i Editor's Letter: i commemorates the centenary of Britain’s declaration of war on Germany


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The Independent Online


Monday brings the centenary of Britain’s declaration of war on Germany. One hundred years ago, huge crowds gathered outside Buckingham Palace to cheer the King and Queen. Few had any idea that nine million people were about to die.

In tomorrow’s i, our Paris correspondent, John Lichfield, has a remarkable tale for you: the story behind the lost portraits of the Somme, a cache of photographs found in French attics almost a  century after humanity’s bloodiest  battle. When John first recovered some of these pictures five years ago, they generated interest around the world and were viewed millions of times on our sister website, independent.co.uk. We now have hundreds more. And he has traced the haunting images of these men, captured on the eve of conflict, back to a single amateur photographer who lived eight miles behind the frontlines.

Robert Fisk is billed to write for your Monday paper. Our team of reporters will cover the day’s commemorations, at Glasgow Cathedral, Liège, Mons and Westminster Abbey. On Monday night, there will be a UK-wide “Lights Out”, where we are all encouraged to turn off our lights between 10pm and 11pm, to mark the exact moment when Britain declared war.

Today, Andy Bell writes on  tracing his grandfather’s footsteps through the trenches of Passchendaele.

Lastly, from tomorrow morning,  i’s recent series “A History of the Great War in 100 Moments” will be  available for you to buy as an e-book,  through Amazon, the iBookstore and Kobo. It will work on an array of devices – e-readers, mobiles,  tablets, laptops, PCs. More details at independent.co.uk/ebooks.