On Monday evening very large crowds gathered on Preston’s Flag Market to witness 1,956 lit candles being placed around the base of the War Memorial by volunteer carriers to signify the war’s fallen victims. This was Preston’s contribution to the nationwide ‘Lights Out‘ project and in true form, the people of Preston were out in full force to commemorate the occasion.
Following a service held by Cannon Timothy Lipscomb at the Minster of Preston, there was a procession of the attendees and Standard Bearers which headed for the Flag Market and War Memorial were they would gather around the War Memorial and address the crowds to begin the proceedings and light the large candles.
At precisely 10pm, as in many other towns and cities nationwide, the lights of streets and buildings were extinguished and the current Mayor of Preston, Councillor Nick Pomfret opened the proceedings with the words of the 1914 Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey; “The lamps are going out over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
There was an air of poignancy but also a very magical feel to it all as the volunteers placed pairs of candles in a semicircle around the base of the War Memorial and while this was happening, there was a series of poems and verses being spoken by various people present.
Of all who lost their lives during WW1, many had lived in Preston and a great deal of those people attending the evening’s event will have had relatives among the fallen. This was an opportunity for all to reflect on all those poor souls and commemorate their lives by understanding what they must have felt on the battlefields and how they will have longed to be in the safe surroundings of their families and homes but never made it. We will never forget them.
Did you go to the Lights Out event on the Flag Market or did you commemorate the occasion in your home? Let us know in the comments below.