Published Wednesday 6 August 2014 at 13:44
A hundred years ago this week Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary in 1914, returned to his chambers in the Foreign Office and lamented “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life”.
He had just given a speech to parliament in which he notified the nation that the British Empire had declared war on Germany. On Monday at 11 pm hundreds gathered around the Borough to commemorate the declaration of war, with a candle light vigil.
This symbolic reference to Grey’s lament, allowed the Borough to stop and reflect on the beginning of what would become one of the bloodiest wars in global history.
In Blackburn, residents and Councillors were joined by members of the Royal British Legion and the cadet forces in both Corporation Park and Little Harwood to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of war.
The event in Corporation park also saw a commemorative stone unveiled created by Brent Stevenson as part of a resident-led project to place a new memorial in the park listing the names nearly 4,000 people who fell in the war.
In Darwen, hundreds came together in the town centre and joined Cllr Trevor Maxfield , the Boroughs armed forces champion,in an evening of remembrance, hymns, prayers and reflections in commemoration of the Great War.
Listen below to hear the Chief Executive Harry Catherall, Council leader Councillor Kate Hollern and Mayor Councillor Alan Cottam discuss why it was and is important to take time to reflect and remember the sacrifices made by the nation during the First World War.