PRAYERS, prose, poetry and music will take place at Salisbury Cathedral today to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War.

There will also be prayers every hour on the hour and readings every half an hour, alongside a programme of events throughout the day.

A special contribution will be the reading of some letters to and from a cathedral member’s father who was posted to the frontline when serving as a Royal Engineer throughout the war.

Three spaces will be set aside in the cathedral as special focus points: the Trinity Chapel, the North Transept around a First World War inspired flower arrangement and in the St Michael Chapel where the Role of Honour for all Wars is being compiled.

Prayers and readings will be available at each of these points.

Visitors are invited to drop in at any point during the day from 10.30am to 11pm.

Following evensong where the music will reflect the commemoration, there will be a short liturgy to begin the programmed evening vigil.

Interspersed with intervals of quiet, readings, prayers and specially- chosen music performed by some of the cathedral’s musicians will take place until 10.30pm when 100 candles will be lit.

The final liturgy will take place at 10.45pm to observe the extinguishing of the lamps at 11pm.

The Dean of Salisbury, The Very Reverend June Osborne, said: “The centenary commemorations of the First World War are immensely important both to the families of this country and throughout the nations of the Commonwealth.

“The cathedral’s long association with military regiments and our own evocative memorials of individuals and events enable us to play a key role in those commemorations.

“From the outbreak of war, to the battles which claimed such sacrifice of life, through to the Armistice and a changed world, we will be remembering and honouring our past and looking forward in hope.”