Remembrance Sunday 2012: Greater Manchester stands still to pay respects to fallen soldiers

By Oliver Rhodes

Remembrance Sunday is uniting councils and communities across Greater Manchester as they prepare to pay their respects to the country’s fallen heroes.

The national service commonly occurs on the nearest Sunday to Armistice Day, but will fall on the anniversary of World War One’s end this year.

Councils of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan have thoroughly planned their processions and outlined the importance of remembrance.

“Wigan Council works closely with our veterans and I am proud to have my own links to our servicemen and women through my Mayoral Cadet,” said Mayor of Wigan Borough, Councillor Myra Whiteside.

“It’s all the more poignant because this year the 11th hour of the 11th day falls on Remembrance Sunday itself.

“I honour those who have fought for us, those that served, those that supported them and the sacrifices they have all made.”

Mayor Whiteside also called for residents to attend the many ceremonies and services in the community or privately observe the silence where they can.

The Mayor of Rochdale, Cllr James Gartside echoed the sentiment with the town assembling the annual parade in Mere Street before marching to the cenotaph at 10:30am.

Mayor Gartside said: “The Remembrance Services taking place around the borough on Sunday are of great importance to myself, the council and our residents.

“They provide an opportunity for us to remember all the service men and women who have sacrificed so much to preserve the freedoms which we enjoy.

“By bringing us together with a shared purpose I believe that the services also strengthen and enrich our community.”

Similar to the other Greater Manchester boroughs, Tameside is also hosting several parades, church services and wreath laying across its area.

Deputy leader of Tameside Council, Cllr John Taylor said: “Remembrance Sunday is of immense significance to the people of Tameside.

“That’s why we believe November 11 should be a public holiday, and why we are so proud of our links with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and the Mercians.

“The long conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan – which have claimed the lives of six men with Tameside links – have raised awareness of the incredible job our armed forces do.”

The Mayor of Bury, Cllr Joan Grimshaw, will be attending the Remembrance Sunday service at Bury Parish Church and at Tottington War Memorial.

Mayor Grimshaw said: “Remembrance Sunday is one of those annual occasions which brings the community together.

“People from across Bury will remember and pay tribute to those who died in the Great War and in other conflicts, and ensure that their sacrifice is never forgotten.”

In Salford, an assembly starts at 10:30am at Albion Place, The Crescent with service commencing at 10:45am for the cenotaph.

Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart said: “On Sunday, the people of Salford can show their personal gratitude and support to those who have fallen and those who have returned, by turning out for Remembrance Day.

“It’s a time for the whole community to come together to honour those who gave their lives to protect Salford’s residents and families.”

Joining the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr Elaine Boyes, are senior representatives from the Navy, Army, Air Force, Royal British Legion, Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and Reserve Forces.

The procession takes place from Albert Square to the cenotaph in St Peter’s Square.

“Remembrance Sunday gives us time to reflect on past and present conflicts and is a chance for us all to express our respect for the men and women that have given their lives in the fight for freedom,” Lord Mayor Boyes said.

Leader of Oldham Council, Cllr Jim McMahon, said he was delighted to be working with the Royal British Legion and encouraged the public to show their support.

During Remembrance Sunday in Oldham, service will commence at the war memorial at 10:50am with ex-service and civilian organisations invited to join the mayor.

Cllr Jim McMahon said: “We have the deepest respect for all those who have given their lives for peace and security.

“I would urge all residents to please give generously again to this cause and wear your poppies with pride.

The Mayor of Stockport, Cllr Wendy Meikle, is also supportive of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal and hopes the community can raise funds by volunteering or donating.

The town will pay its respects at the Civic Service at Stockport War Memorial with representatives of local youth organisations involved with the proceedings.

The Mayor of Stockport, Cllr Wendy Meikle, said: “Over the past few years I have seen the crowds grow around the War Memorial, more and more people are gathering together to pay respect to not only those who died for our country but to honour the survivers of war.

“I include all the brave young men fighting in Afghanistan and all those who have been killed some at such a young age, some leaving young families, it brings the reality of war home to us. 

“I will be very proud to lead the Rememberance day procession from the Town Hall over to the War memorial on Sunday, the silence unites us and our thoughts and some feel the pain in their hearts.”

Remembrance Day services in Trafford take place at the Garden of Remembrance in Altrincham, Bowdon Parish Church, Hale War Memorial and All Saint’s Parish Church in Hale Barns.

Bolton is planning a parade at 11:15am with a church service and the laying of wreaths at the war memorial occurring beforehand.

The Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Guy Harkin, will also take the salute on the town hall steps.

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