The First World War (WWI) or the 'Great War' was the first international conflict on a global scale. It took place from 28 July 1914 until 11 November 1918. Millions of soldiers and civilians from nearly 50 countries lost their lives. All over the world ‘Flanders Fields’ has come to be associated with a history of unprecedented human suffering and material destruction. As many Britons lost their lives in Flanders Fields, the memory to the war and the victims remains strong both in Flanders and in the United Kingdom.
Therefore, the commemoration of the First World War in the United Kingdom is very important to the General Representation. Since 2002 the annual 'Flanders Remembers' remembrance concert is organised in London and many different initiatives by Flemish and British organisations have been supported. The establishment of the 'Flanders Fields Memorial Garden' in 2014 in London is a remaining sign of remembrance and friendship between Flanders and the UK. Furthermore, the Representation is involved in many lectures, events and ceremonies linked to the commemoration of the First World War.
The Government of Flanders has taken numerous initiatives in order to commemorate the Great War Centenary2014-2018 in a fitting and respectful manner and invested heavily in renovation, restoration and maintenance of WWI sites and museums in order to welcome the many visitors to the Flanders Fields area. Throughout commemoration initiatives, Flanders emphases the themes of peace, reconciliation, tolerance, intercultural dialogue and international understanding.