Inspired by the defining words of the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey: “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime” – the UK took a moment to mark the anniversary and turn off their lights and light a single candle. Homes and iconic buildings all over the country faded into darkness as we nostalgically remembered the courageous individuals that fought for our nation.
John Smedley sent 144 workers to fight in Europe, all of whom were divided up into dissimilar regiments. The chairman at the time, Mr John Bertram Marsden-Smedley, was keen to uphold communications with the men and regularly sent them packages containing John Smedley underwear and groceries. The men were delighted with these parcels and to this day there remain numerous letters, within our extensive archive, from grateful soldiers thanking Mr Smedley for his constant support.