DARLINGTON’S largest church and department store played their part in the national commemorative events to mark the First World War centenary.

Visitors were invited inside St Cuthbert’s Church to light a candle and take a moment for quiet reflection throughout the early part of today (Monday, August 4).

Rev Robert Williamson said the candlelight vigil had attracted many people through the doors to pay their respects to the war dead.

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He said: “I think it is important to remember the huge, huge number of people who went to war and didn’t come back, and to try and learn from that; such a terrible, appalling loss of life should never happen again.

“People are also coming, maybe, to remember conflicts that are happening now like on the Gaza strip, Israel and Palestine; all that carries on.”

The town’s largest department store, Binns on High Row, hosted a First World War display stand in its cafe area with memorabilia supplied by former servicemen John Philpott and Norman Horton of the Darlington Veterans Club.

The display featured original wartime items including medals, trench art, bayonets and a rifle.

Mr Philpott, who completed his national service between 1953 and 1955, said there had been quite a lot of people interested in the display.

Mr Horton, who served in the RAF for 25-years, said: “I think it is very important to remember.

“A lot of people, even adults, don’t seem to know what it was all about, but I think this year the kids are being very well educated about it all and there is a greater awareness in general this year.

“So many men and women died for us. It was a horrific war.”