Lancashire gets ready for war anniversary

Conflict: Soldiers in the First World War
Conflict: Soldiers in the First World War

Lancashire residents and public officials are preparing to mark the outbreak of the First World War this weekend and into Monday

In town and villages all over the county, small and large-scale events are being organised to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the devastating conflict.

In Preston, a special ceremony will take place on Monday on the Flag Market as part of the nationwide LIGHTS OUT event.

LIGHTS OUT events are taking place in towns and cities across the UK with an invitation for everyone to turn off their lights between 10.00pm and 11.00pm leaving a single light or candle on for a shared moment of reflection.

All exterior lights will be turned out on council buildings surrounding the Flag Market, including the street lamps, with one porch light left on at the back door of the Town Hall as a mark of respect.

The Mayor of Preston, Councillor Nick Pomfret, said: “This is a momentous juncture of our time and one that has contributed to the way we live our lives today. It is very important we remember these occasions as a city and nation and of those who fought for us.”

A choreographed candlelit vigil will be centred against the backdrop of the newly refurbished Cenotaph, followed by World War I readings of letters and poetry. Almost 2,000 candles will feature, each one representing a soldier named on the Roll of Honour for the First World War.

On Saturday, a commemorative lunch is being held at Samlesbury War Memorial Hall. Members of the local community will join together for a special lunch at the hall to mark 100 years since the start of the war, with period recipes and readings in between courses.

Saturday also sees the official opening of “The August 1914 Commemorative Exhibition: Antarctic Witness” at the South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre. It will be followed by a walk by museum curator David Hunt, called “The Belgian Refugees: An introduction to Leyland in the Great War”, at 11am from the museum.

Monday sees a civic commemoration at South Ribble Civic Centre, West Paddock, Leyland.. The Mayor will meet and greet guests prior to

the WW1 Commemoration event. At 10.45 am there will be a tree planting and the flags will then be lowered to half mast. This will then be followed by poems being read.

Also on Monday, there will be a service at the war memorial, off Factory Lane, Whittle-le-Woods, near Chorley.

Local school children who did a project on the First Wold War and ex-soldiers will attend.

A walk of remembrance will be held from Lostock Hall Royal British Legion Club, Brownedge Rd, on Monday evening. Participants are

walking to eight churches and leaving poppies at each war memorial in the church.

At 10.45pm, a candlelit service of remembrance starts at the War Memorial in Hope Terrace, Lostock Hall organised by Lostock Hall Royal British Legion. At the same time, a similar event will be held at Hutton War Memorial, Moor Lane, Hutton.

The Rev Peter Taylor will lead a short service at the Hutton Parish Council event