THE lights went out over the Vale as hundreds of people marked the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.

Last night people marked the event of August 4, 1914, by turning out the lights and holding a single candle in memory of everyone who lost their lives in the conflict.

Just over 180 people attended the Lights Out commemoration held in Evesham's Abbey Park, where at 9.45pm a series of readings took place.

They included poems from the war period, some from Christian scripture, read by representatives of county councillor John Smith, Wychavon District Council chairman Cllr Lynn Duffy and town Cllr Robert Raphael.

The Mayor of Evesham Cllr Charlie Homer read an account of a battle in which one Evesham man, 2nd Lieutenant Shedden Jones, lost his life in 1916.

After The Last Post was played, participants lit candles.

At the chimes of 10pm the war memorial was illuminated in red, white and blue, arranged by Jenny Davis of Wychavon District Council and the members of the RBL processed up to the War Memorial to pay their respects.  

One participant, Bill Bird remarked that it was a poignant moment to see the members of the legion stood in line silhouetted by the lights. 

After they fell out, a line of candlelight followed as people climbed the bank to plant their candles in the soil surrounding the memorial.