Memorial to Saddleworth’s fallen war heroes to be specially listed?

A POIGNANT Uppermill landmark is being considered for inclusion on a list of monuments and buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

Historic England (HE) has started an assessment of the 97-year-old cenotaph in St Chad’s Gardens to prepare a report for the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

It is part of HE’s response to the centenary of the First World War.

Saddleworth Parish Council and Oldham Borough Metropolitan Council have been asked for input prior to the publication of consultation report.

It will set out the factual information on which HE will base their recommendation.

The Independent asked Peter Fox, curator of Saddleworth Museum in Uppermill, to delve into his archives to provide more information on the distinctive monument.

He told us: “It was probably Saddleworth’s first war memorial to those who had given their lives for the Great War of 1914-1918.

“The memorial should be correctly described as a cenotaph as it is a memorial with no names.

“The memorial was built through the philanthropy of Hervey Carter who owned Victoria Mill (located on what is now museum car park on High Street), and whose philanthropy also had already extended to the building of the Saddleworth Spiritualist Church.

“The memorial was unveiled by Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert (owner of Waterside Mill, Greenfield) on Saturday, October 21st, 1921.”

The inscription reads: “To the Glorious Memory of the Men of Saddleworth who gave their Lives and Justice in the cause of Liberty and Justice in the Great War 1914-1918.”

The memorial was dedicated to the lives of 252 men (as ascertained at the time) of Saddleworth who had given their lives and these were listed in the unveiling programme.

The figure on top of the memorial is often confused with one that was put on a temporary memorial that was erected in Uppermill Square for a parade of returning soldiers.

The figure now stands on a grave in Saddleworth Church graveyard.

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