TO mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War the lights will be going out in Leigh.

The borough is being asked to join in with national events to commemorate 100 years since Britain declared war on Germany by switching off their lights between 10pm and 11pm today, Monday.

It was 11pm on August 4 1914 when war was declared shortly after the foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey stated: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

Church services willl be held in Leigh and Wigan parish churches at 9.45pm today, Monday, followed by candle-lit vigils at the towns' cenotaphs from 10.45pm.

Leader of Wigan Council, Lord Peter Smith, said: “These will be moments of poignancy and reflection as we mark the start of that terrible conflict and remember the impact it had and the sacrifice of so many people.

“We’ve planned a host of events this year and for the next four years to remember the war and this will be a truly moving start.

“I would encourage people to attend the church services in Leigh or Wigan and the candle-lit vigils at the cenotaphs in the towns.

“They will be solemn occasions to commemorate a dark moment in history.”