Press release

World War I Centenary – Culture Secretary Maria Miller names first members of advisory group to oversee plans

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Culture Secretary Maria Miller today announced the names of those that will serve on the prestigious centenary advisory board.

The board will oversee the progress towards - and delivery of - the Government’s nationwide programme of events and educational initiatives to mark the centenary of World War I in 2014.

£50 million has been committed from Government and National Lottery funds to support centenary commemorations, which will include everything from education initiatives to refurbishing First World War galleries at the Imperial War Museum.  The Government’s principal partners in this will be the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Imperial War Museum.

The advisory group, to be chaired by the Culture Secretary, will have their first meeting shortly.

Their remit will be simple: to provide expertise, innovation and advice for the creation of commemorations worthy of the historic centenary of World War I.

The Advisory Board will include:

  • Pat Barker, novelist and author of the Regeneration Trilogy;

  • Admiral Lord Boyce, former First Sea Lord, Chief of the Naval Staff and Chief of the Defence Staff;

  • Professor Michael Burleigh, academic, author and historian;

  • Sir Menzies Campbell MP;

  • General Lord Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff;

  • Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Special representative for Northern Ireland;

  • Sebastian Faulks, broadcaster, novelist and author of Birdsong;

  • Field Marshal Lord Guthrie, former Chief of defence staff;

  • Sir Deian Hopkin, Special representative for Wales and President of the National Library of Wales;

  • Baron King of Bridgwater, former Defence Secretary;

  • David McDonough, Chairman of the PR consultancy The McDonough Partnership;

  • Dr Andrew Murrison MP, the Prime Minister’s special representative in the planning for the centenary;

  • The Very Reverend June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury;

  • Air Chief Marshall ‘Jock’ Stirrup, former Chief of Defence Staff;

  • Brigadier Professor Hew Strachan, the Scottish military historian; and

  • Keith Simpson MP, Member of Parliament for Broadland.

Further members of the group will be confirmed in due course, including a Scottish Government representative, while others may be co-opted as and when required by the Chairman.

Culture Secretary, Maria Miller said: “Every year at this time our thoughts turn to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and the loved ones they left behind.  Memories of those who gave their lives in World War I still live on in homes up and down the country and in the hearts of people from all walks of life.  This is absolutely how it should be.  We must never forget their sacrifice, and we have a duty to ensure that our children and grandchildren do not forget it either.

“The national programme to mark the centenary of World War I will help ensure that this happens, and the advisory board with the expertise and enthusiasm it brings, will keep the work on track.  Everyone, especially schoolchildren, should get the chance to understand what happened all those years ago, how it came about and what it tells us about how we live our lives today.”

Notes to Editors

  1. On 11 October the Prime Minister set out the Government’s plans to mark the event. With over £50 million in funding, the four-year programme will take the form of:
* National commemorative events to mark the anniversary of the start of the First World War in 2014, the first day of the Battle of the Somme (2016) and Armistice Day(2018);  
  
* The opening, in 2014, of refurbished First World War Galleries at the Imperial War Museum in London;   
  
* £5.3 million, jointly funded by the Department for Education and the Department for Communities and Local Government, which will allow two student ambassadors, plus a teacher, from each maintained school in England to visit First World War battlefields and undertake research on local people to their school who fought in the War;   
  1. The Prime Minister also announced in his speech on the 11th October the introduction of an advisory board of unremunerated senior figures to be chaired by Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

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