Afghanistan veteran with medals and child
1 August 2014

SSAFA marks Britain's entry into World War One

SSAFA will be involved in a series of major events in London, Glasgow and Cardiff on Monday 4 August to mark the centenary of World War One.


SSAFA marks Britain's entry into World War One

SSAFA will be involved in a series of major events today, on Monday 4 August, marking Britain's entry into World War One.

Commemorative services held in London, Glasgow and Cardiff on 4th August will be attended by key SSAFA representatives:

  • The First World War Candlelit Vigil at Westminster Abbey on 4th August will be attended by SSAFA Chief Executive David Murray and SSAFA Trustees
  • The National Service of Commemoration for the Commonwealth in Glasgow, will be attended by SSAFA Trustee and Regional Representative for West Scotland, David McAllister
  • The Service of Commemoration at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff will be attended by SSAFA Trustee and Regional Representative for Wales, David Griggs.
  • A Service of remembrance to commemorate the start of WW1 will be held in St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast and will be attended by SSAFA Trustee and Regional Representative for Ireland, Richard Gordon. He will join Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers. During the service, five candles will be lit, each representing a year of the war.

Across the SSAFA network, local branches, committees and volunteers will be taking part in activities and attending services, reflecting on SSAFA’s role supporting Forces families in WW1 and how that support continues to be delivered to veterans and serving personnel and families today. These include:

  • SSAFA Hampshire branch will be at an exhibition held at the Great Hall in Winchester, looking back at Hampshire’s role during the First World War
  • Members of the SSAFA Surrey Branch will be attending a Candlelit Vigil at Guildford Cathedral. It will be attended by their Royal Highnesses, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, The Lord Lt. Dame Sarah Goad (SSAFA, Surrey Branch President) amongst other dignitaries.

On 5 August, SSAFA representatives will attend the Poppies at the Tower event – a unique installation of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London to commemorate those who lost their lives in WW1. SSAFA will be represented at the press launch in the morning and the evening reception later in the day.

10 of August will mark 100 years from when SSAFA launched the National Relief Fund, which raised £5 million in the first eight months of the War and allowed the charity to help over 1.2 million people by the end of 1914. The centenary provides an opportunity for SSAFA to showcase the work we were doing in WW1 and just how relevant we are today.

  • A Drumhead Service to commemorate WW1 will be held at Edinburgh castle on the 10th August followed by a voluntary procession down the Royal Mile, a memorial event in Holyrood Park and a period for personal and community reflection. Members of the public from every local authority area in Scotland will be invited to form the congregation, along with representatives of the military, veterans groups, charities and civic leaders. The event has been designed to reflect how the First World War affected all sections of society.

SSAFA was the only national military charity operating when WW1 started. We have been there for Forces families since 1885, throughout WW1 and through every conflict since. We’re still here providing that support whenever and wherever its needed.

More about SSAFA's World War One story.