THE centenary of the start of the First World War will be marked by a silent vigil at Colchester’s Castle Park war memorial.

A website will also be created for organisations to provide details of planned events, between August 4 this year and 2018.

The war started on August 4 1914 and ended on November 11, 2018.

The plans emerged from a public meeting called by Colchester’s MP Sir Russell to discuss how the centenary event should be commemorated.

Representatives from Colchester Garrison, The Royal British Legion, cadets, historians and others with an interest in the First World War attended.

Sir Bob said: “It is important to stress that this is a commemoration, not a celebration. A war is not a cause for celebration.

“The precise time of the silent vigil, perhaps lasting no more than five minutes, is likely to be at 7pm on Monday August 4.

“War with Germany officially commenced at 11pm British time, midnight in Berlin, but gathering so late is perhaps not a good idea.

”There will be no bands, laying of wreaths or carrying of colours. The idea is very much one of folk gathering in silence, perhaps with a couple of prayers, for just a few minutes.”

The war memorial at the main entrance to Castle Park records that 1,248 men from Colchester lost their lives in the First World War, a proportion of its population greater than any other town in the eastern counties.

The website for the Colchester First World War centenary commemorations will be prepared by local historian Jess Jephcott.