A centenary effect is bringing the First World War back into the public sphere in France, even though state authorities have struggled to generate momentum around its national commemorations. First, this article synthesises France's memory of the First World War, comparing it with Australian commemoration, arguing that it is generally consensual and that, to date, there has been an absence of debate over its commemoration. Second, it examines the Mission du Centenaire, France's official board for the commemoration of the centenary of the Great War, the key commemorations announced and the articulations between local, national and international commemorative events. Finally, the article analyses the economic rationale behind the French authorities’ desire for an internationalised centenary, the political messages articulated through the memory of the conflict and the level of popular interest in the centenary commemorations since 2013.
- First World War centenary