Lights out in Grantham to mark the outbreak of the First World War

Lights out at the Guildhall in Grantham. Photo: Coun Ian Selby

Lights out at the Guildhall in Grantham. Photo: Coun Ian Selby

The Guildhall in Grantham was thrown into darkness last night (Monday) as part of the nationwide commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War 100 years ago.

Mayor of Grantham Councillor Ian Selby took these pictures, capturing the iconic building without its usual colourful lighting.

A candle was lit in the window of the Mayor’s Parlour, which was also in darkness between the hours of 10pm and 11pm.

Coun Selby said: “I thought lights out was a really nice idea as a moment of reflection for those who suffered during WW1, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and also for a moment of hope for the future.”

The nationwide ‘lights out’ project was organised by 14-18 NOW, the official cultural programme for the First World War Centenary Commemorations.

The inspiration came from a famous remark made on the eve of the outbreak of war by the then Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.” Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm on August 4, 1914, ushering in one of the darkest periods in our history.

People were asked to turn lights out during the hour and leave a single light or candle illuminated for a shared moment of reflection to mark the centenary.

** If you joined the commemoration project and would like to include your pictures, please email them to




Back to the top of the page