Darkness falls across East Lancashire to mark WW1 centenary

Darkness falls across East Lancashire to mark WW1 centenary

David McDonald, Burnley chairman of the Duke of Lancaster Veterans, prepares to lead the procession at Towneley Hall

Nightfall at Darwen Cemetery. Picture Matt Donnelly

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Hyndburn reporter

THE lights went out across East Lancashire as the region paused to remember its fallen heroes.

Hundreds attended candle-lit services at war memorials and parks for the national Lights Out event, which saw darkness fall to mark the centenary of Great Britain declaring war on Germany.

The events were inspired by the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey’s remark: “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

A torch-lit parade took place in the grounds of Towneley Hall to the Burnley war memorial from 9.45pm.

Burnley and Pendle Citizen:

The parade was followed by a service of remembrance including a speech from the Mayor of Burnley, Coun Andrew Tatchell, a service by Churches Together and Building Bridges, and a two-minute silence.

A band played as thousands of well-wishers walked past crosses bearing the names of Burnley’s fallen, which were set down in Towneley Road.

Around 100 people then gathered around the park’s cenotaph for the service, while a large screen behind the hall relayed it to the crowd.

Coun Tatchell said: “It went like clock-work. A few weeks ago, we were trying to anticipate what the numbers were going to be, and it certainly exceeded expectations.

“We thought 400 might turn up, but it was more than 1,000. It was a calm, respectful atmosphere. I gave a keynote speech, and the clergy did theirs, and relatives of some of the soldiers put crosses down.”

Rossendale Borough Council also hosted an event from 10pm at its Futures Park offices in Bacup.

In Whitworth, there was a candle-lit ceremony in the Remembrance Gardens at the same time.

And residents in Hyndburn huddled around the Accrington Pals Memorial, in Church Street, as the Pals’ great sacrifice was honoured with dignity and pride.

Candles sat amidst symbolic poppies as the illustrious Accrington Pipe Band marked the occasion.

Burnley and Pendle Citizen:

Local dignitaries, including Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Graham Jones and former mayoress Judith Addison, and members of the Royal British Legion formed part of the crowd as a goosebump-inducing last post was sounded at 11pm.

Earlier in the afternoon, Mr Jones attended the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to the memorial of local historian Bill Turner.

Mr Turner spent years working to preserve the memory of the Accrington Pals and even wrote a book about the heroes.

He died in 2007, aged 76, after being made an honorary freeman of Hyndburn.

Mr Jones said: “Because of Bill’s research and the tragic story of the Accrington Pals, the Pals have become part of national folklore.

“They are now famous throughout the world and that’s thanks to Bill.”

Comments (4)

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10:31am Wed 6 Aug 14

abetterblackburn says...

Thanks to Matt Donnally for the touching photo.

It is most regretful that the first world war ever happened at all and that all efforts should still be made to avoid anything similar to ever happen again. Unfortunately we all know that despite those lives lost during the first world war other atrocities have taken place on a regular basis due to irresponsible decisions that have been made or maybe even for personal gain. It is up to every one of us to voice our concerns to those responsible whenever such errors present themselves. Especially afterwards to shame those responsible for what they have done so hopefully others may never have that opportunity to do likewise ever again.

Mistakes made, lives lost, sorrowful history made. Let’s all make sure it never happens again. Lest we forget of course!
Thanks to Matt Donnally for the touching photo. It is most regretful that the first world war ever happened at all and that all efforts should still be made to avoid anything similar to ever happen again. Unfortunately we all know that despite those lives lost during the first world war other atrocities have taken place on a regular basis due to irresponsible decisions that have been made or maybe even for personal gain. It is up to every one of us to voice our concerns to those responsible whenever such errors present themselves. Especially afterwards to shame those responsible for what they have done so hopefully others may never have that opportunity to do likewise ever again. Mistakes made, lives lost, sorrowful history made. Let’s all make sure it never happens again. Lest we forget of course! abetterblackburn
  • Score: 1

5:16pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Noiticer says...

I suspect the vast majority of Lancastrians ignored this British Legion inspired event. Rather than endless commemorations it is essential that people in their everyday lives ensure that they are good neighbours and citizens and we should be spending money to set up situations where as many young people as possible are able to meet and get to know their peers in other parts of Europe and beyond so that they realise they share the same anxieties and hopes and can relate to them.
I suspect the vast majority of Lancastrians ignored this British Legion inspired event. Rather than endless commemorations it is essential that people in their everyday lives ensure that they are good neighbours and citizens and we should be spending money to set up situations where as many young people as possible are able to meet and get to know their peers in other parts of Europe and beyond so that they realise they share the same anxieties and hopes and can relate to them. Noiticer
  • Score: 1

7:05pm Wed 6 Aug 14

2 for 5p ridesagain says...

Oh these memorials are getting tedious and boring.
"MOVE ON YOU MORANS"
Every other story in this newspaper(laugh) is a story about a stupid ceremony or memorial.
Why not chanel energy, money and resources into something positive, for example pacifist movements. There would be less chance of more murderous wars.
Oh these memorials are getting tedious and boring. "MOVE ON YOU MORANS" Every other story in this newspaper(laugh) is a story about a stupid ceremony or memorial. Why not chanel energy, money and resources into something positive, for example pacifist movements. There would be less chance of more murderous wars. 2 for 5p ridesagain
  • Score: -2

4:25am Thu 7 Aug 14

glossopkid says...

abetterblackburn wrote:
Thanks to Matt Donnally for the touching photo.

It is most regretful that the first world war ever happened at all and that all efforts should still be made to avoid anything similar to ever happen again. Unfortunately we all know that despite those lives lost during the first world war other atrocities have taken place on a regular basis due to irresponsible decisions that have been made or maybe even for personal gain. It is up to every one of us to voice our concerns to those responsible whenever such errors present themselves. Especially afterwards to shame those responsible for what they have done so hopefully others may never have that opportunity to do likewise ever again.

Mistakes made, lives lost, sorrowful history made. Let’s all make sure it never happens again. Lest we forget of course!
So true mate!!
[quote][p][bold]abetterblackburn[/bold] wrote: Thanks to Matt Donnally for the touching photo. It is most regretful that the first world war ever happened at all and that all efforts should still be made to avoid anything similar to ever happen again. Unfortunately we all know that despite those lives lost during the first world war other atrocities have taken place on a regular basis due to irresponsible decisions that have been made or maybe even for personal gain. It is up to every one of us to voice our concerns to those responsible whenever such errors present themselves. Especially afterwards to shame those responsible for what they have done so hopefully others may never have that opportunity to do likewise ever again. Mistakes made, lives lost, sorrowful history made. Let’s all make sure it never happens again. Lest we forget of course![/p][/quote]So true mate!! glossopkid
  • Score: 0

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