One to remember . . .
Date published: 12 November 2012
THOUSANDS stood shoulder to shoulder yesterday to pay their respects to those who have lost their lives in battle.
Civic dignitaries gathered on a podium on the steps of the old town hall in Oldham town centre where some of the borough’s leading clerics took part in a service led by Father Peter McEvitt, the Mayor’s chaplain and the Vicar of Oldham.
The mood was sombre and thoughtful as prayers were read and hymns sung during a service which marked the 94th anniversary of the signing of armistice to end the First World War.
Oldham Metropolitan Borough Music Centre Band played “Memories” as the crowd waited for the service to start. Police community support officer Rhiannon Ashworth played the Last Post. Silence then fell for two minutes at 11am.
The silence ended with the bugler sounding Reveille, played from the shadow of Oldham War Memorial, where the Mayor, Councillor Olwen Chadderton, was the first to lay a wreath, accompanied by the peal of bells coming from Oldham Parish Church.
She was followed by around two dozen others including Anne Sykes and Norman Stoller, Deputy Lieutenants of Greater Manchester, on behalf of the Lord Lieutenant.
Members of the public joined civic dignitaries in clapping the proud procession as it made its way past the podium.
It included 21 standard bearers, both war veterans and young people who are signed up to the uniformed organisations of today, the police, the army, scouts and St John Ambulance.
The service was one of many taking place at the same time across the borough and the whole of the nation.
The morning Eucharist at St Anne’s Church, Royton, was brought forward to allow a two-minute silence at 11am. A procession by the uniformed organisations made its way to the war memorial in the church grounds for the service, which was followed by refreshments in the parish hall.
In Saddleworth, congregations from St Chad’s Parish Church, Kilngreen, Mission Church and St Chad’s Parish Centre, Uppermill, joined with other locals for the walk up the hill to the war memorial at Pots and Pans.
The service was led by the Rev Howard Sutcliffe, who said: “There was a very good attendance. We were estimating there were about 1,000 there, which is probably a record.”
In Shaw and Crompton, residents gathered at the war memorial to hear trumpeter Allan Taylor play the Last Post. A two-minute silence was followed by Reveille and the oration came from Phelyp Bennett, who also read the lesson.
Father Eugene Dolan, from St Edward’s Church, Lees, said there were hundreds more at Lees Remembrance Service than the usual 400-500.
Crowds gathered in Thomas Street, Lees, shortly after 10am for a procession to Leesfield Cemetery and a service at the war memorial.
In Chadderton, a procession left Chadderton Reform Club to march to the war memorial in the gardens of the old town hall, for a service of hymns and prayers conducted by Father Alan Cooke.
In Failsworth, a gathering met at Failsworth Health Centre for a procession to the war memorial on Oldham Road.
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