“The lamps are going out…”

"The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time" - Sir Edward Grey, August 1914

Today, 4 August 2014, is the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War. No veterans survive, and the centenarians who were alive in 1914 are unlikely to have been old enough to have many memories of that time. It is important therefore to commemorate, collectively, the events of 1914-1918 – the history made, the lessons learnt, the stories held in families and places all over the world.

To this end, there is a four year programme of commemorative events and creative endeavour taking place across the country, with all kinds of interesting and educational projects.

Toby's Room by Pat Barker    In the teeth of the wind, by CPO Bartlett    Because you died, by Vera Brittain    The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West

Being a library service, we have of course compiled a series of book lists – both fiction and non-fiction – relating to WW1. The lists each have a subject focus, eg: the aftermath of war, the home front, or military history. Take a look – you can get to each list by using the drop down box on the First World War reading list page. When you see a book you’d like to read, click on ‘Find in my library’ for more details.

First World War reading lists on the Westminster Libraries catalogue

First World War reading lists on the Westminster Libraries catalogue – click on the drop down list (where it says ‘WW1: War poets and poetry’) to choose another list, such as ‘Crime fiction set in and around the war’.

Another way to find out about WW1 is via our extensive collection of online resources:

War Game by Michael ForemanA previous post described four ‘Westminster Heroes’ and the Lights Out campaign. A longer-term educational project led by Westminster City Archives, working across the Triborough area (Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham) and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund is ‘Playing the Game: Football on the battlefields of the First World War‘.

The project uses the narrative of Michael Foreman’s award winning children’s book ‘War Game’, building up to the Christmas Truce of 1914. The fictional story is put into context by introducing real soldier’s stories and the wider history of World War One.

The Playing the Game website is live and really worth a look – it includes soldier’s stories, images, educational resources and this documentary video:


“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time”

– Sir Edward Grey, August 1914


[Ali]

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