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World War One centenary plans unveiled

A British soldier pays his respects at the grave of a colleague in 1915. Photo: PA

World War One left more to mourn than celebrate but next year will mark the centenary of its start.

A major programme of events to commemorate this momentous landmark was unveiled by the government today.

It includes a reconciliation ceremony at the cemetery where the war's first and last military casualties are buried.

The grave of Private George Ellison - the last British military casualty of the Great War. Credit: ITV News/Darren Burn

Paul Davies reports from Belgium, where he spoke to the granddaughters of Private George Ellison - the last British military casualty before the ceasefire.

World War One centenary events

  • 4 August 2014 - A service at Glasgow Cathedral for Commonwealth leaders to mark Britain's entry into the war. A candlelit vigil will be held at Westminster Abbey at the end of the day.
  • 1 July 2016 - Events will be held to mark the Battle of the Somme. Further events will also mark the battles of Jutland, Gallipoli, Passchendaele.
  • 11 November 2018 - The centenary will finish on Armistice Day.

More than £5 million will also be spent to send two students and a teacher from every state-funded secondary school in England to the battlefields of the Western Front between spring next year and March 2019.