Great War centenary marked by dark hour

TURN OUT THE LIGHTS: Cllr Carole Topple with a candle to raise awareness of the Lights Out initiative marking the centenary of the war. Picture by Paul Jackson.

TURN OUT THE LIGHTS: Cllr Carole Topple with a candle to raise awareness of the Lights Out initiative marking the centenary of the war. Picture by Paul Jackson.

First published in News by

PEOPLE across the Cotswolds will be taking part in a poignant commemoration to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

Gloucestershire County Council, Cotswold and West Oxfordshire District Councils will join millions of people across the country to take part in the Lights Out event on Monday, August 4.

The event will see people turn off their lights between 10pm and 11pm, leaving on either a single candle or light as a mark of respect and to reflect on the significance of the historic date. Gloucestershire County Council’s Shire Hall will turn all the lights in the building off, with just a single candle illuminating reception.

And single lights will be left on inside Cotswold District Council’s Trinity Road headquarters in Cirencester and the Area Office in Moreton.

Councillor Carole Topple, cabinet member responsible for communities, said: “These simple acts of remembrance will commemorate an event that had an enormous impact across the globe, and is still relevant to people today.

“We are publicising the Lights Out initiative across the Cotswolds with the aim of encouraging towns, parishes and community groups to participate.”

The large-scale event will echo the famous words spoken 100 years ago by the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey: “The lamps are goingout all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

Organisations including the BBC and the Royal British Legion have already pledged their support, and iconic buildings such as the Houses of Parliament, the Eden Project, the Imperial War Museums and Tower Bridge will turn off their lights.

Jenny Harris, former Moreton town councillor, is organising a special event by the town’s war memorial on August 4 where four candles will be lit and extinguished.

For Lights Out events, visit 1418NOW.org.uk/lightsout

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