Veterans charity urges: turn those lights out!

Posted on 04/07/2014 by


 Scotland urged to turn lights out to honour First World War heroes

poppies (2)Veterans’ charity Poppyscotland is calling for households in Scotland to join the rest of the UK in taking part in LIGHTS OUT, a new initiative to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Communities across the country are being invited to switch off their lights between 2200 and 2300hrs on 4th August, the date Britain entered the War 100 years ago, and illuminate their homes with a single candle or light.

LIGHTS OUT is being delivered in Scotland by Poppyscotland and in the rest of the UK by its parent charity The Royal British Legion. It is hoped that candles will be lit at war memorials, community centres and homes in every village, town and city. LIGHTS OUT takes inspiration from the famous words of wartime Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, who remarked on August 3rd 1914: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

A host of celebrities including Jeremy Paxman, Twiggy, David Gandy and Louis Smith feature alongside veterans in a video to promote the initiative, which will complement a national candlelight vigil on the evening of Monday 4th August at Westminster Abbey.

Poppyscotland’s Head of Fundraising, Colin Flinn, said: “Scotland made a hugely significant contribution to the First World War and there was not a community left untouched by its devastating impact. LIGHTS OUT is a simple, yet powerful concept that will enable Scots to join the rest of the UK in a collective moment of commemoration to honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, while supporting those affected by the consequences of war today.”

To support LIGHTS OUT and as part of a special partnership with Marks & Spencer, limited edition Centenary candles will be available to purchase from Friday 4th July in stores and online. Profits from sales in Scotland will be donated to Poppyscotland to support the charity’s vital work with members of the Armed Forces, past and present, and their families.

Robert Swannell, Chairman of Marks & Spencer said: “The extraordinary work that The Royal British Legion and Poppyscotland do to support serving and ex-Servicemen, women and their families across the UK is really important to M&S’s employees and customers, and we are very proud to be participating in this national moment of commemoration. Lighting a candle is a small but significant gesture to honour those who bravely served, and continue to serve, and we encourage all of our customers to take part. All the profit from the LIGHTS OUT candle will be used for the Legion and Poppyscotland grants initiatives, which assist current and former Service personnel and their families in need of support.”