SPECIAL services and events are taking place across Ryedale to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

At 11pm on August 4, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany, and as the moment approached, the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey made the famous remark: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

In a UK-wide event, Lights Out is an invitation to everyone to turn off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on August 4, leaving on a single light or candle for this shared moment of reflection.

As part of the initiative, members of the Malton, Norton and District British Legion are inviting people to join them on Monday, August 4, at 10pm, at the war memorial in Malton.

Paul Farndale, one of the members, said they wanted to get involved with Lights Out and do something to commemorate the anniversary.

“We will be lighting candles and gathering for an hour to reflect and remember,” he said.

On the same evening, the gilt lantern on Castle Howard’s dome will be illuminated with a single light as part of a joint initiative with Ryedale District Council.

The Hon Simon Howard said: “The impact of war was greatly felt by many who lived on the Castle Howard estate and our involvement with the Lights Out initiative is a fitting way to remember those who lost their lives and the communities that were affected by the conflict.”

Vigil services will also be held on Monday at St Peter’s Church, in Norton, and St Michael’s Church, in Malton.

Reverend Rachel Hirst said St Peter’s would be open between 4pm and 8pm for personal reflection, for people to come and light a candle and to visit Norton’s war memorial in the chapel.

“There will be a short service between 6.30pm and 7pm and everyone is welcome,” she said.

The service at St Michael’s will start at 9pm, finishing by 9.45pm to allow those attending to go on the war memorial.

Eden Camp Museum will also be holding a commemorative day on Sunday, August 3, as part of a permanent display on the First World War.

Malton’s White Star Band will be attending along with displays of equipment and demonstrations.

Museum director Nick Hill said: “We have a battlefield exhibit which will continue for the next four years as part of our museum’s permanent display about the war.”


First World War services

OTHER services taking place across Ryedale to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of First World War on Monday include: At 7pm brief services will be held at St Hilda’s Church, Beadlam, at St Saviour’s Church, Harome and at All Saints & St James Church, Nunnnington.

The services will include the lighting of candles, prayers, silence to remember those who died or were injured or bereaved during the war.

A service will also be held at St Mary’s Priory Church, Old Malton, at 6.30pm, the same evening.

This service will include a reading of the names of those recorded on the First World War memorial in the church and a tolling of the church bell as each name is read.

Before the service at Pickering Parish Church, which starts at 7pm, the bells will ring “half-muffled” and to conclude the short service, the tenor bell will toll the number of those killed in the Great War recorded on town’s war memorial.

The Vicar of Pickering, Father Antony Pritchett said: “Monday evening’s service will last only about 20 minutes, but I hope that people will come together then to remember those who left this community a century ago to fight – as Pickering Church’s War Memorial puts it – ‘in the cause of liberty and right.”