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One hundred years on, time to remember war dead

By Alan Smith

Are you the relative or descendant of one of the thousands of First World War servicemen from the borough of Maidstone who gave their lives in the conflict of 1914 to 1918?

It's almost 100 years since the start of Britain's most devastating war

There will be a commemorative drumhead service in Brenchley Gardens, Maidstone, on Sunday, August 3, which will be the eve of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of war in 1914.

The organisers would like people to submit the names and brief details of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and who previously had lived or worked in the borough, so that their names can be read out at the service.

The event will be attended by cadets, veterans and members of the RBL, as well as many of the town’s great and good.

The Rev Andrew Royal will conduct the prayers, starting at 8pm, to be followed by the Last Post at 8.45pm.

When no church was available for a service, a temporary alter would traditionally be constructed from the regiment's drums

Many people are expected to then move on to the nearby St Faith’s Church, where there will be a candlelit vigil, ending at 11pm, when the last candle will be snuffed out in a symbolic reflection of the prophetic remark by the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey to his friend John Spender, editor of the Westminster Gazette, on the eve of the First World War.

Sir Edward famously observed: “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

Any local families who would like their loved ones’ name included on the list to be read should email ajsmith@thekmgroup.co.uk

A drumhead service during the Second World War
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