Commemorate start of WWI

The Royal British Legion has brought together celebrities and veterans to ask the British public to take part in LIGHTS OUT, a national initiative to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Famous faces including Jeremy Paxman, Twiggy, David Gandy and Louis Smith feature alongside Chelsea Pensioners and Service personnel in a video to promote the initiative.

It will complement a candlelight vigil taking place on the evening of Monday (August 4) at Westminster Abbey.

Also on Monday at 10am there will be a service of reflection, led by Cannon Keith Pound, at the war memorial in Alexandra Park, in conjunction with the Royal British Legion to include wreath laying and a two minute silence in recognition of those affected by war. At 10pm Hastings will take part in the national ‘Lights Out’ initiative. All of the decorative lights on Hastings seafront will turn red, with a single white light moving continuously along them, for one hour.

Communities across the UK are being invited to take part in this national moment by switching off their lights between 10pm and 11pm on Monday to mark the start of the war 100 years ago, and illuminating their homes with a single candle or light. The seafront here will turn red, with a single white light moving along them, for one hour. On August 12 in partnership with Hastings Seniors’ Forum, from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Hastings Museum, there will be a morning of refreshment and entertainment as part of Hastings Remembers.

Later in the autumn a series of talks will be held at Hastings Museum, including ‘The Last Edwardian Summer’ on Saturday September 13; ‘The Quick And The Dead’, an illustrated talk by acclaimed historian Richard van Emden on September 27 and ‘We Will Not Kill - Conscientious Objectors Of The First World War’, a talk by local historian Ann Kramer on November 15.

To support LIGHTS OUT and as part of a special partnership with Marks & Spencer, limited edition Centenary candles are available to purchase in stores and online. Profits will be donated to the Legion to support the charity’s vital work. Charles Byrne, director of Fundraising at The Royal British Legion, said: “Our vision is one million candles will be lit across the UK. We hope to see candles lit at every war memorial, community centre and home in every village and in every community.” To watch the video visit