The Lamps are going out all over Europe

Stephen Liddell

It is now 100 years since this famous phrase was first uttered by Sir Edward Grey to describe the ominous feeling that Europe and perhaps the world was about to slip into a war more bloody than most could ever imagine.

His remarks were made on the evening of the 3rd August whilst looking out at the lamps coming on in St. James Park in London on a balmy summer evening.

The world had been heading to war for some time but only a few realised just how big it would be.  Germany had already fought France in the late 19th century and was eager to gain an empire of its own.  It had been a loose conglomeration of states for centuries and like Italy only had become recently unified. The German Kaiser suffered from a disability and being descended from the British Queen Victoria suffered in Germany for not…

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