Council joins local authorities across UK in Single Commemorative Act for Great War

Watford Borough Council joined local authorities nation-wide yesterday in a Single Commemorative Act of remembrance to all those who died fighting for the Commonwealth in the First World War.

Published: Tuesday, 10th March 2015

In her dimly lit parlour, Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill read a few words in their memory.

She said: “What matters is that we are joining in the national commemoration and we are doing it with the dignity and the solemnity that the occasion deserves.”

She said the four candles lighting her parlour would be extinguished to show ‘the feeling of darkness that came over Europe’ during the First World War.

An electric candle will now be kept alight in a cabinet facing Watford Town Hall’s grand stairwell until 2018. Then, after it is extinguished, the four candles will be relit in the mayor’s parlour to symbolically show how light won through the darkness.

The Single Commemorative Act of extinguishing the candles happened at 10.30am yesterday in the chambers of civic leaders up and down the country.

Just half an hour previously, council chairman George Derbyshire raised a flag outside of Watford Town Hall, near the war memorial, to mark Commonwealth Day.

Before doing so, he read statements from His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, and Queen Elizabeth II herself.

The Queen’s statement detailed her pleasure in hearing of a ‘record number’ of civic leaders and community groups across the Commonwealth raising flags simultaneously to celebrate the Commonwealth yesterday.

Councillor Derbyshire said: “In these uncertain times of instability and conflict in the world, it is important we recognise the values of understanding and democracy which we share with our fellow members of the Commonwealth community. The need for the Commonwealth as a compelling force for good is as great as ever it was.”

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