Bid to turn lights off for anniversary of the Great War

British soldiers at the 'Battle of the Somme
British soldiers at the 'Battle of the Somme
Tributes left outside Fareham Academy.

Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180012-4)

Tributes paid to ‘outstanding’ PE teacher who died suddenly over Christmas

Have your say

PEOPLE across our communities are being asked to make a poignant message of remembrance as fallen heroes of the First World War are remembered.

A nationwide initiative – backed by The News – called Lights Out will see lights switched off between 10pm and 11pm on Monday to remember more than a million Commonwealth Service personnel who lost their lives in the First World War.

To commemorate 100 years since the start of the Great War, lights will be going out for an hour all over the country.

The project was inspired by the words of wartime foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey on the eve of war, when he said: ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.’

In Hampshire, more than 100,000 street lights will be dimmed by the county council between 10pm and 11pm, while the Spinnaker Tower will also turn out its lights.

Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, said: ‘Hampshire will be remembering those who died and the many more who were affected by the First World War, joining in with the national Lights Out event on the night by dimming street lights.

‘Hampshire played a key role in the First World War as a major embarkation point for troops heading off to the battlefields in Belgium and France and it is fitting we show our support for The Royal British Legion’s campaign.

‘While not completely turning the lights out, the dimming will accentuate the effect of people illuminating a single lamp in their homes or local buildings across the county.’

In Portsmouth, a service of remembrance will be held tomorrow, followed by an evening event on Monday.

Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It is important that the 100 years anniversary since the start of First World War is remembered.

‘The dimming of lights is a poignant way of remembering those that gave their lives for us. Britain is a proud country and events such as First World War are what make us the proud nation we are.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt will represent the city at a remembrance event in Westminster.

Noreen Stoat, chairwoman of the Portsmouth branch of the Royal British Legion, said: ‘Everything we do is to commemorate those who have lost their lives, injured or just gone through the war.’

‘We are saying thank you to them for what they have done.’