Rochdale residents are being asked to take part in a historic re-enactment by lining the streets on 10 August to welcome a commemorative march from Todmorden to Rochdale.
Back on August 1914, 1,000 soldiers from the 6th Battalion of Lancashire Fusiliers marched from Todmorden to Rochdale before being sent to Egypt and on to the killing fields of Turkey. Few came home alive or unscathed from the ‘Gallipoli campaign,’ one of the most bloody campaigns of World War One.
The re-enactment has been arranged by the Todmorden British Legion, supported by Rochdale Borough Council and will include Tod PALS, reserves from Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and Todmorden Community Band. They will follow the 12 mile route originally taken, wearing full First World War regalia. Starting the march at Todmorden and attending the Rochdale ceremony will be 84 year old Doris Sharphouse, daughter of one of the original Lancashire Fusiliers. Also attending will be Robert Barker, grandson of Captain Barker, the second in command of the original soldiers from Todmorden.
Residents are being asked to show their support as the march arrives into the Rochdale borough at the Summit Inn, Littleborough and takes the route of Todmorden Road, Featherstall Road and then Halifax Road, turning onto Entwisle Road and arriving at St Andrews Church at approximately 1.30pm. There it will be joined by another 200, comprising standard bearers, the Salvation Army Band, veterans associations and military cadets before heading to the cenotaph by the town hall for a short public ceremony, wreath laying and the last post at 2pm. Everyone is welcome to watch the parade and attend the ceremony.
Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for the Armed Forces at Rochdale Borough Council, said:
“With 2014 marking the centenary of World War One, the link between the military and our community is stronger than ever. I hope people will come out and support this historic event as we show our appreciation to all those local soldiers and their families who paid the supreme sacrifice.”
Drivers in the area are being warned that the march will be on the road so are being reminded to take extra care and be considerate at all times.
Rochdale has been linked to the Fusiliers since 1881. They were awarded Freedom of the Borough in 1947.
Rochdale was also one of the first councils in the country to sign the Armed Forces Community Covenant in November 2012, aimed at encouraging local communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help integrate Armed Forces personnel back into civilian life. It also encourages authorities to work more closely to support those in service and their families, ensuring there is no disadvantage associated with serving in the Armed Forces.
For more details on this and other events being staged to commemorate the World War One Centenary visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/armedforces
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