Date
18 November 2017
People observe a moment of silence near a war memorial in Westminster, London, on Monday as part of commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One. Photo: Reuters
People observe a moment of silence near a war memorial in Westminster, London, on Monday as part of commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One. Photo: Reuters

Lights go out across Britain to mark 100th WWI anniversary

Lights across Britain were switched off for an hour on Monday night in a tribute to the dead of World War One, inspired by the prophetic observation of Britain’s foreign minister on the eve of war 100 years ago, Reuters reported.

“The lamps are going out all over Europe,” Edward Grey told an acquaintance shortly before Britain declared war on Germany on Aug. 4, 1914. “We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

British landmarks, including the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral, went dark from 10 p.m.

Prime Minister David Cameron had asked Britons to switch off all but a single light in their homes for an hour.

The “war to end all wars” spread carnage across Europe, especially northern France and Belgium, killing 17 million soldiers and civilians in 1914-18. Over one million of the dead were soldiers from Britain and its then empire.

Grey’s prophecy was also at the center of a service in London’s Westminster Abbey on Monday, where candles went out one by one until only a burning oil lamp remained at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior.

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CG/JL 

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