The commemorations of the centenary of the First World War were hugely successful, engaging a significant proportion of the population across all parts of the UK. Our inquiry found that the experience has changed approaches to commemorations for many of the organisations involved.
The success of the projects at national and local level was far greater than expected. The DCMS must now take the opportunity to evaluate, record and disseminate key learnings around the role of the arts, engaging with children and young people, reaching diverse audiences, nurturing the community connections that have been made and preserving the digital assets of the commemorations.
The centenary was the first time a “Prime Minister’s Special Representative” role was created to support to co-ordination and delivery of commemorative events. Rt Hon Dr Andrew Murrison MP was appointed to serve in this position throughout the period of the First World War centenary anniversaries and played a key role in galvanising activity and securing political support, including across the four nations of the United Kingdom. The Government should consider how this model can best be deployed for major programmes of commemoration in the future.
Published: 16 July 2019