Lights went out for Ilkeston’s war dead

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People of all ages turned out to pay their respects at a candle-lit vigil in Ilkeston to remember those who died in World War One.

The Lights Out event on Monday night at St Mary’s Church in the Market Place marked 100 years since Britain entered the war.

The service included the gradual extinguishing of candles until just one remained. This was then laid on the recently restored cenotaph, as seen in our picture taken by reader Kerry Wheatley.

Dave Bamford, 67, a regular church-goer from Ilkeston said it was a ‘very moving’ event.

He said: “It was absolutely marvellous. More than 100 people turned out including lots of children. It was a very moving atmosphere and there were silent intervals were you could stop and think. There was a full mix of people there to thank what our soldiers gave for out country in the First World War.”

People were invited to turn off their lights for an hour at 10pm, the time war was declared in 1914.

The event was inspired by the words of wartime Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, who said on the eve of WW1: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

Events have also been held in Stapleford. Stapleford Remembers saw a service held at St Helen’s Church Hall and a mock-up trench which recreated a full size trench. Simon Frost gave a great guide and brief history of what it would have been like to have been in a trench during the war.

The conflict between 1914 and 1918 - which became known as the Great War - left 17 million soldiers and civilians dead.

The church tower at St Mary’s will be open tonight at 7.30pm (Thursday) for people to explore.