Parade and Candles ceremony at Memorial Park

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A parade to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One will take place in Ballymena on Monday,4 August 2014.

Organised by the Ballymena Branch of the Royal British Legion, the parade will form up at the Wakehurst Road at 6pm and step off at 6.30pm along Queen Street led by the Castlegore Flute Band.

The parade will continue on to Bridge Street, Waveney Road and the Galgorm Road to the Memorial Gardens, where a short ecumenical Drumhead service will take place.

Members of the Royal Navy will participate in recognition of Dungiven man Able Seaman Charles G McConachy, who was a former boarder at Ballymena Academy. He was one of the first casualties of WW1, he was killed on 6 August 1914 on HMS Amphion, when it struck a German mine in the Thames Estuary.

The parade will form up after the service and parade up Wellington Street where the Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim, Mrs Joan Christie OBE, will take the salute, accompanied by the Mayor Mrs Audrey Wales and the Councillors.

The parade will finish at the Services Club, Trostan Avenue.

Later on in the evening, there will be a candlelight vigil at the Memorial Gardens in line with the UK wide vigil, initially proposed by the Government. It has been asked that everyone across the UK turn out their lights from 10pm to 11pm, to symbolise the words spoken by Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary when war was announced: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

People are encouraged to light a single candle at home in remembrance of those who died and the vigil for those who can attend will take place at the Memorial Gardens at 10.55pm the Mayor Mrs Audrey Wales will light the first candle, blowing it out at 11pm, with everyone dispersing by 11.05pm.

Candles specifically for the occasion are on sale at M&S with all profits going to the Royal British Legion, but if you do not like the idea of carrying a lite candle, why not bring a torch?