LIGHTS went out across the borough to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

As part of the national Lights Out project, residents were asked to switch off all but one light on Monday between 10pm and 11pm and spend an hour remembering the Great War.

A special church service was held at Leigh Parish Church, followed by a candlelit vigil at Leigh cenotaph to mark the centenary of the moment Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm on August 4, 1914.

Leader of Wigan Council,Lord Peter Smith attended the events in Leigh.

He said: “It was a moving experience to attend the church service followed by the commemoration at the cenotaph.

“It was pleasing to see so many people attend including local councillors and Leigh MP Andy Burnham “The atmosphere around the cenotaph was quiet and thoughtful with people contemplating pride in sacrifice and the horrors that the troops had to endure.

“As I looked at the cenotaph, I thought of my great uncle Harold Barlow whose name is commemorated there.”

The Lights Out project was planned to reflect the statement made shortly before war was declared by foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey, who said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

The Tyldesley branch of the Royal British Legion held a short service at Tyldesley cenotaph at 11am on Monday to remember the fallen but was unable to arrange a parade due to the closure of Hough Lane.

Events were also held on Tuesday to mark the centenary.

The Pensioner’s Link held a commemoration day in the Derby Rooms at the Turnpike Centre that was attended by Leigh MP Andy Burnham.

It featured a display by the Royal Air Force Cadets as well as performances from dancers from the 180 club, a ukulele band and a choir.

Leigh Journal:

The Friends of Atherton Library also held a First World War event at St Richard’s Jubilee Hall in Atherton.

  • Wigan Council has planned a programme of events over the next four years to commemorate the centenary.

There will be heritage day at Leigh Town Hall on September 13 and a free exhibition at the Museum of Wigan Life, where residents can learn about the impact of the First World War.

The council will also be naming a street on a Bickershaw housing estate after Private Alfred Wilkinson, a First World War soldier who was awarded the Victory Cross for bravery.

To find out more about the programme of events, visit or