PLANS to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War have been announced by Ribble Valley Borough Council.
A dove tree is to be planted in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle on Monday, August 4, surrounded by a ‘garden of light’ comprising hundreds of tea-lights in remembrance of the local young men who lost their lives during the war.
Ribble Valley Mayor, Coun Michael Ranson, will plant the tree at a site near the castle gates at 6pm, before lighting a tea-light in memory of his great-uncle, James Ranson, who died aged 22 at Ypres on October 6, 1915.
Jim, as he was known to family and friends, was a medical officer and died from shrapnel wounds sustained at the Battle of Loos while treating other wounded soldiers.
People will then be invited to light their own tea-light in memory of a specific person, the borough’s fallen, or as a call to peace.
The tea-lights will burn for four hours, before Clitheroe Castle plunges into darkness at 10pm as part of the national ‘Lights Out’ campaign.
The event will mark the start of a commemorative campaign that will see oak trees bearing plaques in memory of Ribble Valley’s fallen planted in the borough’s 35 parishes over the coming months.
As Ribble Valley did not exist until 1974, precise records of the number of fallen in the borough do not exist, but it is believed to be around 1,000.
Coun Ranson said: “We are all connected to the First World War, through our family history, the fallen in our local communities, or its long-term impact on society. I am inviting residents to join me in this poignant event to remember those who gave their lives so bravely and unite in a gesture for peace.”
‘Lights Out’, the headline project of 14-18 NOW, the official cultural programme of the First World War commemorations, will involve public and iconic buildings across the UK, including the Blackpool Illuminations, the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge in London.
A civic service at St Mary’s Parish Church, Clitheroe, will be held on Sunday, August 3. For more information visit: www.ribblevalley.gov.uk