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Boston and the nation paused for an hour on Monday night, to reflect and remember by the light only of flickering candles on the occasion of the very hour that Britain entered the First World War exactly 100 years ago.

Most poignant was the lighting of a single candle at the base of Boston's war memorial in Memorial Gardens by Boston Mayor Cllr Alison Austin on the chimes of 10pm. At the same time, candles were being lit across the nation and in other parts of the world by kings, princes, premiers and prime ministers, mayors and children.

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Mayor of Boston, Cllr Alison Austin, lights the single candle at Boston War Memorial at 10pm

An hour later the mayor extinguished the single flame. The Lights Out ceremony had been inspired by the words 100 years ago of Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary, who said: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

The mayor said: "Possibly the most poignant moment of all for me was to step forward at 11pm and blow out that candle, symbolic of extinguishing a life at that moment. I am proud of the way in which Boston was able to commemorate this occasion.

"I want to record my grateful thanks and appreciation for all those who supported me at the candlelit vigil at Boston's War memorial last night.

"Particular mention must go to the Police Cadets who collectively kept guard throughout the hour, discretely changing the guard every five minutes and then standing together for the final ten minutes.  Peter Hunn and fellow leaders were instrumental in overseeing this.  Thank you.

"Then I single out Pauline Chapman who personally provided the lantern and candle that was the poignant focus of our vigil.  This was a generous act by Pauline.

"Not least were the members of the public who also joined us. A handful were known to me but many were total strangers and I was able to invite them all to come and stand within the Garden of Remembrance - which belongs to all people in our borough.

"Thanks to Alec Wilson who discovered that his official duty had to include remaining as part of that vigil for the full hour.

"In addition to this simple ceremony I am aware that similar acts were taking place in parishes around the borough as well as the many homes that chose to respect the Lights Out initiative."

Boston Volunteer Police Cadets' Section Leader Michael Hall said: "It was an honour to be asked to be part of this national vigil."

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The flame extinguished at 11pm

Similar Lights Out events were held at Fishtoft War Memorial and Wyberton Parish Church and single lights were lit in windows at all borough council buildings. A vigil service held at Boston Stump.

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Cadets, from left: Cadet Toby McDonnell-Woods, Section Leader Robbie Allen, Cadet Izzy Swain and Cadet Jordan Waite, all from Boston Volunteer Police Cadets

Earlier in the day a large crowd gathered at the war memorial to remember the sacrifices made a century ago in the name of freedom.