War Diaries Talk

Declaration of War - Lights Out

  • HeatherC by HeatherC moderator

    The centenary of the date on which Britain declared war on Germany is fast approaching (Mon 4 August) and in the UK there's a planned commemoration called "Lights Out"

    Details and further links here http://www.1914.org/news/lights-out/

    "Lights Out is a UK-wide project which encourages people to turn off their lights, but for a single light or candle, at 10pm on Monday 4 August, for a period of reflection on the anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

    The concept for Lights Out was inspired by the famous remark, made by the then Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, on the eve of war being declared. He said: "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

    Britain then declared war on Germany at 11pm on 4 August 1914.

    Aside from millions of individuals across the UK, a number of iconic buildings and landmarks will take part in Lights Out, including Blackpool Illuminations, the Houses of Parliament, the Eden Project, the Imperial War Museums and Tower Bridge."

    Just thought people might like to know so they can consider taking part if they wish. This is in line with what seems to be the National intent to commemorate rather than celebrate.


  • ral104 by ral104 moderator, scientist

    Thanks, Heather. I'll be doing it - it does seem like a nice, respectful way of marking the occasion.


  • David_Underdown by David_Underdown moderator

    It does bug me slightly that we're doing it an hour out - no BST in 1914, only introduced in 1916 because of the war


  • HeatherC by HeatherC moderator

    David I agree and of course it should really be 10-11 GMT which is 11-12 BST. However in my experience of trying to get people to understand the different time zones, half of them get it wrong (the military uses Z time or GMT in Orders as you know and I recall that it used to cause chaos when we were on BST - "What do you mean we've started an hour early?") so I think they've decided not to try to explain the whole "actually you need to do it an hour later" thing. Of course you could just do two hours... 😉