First World War Commemoration in Liverpool from 12 – 14 September

A special programme of commemorative events to mark 100 years since the beginning of the First World War takes place in Liverpool city centre from Fri 12 – Sun 14 September.

The Merseyside First World War Commemoration will take place at key central venues – Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, St John’s Gardens, St George’s Hall and Exchange Flags.

The events have been organised by The First World War Commemoration Task Group. The group is made up of representatives from the six Local Authorities of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, as well as the Ministry of Defence and organisations including SSAFA and the Royal British Legion.

The weekend programme begins on Friday 12 September with a private lunchtime concert at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. More than 600 pupils from primary schools across the six boroughs will set the scene through specially chosen songs, drama, dance and poetry from the WW1 era.

This will be followed by a number of public events during the remainder of the weekend. The programme is the first in a series of commemorative events taking place across Merseyside over the next four years to mark key dates and events throughout the history of the First World War.

Visitors to St John’s Gardens on Saturday 13 September between 10am and 5pm will be transported back to 1914 to learn what life was really like at the time of the outbreak of the First World War at WW1 Commemoration Day. And a real highlight will be a special guest appearance from The Band of the Grenadier Guards, who will give a half-hour performance in St John’s Gardens at 11am prior to their full concert in St George’s Hall later on. The band has not performed in Merseyside in living memory, so this is one event not to miss.

WW1 Commemoration Day is a free educational and nostalgic family experience to give visitors a fascinating insight into many aspects of life in 1914, including housing, clothing, transport, entertainment, public health and the rise of women at this time. This will be done through exhibitions, stalls and live performances. It will also explore what the Call to Arms meant to thousands of families in and around the (old) counties of Lancashire and Cheshire.

Activities at WW1 Commemoration Day at St John’s Gardens include Sefton CVS & Sefton Council telling the story of the borough during WW1; Royal British Legion will advise people how to find military records for family members; Knowsley Council will showcase its Big Heritage WW1 workshop and mini museum; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will assist search for historic records, index data records, a storytelling area about WW1 life and a photobooth to try period clothing; National Museums Liverpool invites people to look up their family history on the NML database containing the biographical details of 80,000 men who served in the King’s Regiment during WW1 and The City of Liverpool Lions Club is hosting a display of the work of Blind Veterans UK.

The Band of the Grenadier Guards will play a full concert filled with the music which has made them a national treasure for more than three centuries. The concert is a fundraising event for SSAFA, and takes place in the magnificent Great Hall of St George’s Hall at 7.30pm on Saturday 13 September. Throughout Britain’s history, the music of the Grenadier Guards has been the backdrop to national life and identity. They are regarded as one of the world’s finest military bands, with sounds to fill spectators with a real sense of national pride.

The concert will also feature the sounds of mass choir, Song Merseyside. The group is made up from a number of local choirs, including Sing Our Socks Off, Pacific Swing, Vox Swing, St Helen’s Singers and individual singers, who will perform and entertain guests as they arrive at St George’s Hall.

A poignant Drumhead Service at Exchange Flags will conclude the weekend programme on Sunday 14 September. The service will remember the ceremonies that soldiers of all faiths and beliefs received before they went to War in 1914. The public service takes place between 12pm and 12.45pm on Sunday 14 September at Exchange Flags.

The Drumhead Service originates from when Military Chaplains in the field used the drums of their battalion or regimental band to construct a makeshift altar, so that they could hold religious services close to where the troops were positioned. The drums were covered by either a simple cloth or a flag and topped by a simple cross.

Councillor Roy Gladden, Chair of the First World War Commemoration Task Group said: “I hope that as many people as possible will come together to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War.

“This commemorative event will give a small but very informative insight to the generations of today of what life was like at the time of the outbreak of the First World War.

“This commemorative event recognises all the Commonwealth countries that were involved during WW1 and representatives from each have been invited to attend.”
For further information please visit


WW1 Commemoration Day
St Johns Gardens, William Brown Street (Behind St Georges Hall), Liverpool
Saturday 13 September 2014
Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Tickets: Free Event

The Band of the Grenadier Guards
St George’s Hall, St George’s Pl, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 1JJ
Saturday 13 September 2014
Time: 6.30pm (doors) | 7.30pm (show)
Tickets: £20.00 (Inc Booking Fee)
Purchase in person at TicketQuarter, Queen Square, Liverpool, online at or on 0844 800 0410 or at St George’s Hall Shop 0151 225 6909
Tickets can be bought on the night of the concert

Drumhead Service
Exchange Flags, Liverpool, L2 3YL
Sunday 14 September 2014
Time: 12:00pm – 12:45pm
Tickets: Free Event

Liverpool Waterfront