A HOST of poignant services across the Bradford district yesterday marked the centenary of Britain entering the First World War.

An evening candlelit vigil at Bradford Cathedral remembered those who sacrificed their lives during the conflict.

The Cathedral's commemoration event saw those who attended light a candle with all but one of them put out before a service of readings and prayers.

This service was inspired by the quote on the eve of the outbreak of The Great War from then Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey : “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”.

The Stott Hill site joined the nationwide Lights Out scheme as hundreds of venues, churches, war memorials and iconic buildings across the country, including Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament, between 10pm and 11pm.

The Dean of Bradford, the Very Reverend Jerry Lepine, who led the Cathedral service, said: "It was a poignant event.


"It's important to mark this moment because it affected every community in this country.

"Most families have got stories to tell their ancestors.

"These types of services always surprise you. It needs to be remembered that most soldiers were teenagers. It's tragic. We need to be a culture that remembers and reflects."

Craven's public buildings, including Skipton Town Hall and Skipton Library, were also shrouded in darkness last night, with a single light or candle left on for a shared moment of reflection.

Meanwhile, a service of commemoration was also held in Cleckheaton's Memorial Park yesterday morning.

Councillor Ken Smith, Mayor of Kirklees, joined Cleckheaton councillors at the service, led by the Reverend Brunel James, Vicar of St Luke's, St John's and Whitechapel in Cleckheaton, and other officials.

Audrey Mills, of the Royal British Legion women's section, laid a wreath of white roses to commemorate the wives and children affected by the First World War.

Councillor John Lawson (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) said: "It was very well attended.

"It was really heartening to see that people feel strongly about it and want to pay their respects.

"The service was just right."

In Ilkley, the Cenotaph in the Memorial Gardens staged a ceremony, which was attended by The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Mike Gibbons, who also went to services in Oxenhope and at Bradford Cathedral.

The town's service was led by Fr Philip Gray, of St Margaret’s Church, and prayers were led by the Reverend Patrick Bateman, of All Saint’s Parish Church.

The chairman of Ilkley Parish Council, Councillor Andrew Walbank, welcomed those attending and Councillor Heathcliffe Bowen read ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae.

Cllr Gibbons said: "It's of huge importance that we continue to commemorate and remember the outbreak of The Great War.


"It affected whole families and areas and was a huge humanitarian tragedy.

"We should also remember the relatives of the soldiers still living who were affected by the war and the loss of fathers and also the fact it blighted whole families."

Elsewhere, Keighley paid a dignified tribute to the men from the town who marched off to fight at the start of the First World War.

At least 150 people attended a half-hour ceremony yesterday morning at the cenotaph, in Town Hall Square, to honour those men from the district who were part of the British Expeditionary Force to France and Belgium in August 1914.

The standard of the Keighley branch of the Old Contemptibles Association was paraded, as a mark of respect to the members of this organisation.

During the ceremony the names of 77 members of the Keighley branch were read out by representatives of the Royal British Legion, Keighley Town Council, the Soldiers, Sailors & Airmen's Families Association and the general public.

Keighley mayor, Councillor Graham Mitchell, and Andy Wade of the Men of Worth military history project both delivered speeches explaining the background of the association and the meaning of its standard.

The Reverend Dr Jonathan Pritchard led a short service, a prayer and a blessing and music was provided by an ensemble of Haworth Brass Band.