War commemoration

The flag at Lerwick Town Hall is being flown at half mast to commemorate the start of World War One. Photo: Dave Donaldson
The flag at Lerwick Town Hall is being flown at half mast to commemorate the start of World War One. Photo: Dave Donaldson

A Shetland flag is flying at half mast today to mark the outbreak of the First World War 100 years ago.

Britain entered the war on 4th August 1914, declaring war on Germany at 11pm. That started the conflict, “the war to end all wars”, centred on Europe that lasted until 11th November 1918.

Commemorations are taking place on both sides of the English Channel today and SIC convener Malcolm Bell said the town hall flag was the council’s way of paying tribute to those who lost their lives – approximately 600 Shetlanders were lost in the four-year war.

He said: “It is appropriate on this day to fly the Town Hall flag at half mast to pay tribute to all those from, and connected to, Shetland who fell during the First World War”. He added that the reason the Shetland was flying, rather than the Union flag, was to mark the fact that so many Shetland people died during the First World War. He said: “We thought it was more appropriate.”

The council will also be joining the national Lights Out initiative this evening. It will see many buildings and landmarks across the UK turning off their lights between 10pm and 11pm.   The floodlights of Lerwick Town Hall will be switched off, leaving just the flagpole illuminated during that hour.

The Shetland Times will publish a special feature on Friday, compiled by Jon Sandison, commemorating the war and the Shetlanders who were killed during the conflict.


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