Lights to go out for First World War commemoration

Lights in part of Reading’s town centre will be switched off at 10pm tonight to marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The streetlights in outside Reading’s Town Hall will be switched off as part of an hour-long vigil led by the town’s mayor, Cllr Tony Jones.

A single light will be switched on in the Town Hall’s Silverthorne Room between 10pm and 11pm, while the War Memorial outside nearby Forbury Gardens will be the site for  an hour-long candle-lit vigil.

Royal British Legion representatives will join the Mayor at the vigil.

The light switch-off at Town Hall Square and the War Memorial vigil is part of Reading’s own contribution to the national Lights Out campaign, organised to mark 100 years since the Great War began.

Lights Out is an invitation to everyone in the UK to turn off their lights from 10pm until 11pm, leaving on a single light or candle as part of a shared moment of reflection.

When war was declared on August 4, 1914, Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary at the time, said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

Cllr Jones is now inviting Reading residents to mark the centenary by joining in the Lights Out switch-off, or by alternatively joining him and members of the British Legion at the Forbury Gardens War Memorial from 10pm where six candles will be lit and then extinguished in the run-up to 11pm.

He said: “As lights go off all over the United Kingdom, in Reading we are marking this significant moment by switching off the lights in Town Hall Square at 10pm, and at the same time holding our own vigil at Forbury Gardens.

“People across Reading can mark the moment by joining in the national ‘Lights Out’ moment in their own homes. As Mayor of Reading I’d like to extend an invitation to all Reading residents to join me at the Forbury War Memorial where Reading will be holding its own vigil to remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom and democracy.”

For more information in the national Lights Out campaign, visit its website.

Last modified on Monday, 04 August 2014 14:56