Lights out to mark Great War centenary

Whitby’s War Memorial once again became a focus for quiet reflection on Monday evening after residents took part in a candlelit vigil to mark the centenary of Britain entering the First World War.

The event was organised by deputy mayor Sean Rixham-Smith, a member of the Whitby Town Council’s Armed Forces Committee, and he said: “It was lovely and quite a lot of people gathered around.”

Among those were children who helped light candles, placed on the memorial in memory of the fallen. Cllr Rixham Smith added: “What went through my mind was the incredible sacrifice that allows us to stand here today.

“It’s a very small price to pay to just stop for one hour and think of the sacrifice made by all those millions of men who gave their lives for our freedom.”

Around 50 candles were placed on the memorial for the event, which was attended by a large crowd.

The event coincided with a series of UK-wide events that saw people turn off their lights and leave a candle burning for a shared moment of reflection.

The inspiration for Lights Out came from a famous remark made on the eve of the outbreak of war by the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, who said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”