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Single candle to be lit at stations to commemorate First World War Centenary
East Midlands Trains will be joining the commemorations for the centenary of the start of the First World War today (4 August 2014) by lighting a candle at each of its stations between 10pm and 11pm.
As part of a larger initiative by 14-18 NOW and the Royal British Legion, East Midlands Trains will helping to mark the national Lights Out campaign. The campaign aims for one million lights in Britain to be turned off between 10pm and 11pm, leaving a single light or candle lit to mark the moment war broke out 100 years ago and to pay tribute to those who lost their lives.
Staff at Derby and Lincoln stations will place a lit candle at the station’s war memorials. Poppy wreaths will also be laid at Nottingham and Derby. The memorials have inscribed on them the names of men that died in the Great War that had worked for Midland Railway, which at the time operated in areas now used by East Midlands Trains.
Whilst most lights will have to remain on in order to keep stations fully operational and to allow passengers to continue travelling safely, stations across the East Midlands Trains network including Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Lincoln, Leicester, Kettering, Market Harborough, Wellingborough, Corby and Loughborough will each light a candle in recognition of the Lights Out campaign. In addition, all lighting in the market area at London St Pancras station will be switched off.
4 August 2014 marks the centenary of Britain’s entry into the Great War. On 4 August 1914 at 11pm, Prime Minister Herbert Asquith declared war on Germany. The Germans had occupied Belgium as part of their Schlieffen Plan, however, Belgium had remained a neutral nation during war as far back as 1839. In response to the German occupation, Asquith gave Germany a deadline of 11pm (midnight German time) to remove their forces from Germany or face war with Britain. When they had failed to do so, Britain declared a state of war existed between the two nations and the Great War as we know it began.
David Horne, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains, said: “Many of our own employees and our customers will have had relatives who lost their lives in World War One and the anniversary of the start of the Great War will mark a poignant moment for many. It was therefore important for us to mark the national Lights Out Campaign and remember the many innocent people who lost their lives.
“We need to ensure that our passengers can still keep on safely using our trains and stations however we will join the commemorations by leaving a single candle burning at all of our major stations.”
In commemoration of the men from the railways that gave their lives in the war, and the significant role Britain’s railways played in World War One, East Midlands Trains will be marking historical events over the next four years. Full information on the programme of events will be published at www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk.