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First World War centenary: Events this weekend and on Monday set to commemorate the anniversary of Britain declaring war on Germany

File photo dated 01/11/1915 of a British soldier paying his respects at the grave of a colleague near Cape Helles, where the Gallipoli landings took place. [Picture: PA] File photo dated 01/11/1915 of a British soldier paying his respects at the grave of a colleague near Cape Helles, where the Gallipoli landings took place. [Picture: PA]

Saturday, August 2, 2014
9:00 AM

The “war to end all wars” is set to be commemorated through a series of events being held from this weekend onwards.

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Monday marks 100 years since Britain declared war on Germany and the country was thrust into the First World War – a conflict which killed approximately 17 million military personnel and civilians.

Havering’s events kick off with the Military and Flying Machines Show, which is running today and tomorrow at Damyns Hall Aerodrome, in Aveley Road, Upminster.

The annual event, open from 10am to 5pm on both days, will feature aircraft from the “Great War” for the first time.

The borough’s main service, a multi-faith civic service, will take place on Monday evening.

From 7.30pm at St Edward’s Church, in the Market Place, Romford, Father David Anderson and Rabbi Lee Sunderland will lead residents in remembering the war’s soldiers.

Earlier in the day, Hornchurch will host its own special service.

It will not only commemorate the 211 men from the town who died in the conflict, but also four Maori soldiers who are buried at St Andrew’s Church.

Privates Vasau, 22, Filitoua, 22, Taleva, 25, and rumoured royal prince Moki, 21, were among 102 Maoris who came from the island of Niue, in the South Pacific, to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at the Grey Towers mansion in 1916.

But they found it difficult to adjust to the climate and many died from pneumonia.

The service will take place outside the church, in High Street, from 11am.

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