EVERYONE in Hillingdon is invited to turn their lights out from 10-11pm today, while leaving on a single light or candle, to mark the moment that Britain entered the First World War 100 years ago.
14-18 NOW, the official cultural programme for the centenary, has organised a number of events, including the nationwide LIGHTS OUT at hundreds of venues, churches and war memorials across the country between 10 and 11pm.
In one of the most dramatic UK-wide events ever organised, people across the UK will turn off their lights and leave on a single light or candle for a shared moment of reflection.
The inspiration for LIGHTS OUT came from a famous remark made on the eve of the outbreak of war by then Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
Thousands of buildings, landmarks and institutions across the UK have pledged their support. These include Blackpool Illuminations, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the Tate, Eden Project and the Imperial War Museum.
HIllingdon is hosting a series of events and activities throughout August to mark the centenary.
Uxbridge Library is staging an exhibition showcasing the lives and stories of those affected during the war, including soldiers and people living at home. Many of the items featured at the Home Fires and Foreign Fields exhibition have been loaned by local people.
This evening, 10-11pm, St John’s Church, Royal Lane, Hillingdon, will be holding a candlelit vigil, featuring music, readings and poems of the time. The vigil will lead up to 11pm, the time war was declared.
Eastcote Royal British Legion is inviting residents to join a candlelit vigil at the Eastcote War Memorial, Field End Road, from 10.50-11.20pm today.
Then, from Wednesday, you can take a step back in time and enjoy some wartime activities at Botwell Green Library community fete in Hayes. Family-friendly activities will include maypole dancing, games and songs and learning to be a World War One soldier. The fete will take place from 1-5pm.
On Thursday, children are invited to learn about life in the trenches at the Great War Trench Building workshop, when they will be able to build their own replicas. The event is at Ruislip Manor Library from 2-4pm.
On August 16, you can discover your roots during a two-hour workshop, which will teach you how to research your ancestry online. The Find your World War One Ancestors Online workshop will be held at Yeading Library on Saturday from 10am-noon. Booking is essential.
On August 18, the First World War Show and Tell Session is inviting visitors to share their photos, objects and family stories from 1914-18 in the mobile library, based at Uxbridge Library.
Also that day, historian Louise Henshaw will lead The Road to War workshop, exploring some of the major political and economic changes that took place before 1914. The hour-long session will be at Charville Library in Hayes at 11am.
On August 27, Clive Room of the Royal British Legion will lead a talk on poets from the First World War at Eastcote Library, 2-3 pm.