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Medway dimmed the lights to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War

By Jenni Horn

People across Medway dimmed their lights and lit candles to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

A nationwide hour of remembrance took place to mark the hour Britain declared war on Germany 100 years ago.

From 10pm until 11pm last night people were encouraged to leave a single light or candle for a moment of reflection.

Carols by candlelight this Christmas
Carols by candlelight this Christmas

The initiative – dubbed Lights Out – was inspired by the quote of former Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, who is said to have remarked on the evening of August 3. 1914: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

The next evening, at 11pm, Britain declared war on Germany.

Rochester Cathedral held a commemorative service at 10pm. During the hour-long service, which was attended by MPs and the Lord Lieutenant, the lights inside the cathedral were gradually dimmed.

Medway Council turned out its lights at the council headquarters in Gun Wharf and lit a candle in the reception.

A candle lit at Medway Council's offices at Gun Wharf. Picture: @perryholmes
A candle lit at Medway Council's offices at Gun Wharf. Picture: @perryholmes

A candle-lit procession was held in Bredhurst and commemorative services were held at churches around Medway.

Hundreds of people visited St Margaret's Church in Rainham during the day to see a display of First World War memorabilia which was provided by local people. Before the church was closed for the evening, a short prayer vigil was held.

At Chatham's Fort Amherst a restored First World War gun was unveiled to commemorate the role such weapons played in defending the area.

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