Commemorations are taking place across Epping Forest today on the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

A circular poppy field has been created at North Weald Airfield to mark the anniversary.

Colleagues from the Grounds Maintenance planted the seeds at the end of May in a bid to have them flower in time for August 4.

The initiative was part of the Royal British Legion’s Centenary Poppy Campaign which aims to cover the UK with poppies during the centenary period in commemoration of all those who lost their lives in the conflict.

Epping Forest District Council is exhibiting First World War memorabilia donated by people from the district at the Civic Offices in High Street, Epping, which will stay on display until September 4.

District council chairman, Tony Boyce, has also invited residents and businesses to take part in the nationwide ‘Lights Out’ campaign.

The event will see room lights switched off between 10pm and 11pm with a single small light or candle burning in one window.

Cllr Boyce said: “I urge everyone to join in with this project and mark the official commemoration of the Centenary of the First World War.

“If we all join in this could be one of the most dramatic UK wide events ever organised.”

Waltham Abbey Town Council will hold a candlelit vigil at 9.30pm at the Abbey Church in Highbridge Street to mark the occasion.

The event will include music, poetry and readings.

The town council will also be exhibiting photographs and memorabilia from the war from August 22 to 25 at the Town Hall opening at 10am each day.

A drumhead service was also held at St John’s Church in St John’s Road, Epping, on July 27 to mark the occasion.