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Service of reflection to remember start of the First World War

Malcolm Guite with his poem at Hatley St George church PNL-140408-145200001

Malcolm Guite with his poem at Hatley St George church PNL-140408-145200001

A special service is set to take place at the church of Hatley St George near Gamlingay tonight to remember the start of the First World War.

Acclaimed poet, author, priest and chaplain Malcolm Guite will be at the service to read the poem he wrote for the church, which remembers ‘the young men gunned at Ypres’ from the rural farming communities of Hatley St George and East Hatley.

Other poems written about the war will be read, including Dulce Et Decorum Est written by war poet and soldier Wilfred Owen, along with poems by Rupert Brooke, A E Houseman and Wilfred Gibson.

Wilfred Owen was sent to France on the last day of 1916, and within days was enduring the horrors of the front line: he was killed on 4th November 1918, seven days before Armistice Day.

Along with the poems letters from servicemen who served in the war will be read, together with prayers and moments for reflection.

People attending the service are asked to bring photographs or memorabilia of family members or friends who served in the war and these items will be placed on the altar at the church for a blessing.

After the service, there will be a vigil at the candlelit church to keep watch until 10pm when all but one candle will be extinguished. This special lights out event is initiated by the Royal British Legion and an invitation to everyone in the UK to turn off their lights from 10pm until 11pm, leaving a single light or candle for a shared moment of reflection to mark the 100th anniversary of the date Great Britain entered the First World War.

 

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