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A service in Brenchley Gardens, Maidstone starts a series of commemorative events for the First World War

By Angela Cole

Dozens of events will be held to mark the centenary of Britain entering the First World War in the coming days.

A special drumhead service will be held at Maidstone's Brenchley Gardens on Sunday, starting at 8pm with prayers, the Last Post and the names of local men who died in the fighting being read out.

Maidstone during the First World War

It will be followed by a candlelit vigil at nearby St Faith’s Church. Also that day, a photographic exhibition – Maidstone Memories – opens at the Mall and the Royal Star Arcade centres, featuring local images of the wartime era, which will run until Sunday, August 10.

At St Mary’s Church, in West Malling, there will be a vigil from 10pm tomorrow and a display by the Malling Society will run in the church until Monday, August 11.

One of the images in a display at The Mall and the Royal Star Arcade in Maidstone. Picture: Maidstone Area Arts Partnership

There will also be a drumhead service at Calverley Gardens in Tunbridge Wells tomorrow at 3pm for around an hour, attended by veterans, local servicemen and women and dignitaries.

KCC conservation officer Macaulay Bristow works on restoring a poster from the First World War

Kent Voices of the First World, an exhibition featuring posters, pictures and artefacts from the county during the era will open at the Kent History and Library Centre in James Whatman Way, Maidstone, on Monday. It will run until Friday, October 31.

A Big Lunch at Brenchley Gardens bandstand in Maidstone is also planned for Sunday, August 10, between noon and 3pm.

Kent County Council will be observing the national Lights Out event on Monday, when the whole country is encouraged to turn lights off and just leave a candle or lone light burning between 10pm and 11pm. It will be observed at County Hall and the Kent History and Library Centre.

St Luke’s Church in Foley Street, Maidstone, also has a service of remembrance at 3pm on Monday.

There will be an exhibition and themed entertainment at St Mary’s Church, Langley, with wartime-themed entertainment will be held on Saturday, August 9, from 10.30am to 3pm. Donations to Help For Heroes.

A newly-restored war memorial was unveiled in Goudhurst today.

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