Service to commemorate the start of the First World War

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The University will be marking the centenary of British entry to the First World War by attending a Service of Commemoration in Great St Mary's Church, on Monday 4 August at 6pm.

A Deputy for the Lord-Lieutenant will attend, as will the High Sheriff. The Vice-Chancellor and the Mayor will join them on this special occasion, along with other University and Civic Officers, the Heads of the Colleges and representatives of the armed services, the community and heritage groups in the Cambridge area.

The service is open to all. The sermon will be preached by Professor Simon Lee, Executive Director of the Cambridge Theological Federation.

The University’s war list records 13878 former students and staff who served in the First World War. And of these, 2470 were killed – a figure around the same as the entire Cambridge student population at any one time before the war – and their names are recorded on College war memorials.  In addition to the dreadful casualties inflicted, the war was also a catalyst for change, with profound consequences for both the University and wider society.

A number of initiatives, exhibitions and events are planned at the University to mark the centenary of the First World War over the next four years. These include a major project by the University Library to digitise Siegfried Sassoon’s First World War diaries.

During the University’s Open Cambridge weekend from 12 to13 September, there will be exhibitions including one in the Wren Library, Trinity College, on the College and the First World War, plus a talk on Girton students and the two world wars.

More information on University activities to mark the centenary will be available at

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