SADDLEWORTH fell silent on Remembrance Sunday as services and ceremonies took place across the villages in honour of the fallen.
Residents of all ages, members of branches of the Royal British Legion, uniformed services and representatives of various organisations all gathered to pay their respects.
Saddleworth Parish Council chairman Cllr Barbara Beeley said she was ‘devastated’ to miss the important events after contracting Covid-19.
She said: “I cannot believe that the Covid lockdown cancelled everything last year and now I have personally got Covid.
“I am devastated to be missing what I consider to be one of the most important duties of the year – honouring the fallen and vowing to protect the legacy of peace which they gave us.”
Locals thronged up to the Pots and Pans war memorial to pay their respects at the traditional Remembrance Day Service.
The Reverend Ken McNally led the proceedings, with music by Dobcross Brass Monkeys, at the annual event organised by the Saddleworth branch of the Royal British Legion.
Silence fell and heads were bowed for the Act of Remembrance, a minute’s silence and the playing of The Last Post.
Wreaths were laid at the foot of the memorial by local groups and organisations in tribute to those who have lost their lives in conflicts.
Two services took place in Uppermill to mark Remembrance Day and remember the fallen.
The evening service on November 8, organised by the Saddleworth branch of the Royal British Legion, was led by the Reverend John Rosedale by the war memorial in St Chad’s Gardens.
He was joined by cadets, special guests including Saddleworth Parish councillors and standard bearers with five flags: Saddleworth RBL – Alison Clowes; Lees and District RBL Cpl Park (2200 Oldham Sqn ATC); Ashton under Lyne RBL – Scott Pringle (Ashton RBL); Union Flag – David Brown (Ashton RBL); and ATC Banner – Cpl Hollingworth (2200 Oldham Sqn ATC).
Rev Rosedale led the gathering in prayers to remember those who have died in service, especially members of the sea, land and air forces who laid down their lives.
He also called on people to think of all those who continue to suffer the consequences of fighting and terror today, and to remember with thanks and sorrow all those lost.
The Last Post was played before a minute’s silence was held and then hymns were sung, including Jerusalem, and the Lord’s Prayer was recited.
Wreaths were laid on the war memorial by councillors, other organisations and individuals, before the national anthem concluded the service.
A smaller service was also held on Remembrance Day – November 11 – at the same spot.
The Reverend Canon Sharon Jones led the proceedings with prayers and readings, before the Act of Remembrance and The Last Post, played by local bandsman John Whittle.
They were joined by Alison Clowes, vice-chair and standard bearer of the Saddleworth Branch of the Royal British Legion.
A procession and poignant service at Lees War Memorial marked Remembrance Day.
Locals, veterans including 95-year-old Thomas Kimblin, churches, Sunday schools, organisations, and councillors gathered for the occasion.
The day, organised by the Lees and District branch of the Royal British Legion, started with the parade from Thomas Street to the cenotaph for a service to remember the fallen.
Later in the day, branch members Andrew Clare, Mark Cavanagh and Ian Holland Boulton delivered 100 afternoon teas to local veterans as a thank you for their service.
The initiative was to mark the RBL’s centenary and tea boxes were provided by Morrison’s, who also made a super-sized cookie to celebrate the 100 years.
In Dobcross, the Dobcross Youth Band and Musical Director Seth Livingstone led a procession from the band club to Holy Trinity Church, Dobcross.
There were 50 players from the youth and training band in the procession, joined by members of the public.
The service was led by Graham McGuffie, including prayers and hymns, the Act of Remembrance and the Last Post and Reveille played by Principal Cornet Amy Naylor, 16.
Oldham’s oldest Great War Memorial, in Austerlands, saw a large turnout on Remembrance Sunday as residents were privileged, once again, to receive the Queen’s Wreath.
It was gifted by the Greater Manchester Lieutenancy for a second year in succession to mark the delayed centenary of the monument’s 1920 unveiling and in honour of the Austerlands and District fallen.
This special wreath was placed on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen by the bugler’s daughter Ericka Prescott, 7, and her cousin Jasmine Illingworth-Lomas, also 7.
Pride of place at the head of the war memorial is the Coat of Arms of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) and The Duke’s Regimental Association also sent a wreath in recognition of the occasion.
It was laid by Susan Smith, whose research of the men who fought and fell in the Great War was published in the Order of Service.
Proceedings were conducted by Roger Fielding with prayers by the Reverend Mother Amy-Elizabeth of St John the Baptist Church, Hey.
The Last Post was sounded by local girl Vicky Prescott and Mrs Smith read from a 1915 poem, written by Saddleworth’s Ammon Wrigley, entitled The Lads of Austerlands and Scouthead.
Wreaths were also placed by Joan Sykes on behalf of the Mayor of Austerlands; by Parish Cllr Rob Knott on behalf of Saddleworth Parish Council; by Geoffrey Fielding on behalf of the Scouthead and Austerlands Community Group; by Gareth Farnam-Jones on behalf of the North West Ambulance Service; and from a representative of Blind Veterans UK.
Elsewhere, a small Remembrance Service was held in Delph by the three Commonwealth War Graves in the graveyard of the former Independent Chapel.
It has been a tradition to hold a service there for at least the last 10 years, including the Act of Remembrance and laying of wreaths on each grave by members of the local community.
This year’s event, organise by Delph Community Association, was officiated by the Reverend John Rosedale and Joshua Curtis played the Last Post and Reveille.
More than 100 bright red poppies made up a colourful cascade at Kilngreen Church in Diggle.
The remembrance display was created by Janet Iles, who lives in the village, and she invited the church congregation and the Brownies to also contribute poppies for the spectacle.
The Brownies were very inventive and created theirs out of the base of plastic bottles.
The poppy cascade was on display in time for the church’s Remembrance Day Service, with locals gathering to pay their respects to the fallen.