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UK marks World War I centenary

CCTV.com

08-05-2014 20:11 BJT

Monday saw both somber and celebratory events across the UK, all marking one hundred years since the country joined World War One. None of the soldiers who fought in the Great War are still alive, but it was still a day for retired army veterans to stand in the spotlight and many took to the streets of London, to take part in a vintage car parade.

Dozens of cars from World War, back in action. A hundred years ago, many were used to take army officers to the front lines.

Their passengers today -- the famous Chelsea Pensioners --- veteran soldiers from the British Army, who are now looked after in a London nursing home.

None saw action in the First World War... but many have fought in battles since then.

"That went all the way through the war. Too many people got killed. We're here to commemorate that so we don't any more have wars," said retired British soldier Billy Baxer.

The cars define an era that's long gone. They've been lovingly preserved, but amid the style and the sheen, it's easy to forget the ruthlessness and bloodshed of a century ago, when 15 million people lost their lives.

"I hate it. That was the most disastrous war ever," said a spectator Julie Harris.

"Because lives were destroyed, families were ruined. It's beyond one's mind," said a spectator Cliff Bourland.

On August the fourth, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. Over the following four years, it's thought more than 17 million soldiers and civilians died, from the countries that took part.

Huge poppy installation at Tower Of London

Events were held across London and the country. The famous Tower of London was draped in hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies, creating a river and waterfall effect.

Poppies have long been used in Britain to commerorate World War 1. The art installation, called "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red," features eight hundred and eighty eight thousand, two hundred and forty six ceramic poppies - one for every British and Commonwealth soldier who died during the conflict.

Created by artist Paul Cummins, they'll be on show throughout the summer.

The famous Tower of London was draped in hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies, creating a river and waterfall effect.

The famous Tower of London was draped in hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies, creating a river and waterfall effect.

The famous Tower of London was draped in hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies, creating a river and waterfall effect.

The famous Tower of London was draped in hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies, creating a river and waterfall effect.

The famous Tower of London was draped in hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies, creating a river and waterfall effect.

The famous Tower of London was draped in hundreds of thousands of ceramic poppies, creating a river and waterfall effect.

 

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