Vigils to mark Great War centenary
Candle-lit vigils could be held at churches and buildings across the country to mark next year’s Great War centenary.
On August 4 2014 it will be 100 years since war was declared, pitching the nation into one of its hardest and darkest chapters.
The centenary’s highlight will be a candle-lit vigil of prayer and penitence at Westminster Abbey finishing, with the last candle being extinguished at 11pm – the moment war was declared.It is understood the Government is in talks with various churches, faiths and other organisations to see if the vigil could be replicated around the country.
Organisers hope churches, town halls and other community buildings will mirror proceedings at the Abbey and that thousands of candles will be blown out simultaneously across the country at 11pm. They also want the day to be inclusive, with all generations and communities getting involved.
It is believed that a wide range of groups will be invited to the Westminster vigil including the Brownies, Scouts, Guides and representatives from all services of the British military.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller has asked Hugh Robertson MP, a former Army officer, and Andrew Murrison, the Prime Minister’s special representative, to form the ministerial team focusing on the programme.
Mr Robertson also commanded The Household Cavalry on the 1993 Queen’s Birthday Parade and the State Opening of Parliament.
A Government source said: “We are keen to ensure that this is a centenary programme that the country can come together on. We have seen in recent years that communities across the UK are really at their best when they are brought together with feelings of patriotism and history, we saw this with the jubilee, the royal wedding and the Olympics and we are sure that British communities will come together throughout the centenary programme in all sorts of different ways, to reflect and remember the huge sacrifice that many, many people made.”
The idea to commemorate the start of the war with the vigil came from a remark attributed to former foreign secretary Viscount Edward Grey. He is supposed to have said on the eve of the Great War: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our time.”
Ms Miller said: “The Great War saw huge suffering and enormous sacrifice and our centenary programme will mark it with both sorrow and pride, as is fitting. Those four years changed British society forever and it is absolutely vital that we all remember the price paid.
“At 11pm on the 4th August 1914 it was said that ‘the lamps are going out all over Europe’; 100 years later we will extinguish the last candle in Westminster Abbey to commemorate that hour as a mark of respect and remembrance, that will set the tone for the events to come.”
The Press Association
Latest posts by The Press Association (see all)
- In Pictures: 35 photos to mark Harry’s 35th birthday - September 15, 2019
- What are false widow spiders, and should we be worried about them? - September 13, 2019
- Quiz: Can you guess the country from its national cuisine? - September 12, 2019
- How do you speak to an older family member about when to stop driving? - September 12, 2019
- Alzheimer’s disease – the myths and facts everybody needs to know about - September 12, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!