HAMPSHIRE County Council will dim street lights across the county on Monday evening to commemorate the centenary of World War One.
In August 1914, the then Foreign Secretary, Edward Grey said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”, when he heard that war with Germany was inevitable.
And, on Monday – exactly 100 years since the four-year conflict began – the authority will dim street lights between 10pm and 11pm as a mark of respect for everyone who fought for their country between 1914 and 1918.
Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “Hampshire will be remembering those who died and the many more who were affected by the First World War – joining in with the national “Lights Out” event on the night of August 4, by dimming street lights.
“Hampshire played a key role in WWI as a major embarkation point for troops heading off to the battlefields in Belgium and France and it is fitting that we show our support for the Royal British Legion’s campaign.
“While not completely turning the lights out, the dimming will accentuate the effect of people illuminating a single lamp in their homes or local buildings across the county.”
Major traffic routes will be exempt from the commemoration, and some specific street lights will be completely turned off in the area of organised “Lights Out” events, such as Winchester Cathedral and the war memorial on Church Crookham.
Hampshire County Council is able to control the dimming of street lights as its five year replacement and upgrading system means that a new remote monitoring system can be used.
During the day on August 4, the chairman of Hampshire County Council – Councillor Colin Davidovitz – will be hosting a “Hampshire Commemorates” exhibition in the Great Hall, in Winchester.
The free exhibition, which will run between 10am and 5pm, will showcase historic materials from the county council and other partners to mark the centenary of the First World War.