Lights Out! Candlelit vigil in Seaham to commemorate start of First World War

Derek Bland of Fox Cover Court, Parkside, Seaham with his First World War Memorial candle.
Derek Bland of Fox Cover Court, Parkside, Seaham with his First World War Memorial candle.
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WEARSIDERS are getting ready to light the flame of remembrance to commemorate the start of the First World War.

At 10am on Monday, August 4, scores of people are expected at a candlelit vigil at the cenotaph in Terrace Green, Seaham, to mark the day when Great Britain declared war on Germany in 1914.

It is part of a national campaign, called LIGHTS OUT, led by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s cultural programme 14-18 NOW, and supported by the Royal British Legion (RBL).

People around the country are being invited to switch off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on August 4, which RBL Northumbria county committee member Derek Bland said would be a poignant occasion.

He said: “It will be quite a touching event, and we are hoping for a big turnout.

“I think it is an important occasion, and has had a good reception from people who know about it so far. We want to bring people’s attention to the fact that we are there to acknowledge all those who lost their lives during the First World Way and mark the beginning of the conflict.”

Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm on August 4, 1914, ushering in one of the darkest periods in our history.

The inspiration for LIGHTS OUT comes from a remark made on the eve of the outbreak of war by Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, who said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our life-time”.

Iconic buildings and landmarks such as Blackpool Illuminations, the Houses of Parliament, the Eden Project, the Imperial War Museums and Tower Bridge will turn off their lights.