Blackout will mark 100 years since First World War outbreak

A candlelit vigil will take place in town
A candlelit vigil will take place in town

Lights will go out across the country at the exact time the First World War began and residents are invited to join a special candlelit vigil.

Lights Out is a government-backed project to commemorate the First World War centenary and will involve plunging the country into darkness for one hour.

Families are invited to take part between 10pm and 11pm on August 4 and leave a single light or candle glowing for reflection.

But at the same time, Buckingham Town Council hopes to gather residents at the War Memorial for a special candlelit vigil.

Chairman of events Andrew Mahi said the town council wanted to do something extra to mark an event which he says is ‘close to his heart’.

He said: “We want their children and grandchildren to think ‘somebody has remembered them’ and it’s a good way for people to do that when they have lost loved ones.

“If you don’t have a candle, just use a torch or your mobile phone – like they do at concerts.

“It’s for the people of the town to come together as a community and feel like they are doing something to reflect.”

Mr Mahi said he has been a poppy collector in Linden Village for 20 years and he enjoys giving residents a little history lesson.

“It’s amazing how many people don’t know what the red flowers are for,” he said. “So this event will be a good lesson to ask ‘why are we doing this?’ If parents don’t know, Google it.”

Hundreds of sites are taking part in the nationwide switch off with organisers 14-18-Now hoping every household in Britain will join in to leave just one light or candle.

The Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, Cornwall’s Eden Project, the National Gallery, The National Theatre, National Portrait Gallery and Manchester United football stadium Old Trafford ground have all signed up, along with many churches, mosques and other places of worship.