OPINION: Great tribute to centenary

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Anyone with even the vaguest sense of history will know how the First World War changed the country we live in today.

On Monday, August 4, it will be precisely 100 years to the day that Great Britain declared war on Germany so beginning a four-year campaign that would see the deaths of millions of young men on the fields of France and Belgium.

If you’ve seen the Thiepval Memorial in northern France to the Missing of the Somme – which has the names of 72,195 missing British and South African men who died in the Battles of the Somme inscribed upon it – you cannot fail to be moved by the magnitude of the loss.

A 100 years is a long time ago. But it is right we pay our respects to those that paid the ultimate price in fighting for King and Country.

Special church services are also planned around this weekend to mark the centenary, with one of the largest due to take place at Sheffield Cathedral on Sunday from 10.30am.

And on Monday communities will take part in the Royal British Legion’s national Lights Out initiative, in which people are being asked to turn off their lights and use candles instead for an hour between 10pm and 11pm.

It is a fitting tribute.