The centenary of World War One begins this year to mark the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the war that shaped the world as we know it.
Dudley Council is compiling an online collection of local stories and photographs from the war that will be added to as the four years go on.
:: more on how to send in your own stories and images
In the Dudley borough, a number of activities have been planned and are in discussion to commemorate the centenary. It is of huge local, national and international importance, and it’s only too easy for borough residents to get involved.
There will be a civic service on 1 August at St Thomas and St Luke’s Church in Dudley, with added significance placed on the First World War.
Three men from the borough were awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest military accomplishment. A national campaign to commemorate these men means that there will be paving stones laid in their birthplaces.
:: more on Victoria Cross recipients
Dudley Museum and Art Gallery will be putting on a huge, four year exhibition running from the beginning of the war on 4 August until 11 November 2018. It will be based on the local community and their efforts during the war.
The annual Armed Forces Day on 29 June will hold a special significance this year as they honour the men who died for us in the First World War. There are also plans for a re-enactment of signing up to go to war which will be performed by Dudley Army Cadet Force.
The Black Country Living Museum is planning to host a series of family activities to teach local people about the role they would have played during the war. These will run throughout the duration of the centenary, with particular focus on school holidays.
These are just some of the many events already planned for the centenary. The focus is not just on remembering the men who fell but those who lived, and the people they had to leave behind at home. The war did not just affect the men in the trenches, it was of huge significance at home, affecting women’s rights, rationing, the workplace, even the time – British Summer Time was introduced in 1916 so that farmers had an extra hour of daylight in their fields.