SOLDIERS serving with 3rd (UK) Division have marked the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with a special Lights Out vigil at the Memorial Church of St George in Bulford Camp.

About 200 troops from the division filled the garrison church for the service, which saw the lights gradually dimmed until only the altar candle was left at the end, after which the soldiers departed the church in darkness.

During the service the General Officer Commanding 3rd Division Major General James Cowan read an extract from Sir Edward Grey's speech to the House of Commons on August 3, 1914, and the poem 1914 by Wilfred Owen was also recited.

The event had added poignancy as 3rd Division deployed to France in August 1914 as part of the British Expeditionary Force, just ten days after the declaration of war with Germany.

The Wiltshire-based formation fought at the first engagement between British and German troops at the Battle of Mons in Belgium on August 23, a battle in which two soldiers from the division were awarded the first Victoria Crosses of the war.