People in Northampton are being asked to light a candle tonight (Monday) to honour those who lost their lives in the First World War.
A number of candlelight vigils are taking place at churches across Northamptonshire as part of the nationwide LIGHTS OUT event.
In Northampton, there will be a special service at All Saints Church from 10pm until 11pm when people will be leaving on a single lamp or candle for a shared moment of reflection.
The heaviest bell at St Lawrence’s Church, Long Buckby will be tolled at 11pm tonight in memory of everyone from the parish (including Long Buckby Wharf) who died in the Great War.
The inspiration for LIGHTS OUT comes from a famous remark made on the eve of the outbreak of war by the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm on August 4, 1914, ushering in one of the darkest periods in our history.
Councillor Jim Harker, leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “The outbreak of the First World War was a very significant moment in our nation’s history and a conflict which greatly affected the people of Northamptonshire.
“I think Lights Out is a poignant commemoration of the moment our country tipped into war a century ago and an occasion people can mark either at home quietly or together with other members of their community.
Meanwhile, the county council’s archives and heritage service has developed a website as a guide to the county’s First World War history and the events that are taking place over the next four years to commemorate it.
The website primarily signposts people to funding opportunities and national projects, but also acts as a local events listing as well as hosting the local stories to have emerged from the conflict.
The site is designed to grow over the next four years as more stories come to light and more events get planned.
However it already contains facts about some of the many county people who played their part such as a photo taken by Fred Lee, a soldier in the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, who captured an aerial image of the trenches, zig-zagging across the countryside.
The website address is www.northamptonshireww1.com
The county council is seeking contributors so if anyone has a story to share, including any pictures, they are asked to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.