A festival to promote reading, engage new library users and encourage people to explore and celebrate their city will launch next month.

Richmond libraries hosts a special programme of events throughout April as part of Cityread London 2014.

Libraries across the borough are hosting talks, events and workshops for the month-long celebration of literature to the theme of World War One.

Talks will include the stories of people commemorated on the Petersham and Teddington war memorials, the uniform, clothing and trappings of the time and the life of Captain Flora Sandes - the only Western Woman to enlist.

Stephen Cooper, who wrote the Final Whistle: The Great War in Fifteen Players, will tell the story of 15 Rosslyn Park Rugby Club players killed in the war and District 6 Theatre Group will explore the contributions of soldiers of different races.

Children can get involved by putting making comic strips from the war and learning about the propaganda posters of the time.

The festival’s main title is World War One novel My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young, selected along with the theme to mark the centenary of the outbreak of war through literature.

Richmond Council’s cabinet member for culture, Councillor Gareth Evans, says: “This is a wonderful opportunity to promote our libraries as well as the programme of events we have planned for World War One.

“In Richmond we have a strong World War One legacy and we will never forget the price that was paid by all involved.”

Cityread London 2014; Libraries across the borough; Friday, April 4, to Thursday, May 1; Some events free others up to £8; For more information and to book visit richmond.gov.uk/cityread_london_events.htm.