A PUBLIC Remembrance Service will not be held at Austerlands War Memorial, which celebrates its centenary this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic and current guidelines.
David Needham, event organiser, confirmed that the ‘rule of six’ restrictions and Oldham Council’s advice for only ‘closed events’ with no attendees means the service is not possible.
He added: “Unfortunately, because of the confined space around the monument and its close proximity to a very busy public highway, it makes it very difficult to manage the social distancing.
“It is disappointing because last year around 200 people paid tribute at the Austerlands War Memorial and this year marks the centenary of its unveiling, which took place on 7 August 1920.
“It is the oldest Great War memorial in Saddleworth (and Oldham) and the only one, to my knowledge, which was funded by public subscription.
“What we expect to see on the day is a small socially distanced laying of wreathes by the usual organisations and facilities will be available for the placing of commemorative poppy crosses by individuals.
“This will help keep the promise made at the 1920 unveiling: to keep the memory of the fallen, green and unfading, forever.”