Sir Edward Grey, on the eve of WW1

National Archives:  On 3 August 1914 Grey was speaking to his friend, the journalist John Alfred Spender, editor of the Westminster Gazette, in Grey’s room in the Foreign Office. Looking out from his window, across St. James’ Park, it was dusk and the first of the gas lights along the Mall were being lit. The next day Grey would have to face the Cabinet and to persuade them that the time had now come to declare war on Germany.

The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.