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Poole Commemorates World War One

Poole residents are being invited to take part in a series of special events to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War One.

Over a period of four days the Mayor of Poole, Cllr Peter Adams, will lead the town as it remembers this historic event and the sacrifice made by so many during the war years.

Impression of how the war memorial in Poole Park will be lit up during the LIGHTS OUT event

The centenary weekend's activities will start on Friday 1 August when the former Royal Navy coastal defence boat, HMS Medusa, will be welcomed into Poole Harbour. Built over 70 years ago in Poole, HMS Medusa took part in the D-Day landings, and was keen to be in its home town of Poole for the commemorations.

Arry Paye a 30ft foot long gig rowed by seven crew and named after Poole's infamous pirate, will accompany HMS Medusa as she enters Poole Harbour between 3pm and 4pm and makes her way to Poole Quay. HMS Medusa will be moored at Poole Quay over the weekend until she leaves on Monday.

On Sunday 3 August, residents are welcome to join the Mayor for a Civic Service at St James Church in Church Street, Poole starting at 4pm. Following the service and sermon, which will be led by the Bishop of Sherborne, servicemen, ex servicemen and uniform groups, including crew from HMS Medusa, will accompany the Mayor in a parade from St James Church, down Thames Street to the Guildhall.

On Monday 4 August, residents are invited to join the Mayor who will be commemorating the start of World War One with a special LIGHTS OUT event being held at the Poole Park War Memorial at 10pm.

Poole's Arts and Museum Services have been working with local artist Martin Coyne to create a new light and sound display that will illuminate the war memorial in Poole Park as part of the commemorative event. Images related to WW1 will light up the memorial as recorded readings of WW1 poems and letters, read out by local people, will complete this poignant and moving tribute.

Cllr Peter Adams, Mayor of Poole, said: "The First World War changed the world, so it is absolutely right that a hundred years on, we put remembrance at the heart of our centenary commemorations.

"We are proud to remember and honour the Poole men and women who played such a vital role during the war. We hope our own LIGHTS OUT event will bring the whole Poole community together to help everyone understand and reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice that so many made during that time."

The inspiration for LIGHTS OUT comes from a famous remark made on the eve of the outbreak of war by the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time." Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm on 4 August 1914 ushering in one of the darkest periods in our history.

At 10pm on Monday 4 August, Borough of Poole will turn out all the lights at the Civic Centre except for a single light shining in the window of the Mayor's Parlour.

Cllr Adams added: "Everyone is invited to take part in LIGHTS OUT by turning off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on 4 August, leaving on a single light or candle. Whether you choose to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War One individually or join us in Poole Park for our LIGHTS OUT event we hope you take a moment to reflect on this historic and world changing event." 
 
For further information on commemoration events in Poole please visit www.boroughofpoole.com/WW1.