, which is an opportunity for people to meet and reminisce about wartime life.

September 13

  • Staff and volunteers from Oxford University will find out about Oxford people’s experiences during the Great War at an open doors event at Oxford Town Hall from noon to 4pm. At 2.30pm author Margaret Bonfiglioli will give a talk on her book Full of Hope and Fear: The Great War letters of an Oxford Family.

September 20

  • BENSON Parish Council is supporting events in the village and will be telling stories of 10 names that appear on the village war memorial that have been researched by the local history group. The village band starts playing at 10am and the doors close to the public at 5pm. The day will commence with a short commemorative service and conclude with a period musical performance by the Military Wives Choir from RAF Benson.

October 25

  • From 10am to 4pm, the Museum of Oxford is staging a First World War medals exhibition and family history open day with the Order and Medals Research Society.

October 30

THE Museum of Oxford is staging a day for the whole family exploring what life was like in the First World War in Oxford. It will held from 10.30am to 3.30pm. For more information go to oxford.gov.uk/musuemofoxford November 8/9 s THE Astons History Group will be presenting an exhibition as they aim to research the men of Aston Tirrold and Aston Upthorpe who lost their lives during the First World War. They are asking people to get in touch with any information, documents or medals from the war. Contact Judy Barradell-Smith on jbs@techmarketing.co.uk or Anna Dillon on dillon.anna@gmail.com

Oxford Mail:

A poster from the era

November 8

  • Music at Oxford will host a remembrance service at Christ Church Cathedral at 8pm. The cathedral choir will perform Faure’s Requiem and songs by Butterworth, Parry and Vaughn Williams. Go to musicatoxford.com

November 9

  • A guided tour will explain life in Oxford during the First World War. This includes how hundreds of young men immediately signed up and there was an influx of refugees and wounded soldiers. For more information, visit visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com/tours
  • There will be a service of remembrance and commitment at Oxford’s St Giles War Memorial from 10am to 12.30pm. The public can also hear war texts from both sides of the conflict and new choral works will be recited. St John’s Church will hold A Multitude of Voices, presented by Sospiri Choir. For more information, go to sospiri.co.uk/ww1

November 11

  • Music at Oxford will host a remembrance day concert at Christ Church Cathedral. For more information email info@musicatoxford.com

November 18-22

  • Regeneration, a new dramatisation of Pat Barker’s novel about poet Siegfried Sassoon, will be on stage at the Oxford Playhouse from November 18 to 22. It tells the story of the poet and author, who was institutionalised in a war hospital and of the friendships forged. See oxfordplayhouse.com
  • AN exhibition, Siege and Strife: Wallingford and War, will be on display at Wallingford Museum looking at the impact war has had on the town from the marauding Vikings until the 20th century conflicts. It will run until November 29.


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