THE thoughts of Herefordshire residents young and old have this week turned to those who lost their life in the First World War.

Services and moments of reflection were held across the county as people marked 100 years since Britain entered the Great War.

Many also took part in the government-backed Lights Out campaign on Monday night when the public was encouraged to leave just one light or candle on between 10pm to 11pm to mark the moment war began.

Among those remembering the millions who died was 94 year-old Leominster resident Alec Haines whose father, Arthur, served in the Great War.

"He was gassed and wounded while serving in Ypres," said Mr Haines.

His father survived these attacks but later died back in the UK aged 60.

"I served in the Second World War. I was blown out by one tank and wounded by another," Mr Haines added.

"It's right and proper that we remember these wonderful men that gave their lives for this country."

More than 500 people did just that at Hereford Cathedral on Sunday afternoon during a choral evensong.

The following evening, at the same venue, a vigil was held, ending with the Lights Out event.

"It was a quiet and thoughtful service of informal commemoration," said Dominic Harbour, the cathedral's marketing director.

"Eight candles were put out throughout the evening, leaving just one candle burning."

Also on Monday, Eardisley and District Branch of the Royal British Legion held a candlelit vigil at the Staunton on Wye and Monnington on Wye War memorial from 10pm to mark the final hour before the declaration of war.

At Weobley Parish Church, at the same time, a vigil of readings was held for villagers while music was played and prayers were said, followed by a period of silence.

The church bell sounded at St Mary's Church from 9.45pm to 10pm before parishioners gathered at the war memorial in the church's graveyard where a solitary candle was lit.

Meanwhile in Rowlestone, a short service with readings, prayer and music was held.

A two-minute silence was also held at Ross-on-Wye's Market House on Monday morning.

Many churches have set up their own exhibitions allowing the public to view what life was like here during the four year conflict.

Hundreds of felt and tissue poppies have been placed inside Eyton Church near Leominster while artists from the area have produced paintings of the conflict.

There is also an account of how the war affected life in the village.

A similar event is being held at St Michael's Church in Ledbury until August 21 and at the Golden Valley Day Centre in Peterchurch until Saturday.

The Lights Out campaign mirrors the famous remark made by Sir Edward Grey, then British Foreign Secretary, 100 years ago this week, who said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”