On Monday 4 August 2014 as the day dawned, people across the globe began to remember and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War on 4 August 1914.
That night, at 10pm as a simple mark of respect, Epping Forest District Council joined with people the length and breadth of the UK as part of the #LightsOut campaign by turning off all its lights except for a single lamp placed in a window in the council chamber.
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We honour and keep the memory alive
Councillor Tony Boyce, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council said: “The Great War stands out as a landmark in our history. It heralded a period of sacrifice and suffering beyond anything most people living today can imagine. Hardly a family or community was left unscathed. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Sadly we know that prophesy proved false. It is therefore all the more important that as the last of the Great War generations pass away, we honour and keep the memory of that sacrifice alive and try to learn from it today.”
The lamps are going out all over Europe
Homes and public buildings across the UK made this simple gesture inspired by the famous words attributed to Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary in August 1914. After a frenzy of last minute diplomatic activity and false hopes that war could be averted, Sir Edward gazed down from his window in Whitehall on the silent streets of London and was reported to have said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time”.
Events and services of commemoration were held across the district. While the lamp provided by Argus Lighting of Epping shone out from the council chamber, the Chairman of Council, Councillor Tony Boyce was attending a commemoration organised by the Royal British Legion. Vice-Chairman, Councillor Liz Webster was attending another service in Waltham Abbey, while other former chairmen of the council attended similar events across the district.
An exhibition created by staff at Epping Forest District Museum was unveiled at the civic offices in Epping to which local people have donated a number of personal items. The exhibition runs from 4 August to 4 September 2014.
Find out more at the 14-18 Now website.