History: Lost Memorial

THERE HAVE survived a number of photographs of a memorial that stood in The Square in Uppermill, with many people wondering where it went.

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The photographs show the crowds that attended the event with soldiers probably from the local Duke of Wellingtons West Riding Regiment guarding the memorial

The memorial in question was in actual fact a temporary one erected for a special event held on 20, September 1919.

It had been created as the centrepiece of the event which was a welcome home parade for returning soldiers and a memorial to remember those that had lost their lives.

The memorial was made by Mr Corner, who was the Sexton at the time and monumental mason based at Saddleworth Church.

The angel which formed the top of the memorial had been originally carved as a headstone while the lettering was painted onto the marble.

The memorial was only supposed to stay for the weekend of the event but it was soon surrounded by tributes that had been laid in memory of those that had lost their lives and it stood for about six weeks.

There were however suggestions it could become a permanent fixture, with one proposal to mount it on the stone base of the lamp that once stood in the Square, connecting it to the gas and adding a lamp above the angel.

OS-MM-W.W.1-Unveiling Memorial Uppermill-Sq-03The papers suggested the arrangement would be economical with the memorial being seen night and day and there would be no danger of people or vehicles running into it.

The angel from the temporary memorial was not used as most people assume for the later memorial in St Chad’s Park, Uppermill but was shortly afterwards bought by the Diggle Stationmaster on the death of his 25 year old daughter, Dorcas Smith.

The paint was washed off and her name carved in its place. The memorial now stands in the churchyard at Saddleworth Church with the names of her parents Ralph and Sarah Brierley added.

The event was in actual fact filmed by the proprietor of the nearby Saddleworth Palace Cinema and the film was shown there and has survived and is now in the collection of the North West Film Archive.

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