GLOUCESTERSHIRE County Council will mark the 100th anniversary since the outbreak of the First World War by remembering those who served both in this conflict and in others since.
At a full council meeting yesterday, Wednesday, county councillors passed a unanimous motion to pay tribute to everyone who played a part in the First World War and in particular the sacrifice of local people.
The council agreed to support the county’s centenary celebrations on Monday, August 4 led by the Lord Lieutenant Dame Janet Trotter.
During the meeting councillors acknowledged the importance of sharing the realities of war with the next generation.
District councils, schools and community groups will be encouraged to apply for a grant from the Heritage Lottery to support local centenary celebrations.
In addition, the council will reach out to veterans and their families to thank them and pay tribute to all the charities that help members of the armed forces and their families in Gloucestershire.
Councillors also agreed to join the First World War Centenary Partnership, a network of over 1,800 local, regional, national and international cultural and education organisations led by the Imperial War Museums.
This provides a network of resources to organise commemoration events and activities.
Cllr Paul McMahon (Lab, Coleford) who proposed the motion, said: “It’s only right that we remember and pay our respects to those brave men and women who served their country during this terrible conflict, and importantly, to those who were injured and made the ultimate sacrifice.
“It’s especially important that we seek to tell Gloucestershire’s children and young people of the sad realities of war and the need to try and ensure it does not happen again.”
Leader of the council Mark Hawthorne said: “It is important we remember the sacrifice of all those countless millions who gave their lives in the First World War and in all the conflicts that have taken place over the last century.
“Each and every one of us takes for granted the freedom we have today, freedom that we couldn’t always be so certain of.
“It’s our duty to remember the sacrifice that people made for us and never forgotten.” Cllr John Cordwell (Lib Dem, Wotton-under-Edge) said: “This is something that’s close to many of our hearts. My own father and two brothers were all involved in the First World War – as were many of the relatives of our community. It’s important that we all remember.”
Leader of the UKIP group, cllr Alan Preest, said: “We are all one hundred percent behind the decision to support First World War centenary celebrations.
“As ex-forces myself, it was great to hear everyone’s tributes to the day and that we were all in agreement that it’s important to appropriately mark the event.”
Cllr David Prince, leader of the Independent group, said: “The impact of the First World War was felt by every community in the country.
“It was a cruel and brutal conflict and one that we all need to remember. We must especially remember the bravery of men and women who fought and died, without this bravery our country might be a very different place today.
WAs we reach the 100th anniversary, Gloucestershire residents young and old should spare a few moments to reflect on the brave service of our personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their life.”