WW1 Centenary

Great War Centenary 2014-2018 website by Paul Reed

Lights Out: Remembering The Start of the Great War

1 Comment

The next few days sees the final countdown to the start of the official commemoration of the actual Centenary of the Great War. On this day a hundred years ago German troops were mobilising for the invasion of France which would start the road to war for Great Britain when they passed through Belgium revoking that country’s neutrality, a neutrality safeguarded by Britain and the Treaty Of London. Britain’s upholding of that Treaty led to the declaration of war on 4th August 1914.

The first major event for the start of the British WW1 Centenary on 4th August is a multi-national service of remembrance at St Symphorien Cemetery near Mons, and later that evening the Lights Out event when,

“… 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 for a shared moment of reflection.

People can take part in whatever way they choose, 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.”

The Lights Out event has attracted a great deal of public interest and was even featured on the popular BBC Radio 4 drama The Archers, but not everyone has found the idea behind the event appealing. In a Blog post, Professor Gary Sheffield called it a ‘ludicrous gimmick’.

But what is clear the public seem highly engaged with projects like Lights Out and if nothing else it is a way for people to remember the Great War, and the people in their family affected by it, in their own personal way. What it tells us about the Great War remains to be seen.

Read more about Lights Out and follow the Twitter feed that supports the project. There is also an App that can be downloaded for smart phones.


Author: ww1centenary

Military Historian & author who works in Television: visiting & interpreting battlefields all over the world. Currently working on WW1 projects for 2014-18.

One thought on “Lights Out: Remembering The Start of the Great War

  1. I truly believe this to be a heart warming idea, But let me say first, I do not believd in the idea that we should celabrate the first world war as we are.
    To hear the people go on about the start of the war and make such a big thing about it nis wrong, The END of the WAR YES, !!!!!!!!.
    I have read many, and i mean many true stories of soldiers in the trenches, What comes across to me is a lot did not want to go to war, A lot came from towns and villages that were close knite communities where every one knew everyone, so if they did not march out of the village following the local colours they were classed as cowards, and as we ALL know people can be very GRUEL with words, and as with the BOAR WAR the trick of the white feather s was stil very strong.
    Young men fromj what i have read from letters were bullied into signing up by regimental Sargeant Mayors, as they were told they had to have a tally of men each village they went through.
    First let me say if i was born at a age to go to war at that time, I myself would have went as well, so i am not pulling any one down.
    That is apart from our Goverment.
    I have read a lot of army reports as thats my f/h work , and time and time again i find this men at the front were lead by ( sorry to use these words, and Not All officers were like this ) brain dead officers, Who went to war useing manuals from the Boar war.
    We had a few very fine officers and brave ones, but they were over taken by men who had bought themselves into the army because parents were well off.
    Time and time again in history books of regiments through out the war, 1st and 2nd we have in our English regiments a form of snobbery, I have seen it so often in regiments i have been involved with.
    Thats alright in peace time, but not in war time. We have just seen a program three times laterly on t,v, on t,v, and on radio about a black major who worked his way up.
    I dont want to spend all the rest of this mail on this but he was treat disgracefully by other officers and men.
    Who the H** cares what colour a mans skin is ( thats what is wrong with this world and the American army in both wars ) but he went out into no-mans land a few times to bring back men who were shot ans injered, Sorry i am getting man as i write this, He in the end was shot and left out in no-mans land dead.
    What a brave man he was, Now this is what sickens me and its not the only type of true story i have traced up,
    He was not given a medal or even wrote up in despatches, Just because he was black.
    Yes one of the stories on T, V, went a bit far and added a bit that was not true, but it still comes down to one thing, THE SNOBBRY in the brittish army.
    Please dont tel me its not there, I have seen it so many times when being with differant regiments and reading army true stories.
    I have been very lucky the Officers i have met with my dad and after he past on were good men, and i was proud to know them.
    but thats present not war time.
    I have great respect for the men in the First World War/Second World War and up to-date battles.
    What i have very little time for is the way the Goverment plays about with these peoples lives.
    I wear my poppy with great pride, not just for the men and boys/ladies who lost their lives in both wars fighting, but for all the people working else were to keep those people fighting.
    I wear my poppies at the end of the wars 1st/2nd then i also wear a special tie and poppy ( metal ) for a end of another war, J,V, day. That is a special day to me as my dad was in Burma fighting the Japs, and he still suffered with nightmates till he died and suffered from Malaria.
    So i remember him and his men in the Green Howards and The 25th Dragoons who he was transfered to in Burma.
    Sorry Gone on a bit, My candle will be lite.
    Dennis Gateas

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