DENTON remembered the fallen as a commemoration took place to mark the centenary of the unveiling of the town’s war memorial.
The ceremony took place on Friday, July 23 which was 100 years to the day when it was performed by Austin Hopkinson, Denton’s MP though the constituency was then South East Lancs, Mossley division as opposed to Denton and Reddish today.
The event was marked by a small gathering in Victoria Park, where local councillors, veterans and schoolchildren paid their respects.
It was current MP Andrew Gwynne who alerted Tameside Council after recently noticing the centenary was on July 23.
The event was hurriedly organised by Tameside Council, in conjunction with Tameside Armed Services Community. History boards were produced and placed next to the memorial, which told the stories of some of the people who lost their lives.
And Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 pupils from Russell Scott Primary School produced 379 poppies, one for each from Denton and Haughton killed in the First World War, with each placed in the ground next to the war memorial.
Isla Dickinson and Beau Crook, both aged eight, represented the primary school at the service.
The event, which was introduced by Emma Varnan, assistant director of operations and neighbourhoods, began with short speeches by Councillor Brenda Warrington, Tameside Council’s executive leader, and Mr Gwynne.
There was sounding of the Last Post, lowering on the standard and one minute’s silence in memory of the 379 Dentonians who failed to come home after the 1914-18 war.
Cllr Warrington, Mr Gwynne and members of the Tameside Armed Forces Community laid wreaths.
The poppies and information boards were display until 5pm and then kept in safe storage to be used for Remembrance Sunday each year.
Mr Gwynne said: “I would like to thank Brenda Warrington, Tameside Council and Tameside Armed Services Community for putting this event together.
“It was an incredibly moving ceremony, and I’d like to also thank the incredible children from Russell Scott Primary School for their beautiful poppies, each one representing one of the 379 men from Denton and Haughton named on the cenotaph.
“I said a few words at Brenda’s request as it was the then MP who originally unveiled the memorial and spoke about it not just being a constant reminder of the sacrifice and service of the town’s men in the Great War, but also to those men and women who’ve served in conflicts since, and who are still serving our country to keep us safe and secure.
“It is also a reminder that there are still families grieving the loss of loved ones in active service 100 years on from the unveiling.”