LIGHTS are being switched off around Oxfordshire and the country tonight in poignant recognition of the outbreak of the First World War. 

Churches, councils, and homes are all involved in ceremonies between 10pm and 11pm to mark 100 years since the country went to war. 

The nationwide event will see all lights switched off except for one - a candle - in a shared moment of reflection to mark the centenary. 

It comes after the then foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey said on the eve of war: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”. 

Oxfordshire County Council was among those to take part and is due to leave just one light on at County Hall. 

Deputy leader Rodney Rose said: “This event is a poignant commemoration and marks 100 years of when the country went to war to fight for freedom. 

“As a county with a rich military history it is very important that we honour the anniversary of the First World War and a significant reminder for younger generations on where their freedoms come from.” 

Terry Roper, chairman of the Oxford branch of the Royal Green Jackets Association, said his family would turn out the lights and place a candle in the window of their Barton home. 

The 65-year-old said: “It is a really good way to mark it. Coupled with what Edward Grey said this time 100 years ago it is really spot on.” 

Oxford Brookes is set to turn off the lights illuminating the front of the new John Henry Brookes Building and West Oxfordshire District Council is due to light a solitary lamp in its Witney town centre shop at 10pm. 

Cherwell District Council is also to illuminate a single light at its Bodicote House offices for the hour.