SPECIAL services were held at churches across York, North and East Yorkshire to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

At 11pm on August 4, 1914, Britain declared war on Germany, and as the moment approached, the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey made the famous remark: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

In a UK-wide event called Lights Out churches held vigil services on Monday night including at St Peter’s Church, in Norton, and St Michael’s Church, in Malton, while in York lights were switched off at the Minster, Mansion House, Guildhall, West Offices and Hazel Court as well as at many churches.

The lantern in the tower above All Saints pavement was lit at 10pm. All Saints is the Guild and Civic Church of York, the regimental church of the Royal Dragoon Guards.

Meanwhile St Martin’s in Coney Street held a commemorative service with a vigil of prayers, readings, diary extracts, poetry and music, in conjunction with the national service at Westminster Abbey.

St Mary’s, South Milford, held a service at 7.30pm on Monday, with music from the early part of the 20th century, readings and reflections, while St Giles, Copmanthorpe, was open for prayer and remembrance on Monday and St James, Bilbrough, held a vigil service at 6pm on Saturday.

In Haxby, there was also a service to mark the centenary with a rededication of Haxby Memorial Hall on Saturday. The service began with a parade from the village green to the hall, where a plaque was unveiled to remember all those who served their country from Haxby and Wigginton during the war.