RESIDENTS in mid Cheshire are being encouraged to switch their lights off as part of a national initiative to commemorate the start of the First World War.

The LIGHTS OUT project, launched by the Royal British Legion, is inviting communities to turn lights off between 10pm and 11pm on August 4 and instead use a single candle or light to illuminate their homes.

LIGHTS OUT takes inspiration from the famous words of wartime Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey, who remarked on August 3 1914: “the lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”

Charles Byrne, director of fundraising at The Royal British Legion, said: “Sir Edward Grey’s stirring words are the campaign’s foundation.

“Our vision is that over one million candles will be lit across the UK, commemorating every Service man and woman who died during the First World War.

“We hope to see candles lit at every war memorial, community centre and home in every village and in every community.

“This is one of a number of initiatives the Legion has undertaken to commemorate the anniversary of the First World War, when we hope to pass the torch of remembrance onto a younger generation ensuring there will always be a living legacy to those who sacrificed their today for our tomorrows.”

To support LIGHTS OUT and as part of a special partnership with Marks & Spencer, limited edition Centenary candles are available in stores and online.

Profits will be donated to the Legion to support the charity’s vital work with the current and ex-members of the Armed Forces and their families.