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Lights out in Croydon to remember the First World War heroes

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A SINGLE candle was lit in the foyer of Croydon's town hall on Monday to remember the 2,245 servicemen and civilians from Croydon who lost their lives in the First World War.

The ceremony was performed by the Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, who was joined by around 100 guests including veterans and present-day armed forces members and representatives of the community and the council.

As part of the national moment of commemoration, the candle was extinguished at 11pm, the time war was declared 100 years before.

The national Lights Out commemoration focused on the words of Sir Edward Grey, the then Foreign Secretary, who said on the eve of the war "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we won't see them lit again in our lifetime."

The Mayor said the large turnout at the event was a positive remembrance of the impact of the First World War on Croydon and its people.

It has, she said, brought about major changes in Croydon.

It saw the start of industrialisation on the Purley Way and new a new role for women which saw them taking on jobs like driving Croydon's trams.

She said: "This commemoration is a reflection on the great sacrifices that people from Croydon made 100 years ago."

A service of commemoration also took place at St Mary's Church in Addington on Monday, which was followed by a vigil at the war memorial outside the church in Addington Village Road.

The service was attended by descendants of the Chappell family which sent eight brothers to the war, seven of whom survived.

At 11pm a muffled bell struck 22 times to commemorate the servicemen whose names are on the memorial.

Ruth Chapman from St Mary's said: "I have never seen the church so full. The service an amazing and very special event.

"We went out to the memorial for 11pm and the commemoration there with the muffled bells was very sombre but very fitting."

Lights out in Croydon to remember the First World War heroes


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