Rochdale Remembrance Sunday

Date published: 12 November 2017

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Thousands of people gathered in glorious sunshine and clear blue skies outside the Town Hall to pay their respects to those who died serving their country.

The service began with a parade, led by Rochdale Youth Band, from the top of Yorkshire Street, which passed over the River Roch bridge in the town centre and on to the Cenotaph.

Along with the Royal British Legion and veterans, organisations parading included the Rochdale Parachute Regimental Association, Sea Cadets, Army Cadets and the Air Training Corps.

Wing Commander David Forbes DL, President of the Rochdale branch of the Royal British Legion, opened the service with The Exultation after the clock tower struck 11am.

The last post was sounded and those bearing flags and standards lowered them for the two minute silence.

Wing Commander Forbes read The Kohima Epitaph before prayers were read by the Reverend Canon Margaret Smith, Royal British Legion Chaplain.

Wreaths were laid by Mayor Ian Duckworth, the president of the Legion, the saluting officer, the Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Member of Parliament Tony Lloyd, party leaders, representatives of the three armed forces, police, fire and ambulance officers, the Royal British Legion and other ex-service organisations, magistrates and representatives from churches and mosques.

Other organisations, including Brownies, Guides and Scouts, and members of the public also laid their wreaths.

The Reverend Margaret Smith, Town Centre Chaplain, sang the hymn 'By A Monument of Marble', inviting the public to accompany her after the first verse.

A prayer and a reading from the Gospel according to St John were read, followed by a Universal Peace Prayer and the hymn 'O God, Our Help in Ages Past' and the Lord’s Prayer, read by Reverend Mark Coleman, Vicar of Rochdale.

The Blessing and the National Anthem closed the service, before the parade marched along The Esplanade and around the Town Hall.

Wooden crosses adorned with poppies had also been added to the Memorial Gardens, some bearing the names of those who had fought in the wars, whilst others recognised the sacrifice given by all who gave their lives.

Chairman of the Rochdale Parachute Regimental Association, Wayne Rostron, said: “I would like to thank the town. I am really humbled and proud they turned out to support our veterans. It seems to get bigger and bigger each year and the Rochdale Parachute Regimental Association would like to express our sincere thanks.”

Mayor Duckworth said: “It was a lovely turnout today on such a fresh, cold day. I really appreciate so many coming down. I thought it would fade away after I came out of the army but it seems to be more and more popular and our ex-servicemen get better care than in previous years.”

Tony Lloyd said: “Remembrance Day is always very moving and I am always amazed at how often the weather is fine. It is bright but cold so it is nice to see so many people out to pay their respects at the service. The spirit of remembering is very strong in Rochdale, and rightfully so.”


Rochdale Remembrance Sunday
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