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David Pearson and Sheffield schoolteacher Lisa Gascoigne

Whilst on Monday evening the lights were dimmed across the UK as a sign of respect to those who gave their lives during the Great War it took two holidaymakers from Sheffield to bring the observance to the Costa Blanca.

David Pearson had been busy organizing a commemorative event in his home town at Mosborough Rugby Club but when a holiday opportunity arose he had to leave the final preparation with colleagues as he and his family took the opportunity to enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine.

So with time on his hands here in Spain, and with nothing planned in the local area, it seemed only natural that he arrange a similar event at a local bar. James Dumbreck was delighted to offer La Sahara Bar in CC La Fuente as a venue. The Royal British Legion Recruiting Officer Jim Watt became involved and the event began to take shape, culminating with the commemorative act on Monday night as bar owners, restaurateurs and members of the public united with thousands of people across the UK to dim their lights, leading up to the moment at 11pm that Prime Minister Herbert Asquith declared Britain’s involvement in the conflict that would go on to claim an estimated 16 million lives.

The commemoration follows on from the words of the then-foreign secretary Sir Edward Grey, who said portentously after the declaration "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

In the UK, the Houses of Parliament, Broadcasting House, home of the BBC in London, and St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as hundreds of councils, iconic buildings, national organisations, including the Royal British Legion, took part in the ceremony. Blackpool illuminations, the Eden Project, the Imperial War Museums and Tower Bridge also went dark.

In the minutes leading up to the ‘dimming of the lights’ at CC La Fuente, David was joined by Lisa Gascoigne, a schoolteacher, who has spent the last months introducing her students to this significant period in history at the Westfield Secondary School in Sheffield.

The pair set the scene and recited letters and poems from the time. The event concluded with ‘The Last Post’ which was rightly dignified, as many dozens of holidaymakers rose and stood silently to pay their respects, for each a personal gesture in remembrance of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us 100 years ago and who must never be forgotten.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44515/

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