West Lancashire Borough Council is joining a poignant national tribute to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.
At 11pm on 4 August 1914 Britain declared war on Germany, ushering in one of the darkest periods in our history. As the moment approached Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary at the time, made the famous remark: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
LIGHTS OUT is a poignant UK-wide event that invites everyone to turn off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on 4 August, leaving on a single light or candle for this shared moment of reflection.
The Council is inviting people to come to the War Memorial in Coronation Park, Ormskirk between 10pm and 11pm, where they will be given an electronic candle as they reflect on this solemn anniversary. West Lancashire Mayor Councillor Doreen Stephenson will give a reading to help people gather their thoughts, and the Air and Sea Cadets will be on watch for the hour.
A light will also be left shining on the statue of Queen Elizabeth II which stands in the reception area of the Council’s Derby Street offices to mark the last hour of peace in 1914.
The Remembrance in the park will come after an ecumenical (all religions) church service at Ormskirk Parish Church. This has been organised by the West Lancashire World War 1 Anniversary Association and starts at 7.30pm. Refreshments will be served at the end of the service about 9pm and a slide show presentation will be given about the war.
Councillor Doreen Stephenson, Mayor of West Lancashire, said: “West Lancashire is proud of its links with the armed forces, and many men from the area lost their lives serving their country in World War One. I will be honoured to give a reading in the park this night. The candles and the light in the Council offices will shine like beacons as emotional reminders of the suffering people endured during the Great War.”
Everyone in the UK is invited to take part in LIGHTS OUT by turning off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on 4 August, leaving on a single light or candle. People can take part in whatever way they chose, marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War either individually or by attending one of the many events being organised around the country for a collective experience.
Millions of people are expected to become involved, making LIGHTS OUT one of the largest participatory events of its kind ever seen in the UK. It will complement the candlelit vigil held at Westminster Abbey on 4 August. The lights will be turned off in the Houses of Parliament, and theatre productions including those of the National Theatre’s War Horse will invite their audiences to take part in LIGHTS OUT after their curtain calls.
LIGHTS OUT is the headline project of 14-18 NOW, the official cultural programme for the First World War Centenary Commemorations.
For details about more LIGHTS OUT events in your area you can search the LIGHTS OUT map (external link)