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Lights out - the South East remembers The Great War

by Kevin Harrison

At 11 o clock last night, lights the length and breadth of the country were dimmed, or put out, to remember the dead of the Great War. It was a hundred years, exactly, to the hour, that Britain declared war on Germany. In Folkestone, where earlier in the day, Prince Harry had unveiled a fourteen metre high arch on the town's clifftop to mark the anniversary, thousands gathered to pay their respects. For so many fighting men, Folkestone was their last glimpse of home as they departed to fight for King and country. At last night's ceremony, Kevin Harrison.

Hampshire MP helping to co-ordinate WW1 anniversary events

Culture Secretary Maria Miller, who is the MP for Basingstoke, has asked Hugh Robertson MP, a former Army officer, and Andrew Murrison, the Prime Minister's special representative, to form the ministerial team focusing on the programme

Mr Robertson also commanded The Household Cavalry on the 1993 Queen's Birthday Parade and the State Opening of Parliament. A Government source said: "We are keen to ensure that this is a centenary programme that the country can come together on.

Plans unveiled for World War 1 centenary

It is understood the Government is in talks with various churches, faiths and other organisations to see if the vigil could be replicated around the country.

Organisers hope churches, town halls and other community buildings will mirror proceedings at the Abbey and that thousands of candles will be blown out simultaneously across the country at 11pm.

They also want the day to be inclusive, with all generations and communities getting involved.

It is believed that a wide range of groups will be invited to the Westminster vigil including the Brownies, Scouts, Guides and representatives from all services of the British military.

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