EARLS High School is starting four years of World War One commemorations on Saturday - the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

The "shot that rang round the world" by Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914, sparked the events which led to the declaration of The Great War and the subsequent deaths of several former Earls High School pupils.

A booklet is being produced chronicling the Earls High School staff and former pupils who gave the ultimate sacrifice and the school's memorial will be rededicated.

Each Earls High School educational department is marking World War One through a variety of projects.

Vice principal Rob Kew said: "We were inspired to set up the commemoration activities to remember the staff and students from Earls High School who died in the First World War and who are remembered on the war memorial in school."

He added: "It is a sobering thought that many of them were the same age as our students now when the conflict began.

"There will be a variety of activities over the next four years which will include a large display, visits, a book which tells the story of the boys behind the names on the memorial and a rededication of the memorial itself."

The original memorial dedication was made by the then Lord Cobham.

He said: “If we and all future generations of Halesowenians bear this in mind whenever we look at the memorial tablet then it will be for us not an incitement to aggressive militarism, not a vindication of war, but an enduring monument to those old boys of the school who, hating cruelty and violence, realised the inevitability of war.

"They put aside aside consideration of their own comfort and security, died in their devotion to their homes and their country.”