Lights Out in the UK marks 100 years since Britain entered World War 1

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People in the UK were asked to mark the 100 year anniversary of the day Britain entered World War 1 by turning out their lights and lighting a single candle. Participants went without their lights from 10pm to 11pm and used candlelight in remembrance of the sacrifice made by the whole of Britain.

The idea for the Lights Out event was born out of a famous line spoken by then Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey. On the eve of Britain joining the fighting, Grey said "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

From statistics gathered by the National Grid it seems that the Lights Out commemoration was well supported all over the country with a big drop in energy demand registered throughout the hour. There was a sip of approximately 500 MW of energy all told which is a testament to the power of remembrance.

Iconic landmarks around London also played their part as Buckingham Palace switched all lights off as did The Houses of Parliament while The Tower Bridge was also plunged into darkness. At Westminster Abbey, a candlelit vigil took place while a sole lantern was placed at the doorstep of a darkened Downing Street.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg noted the significance of the commemoration saying "Sixteen million people perished. It’s an almost unimaginable number of people who died in a war which still shapes the world as it is today."

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