This week marks 100 years since Britain joined the First World War – with Bostonians urged to honour those that gave their lives in the conflict.
According to historian Richard Gurnham, 945 men and women from the Boston area died during the Great War – 435 from the town and the rest from the surrounding villages.
It is estimated that 6,000 people were involved in the war in one way or another – and the conflict also had a big impact on the town’s port and fishing industry,
This week The Standard runs a special feature on the first three Bostonians who died during the war as well as a preview of a two-day exhibition at Boston’s Drill Hall and a look at how we covered the outbreak.
A commemoration service will take place in Boston’s Memorial Gardens at 11am on Monday – 100 years to the day since Britain declared war on Germany – with a vigil service at the Stump at 7pm.
Everyone across the borough is also being asked to switch all bar one of their lights out for an hour at 10pm on Monday, part of a nationwide Lights Out project that echoes foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey’s famous remark that the ‘lights are going out all over Europe’ as war broke.
At Boston War Memorial a candle will be lit by Mayor Coun Alison Austin at 10pm, with police cadets then maintaining a one-hour vigil. Coun Austin said: “It’s very difficult to comprehend but remember we’re not celebrating war, we’re commemorating that sacrifice that people made, that people who went off to war because they were basically fighting for the democracy and stability that we experience here in Britain today.
She added: “It’s important that future generations understand the destruction and the disruption to lives.”
Single lights will also be lit and displayed at the Municipal Buildings, Guildhall, crematorium and Geoff Moulder Leisure Complex. In Wyberton, St Leodegar’s Church will play host to a vigil, with war poems to be read from 10pm to 11pm.