Rochdale Borough Council has confirmed further details of events being staged this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
More than 30 events are planned including a WW1 Centenary Schools Poetry Competition and a WW1 themed play performed at local schools. Pupils will also be taking part in a battlefield tour.
On Tuesday 24 June the council will host ‘An evening with Simon Weston OBE’ at Rochdale Town Hall. Businesses and Armed Forces guests will be invited to the event which will look at the work of Rochdale’s Community Covenant so far, specifically Armed Forces transferrable skills and employment.
From August the town hall hosts a medal display and on 4 August churches across the borough will open their doors and hold candlelit reflection services marking the centenary of the day World War One started.
Also in August there will be a re-enactment of the famous Lancashire Fusiliers March from Todmorden to Rochdale - on Friday, August 6, 1914, following the order to mobilise on August 4 when Britain had entered the war, men from the two Todmorden Territorial Army companies of the Rochdale Battalion of the 6th Lancashire Fusiliers marched to Rochdale to join with men from Middleton and Rochdale.
On 14 September there’s a parade in Heywood to mark the 70th Anniversary of Arnhem and on 1 November a festival of Remembrance Concert at the town hall.
Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for the Armed Forces said commemorations for the 2014 WW1 Centenary will be a poignant opportunity to reflect and remember those who have died and served in our Armed Forces since the start of World War One:
“Our duty with these commemorations is clear … to honour those who served, to remember those who died and to ensure that the lessons learnt live with us for ever. The World War One Centenary provides an opportunity for people of all ages to come together and demonstrate our civic support for the extraordinary work our forces do.”
For details of all the events taking place visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/armedforces
The council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012, aimed at encouraging communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help integrate armed forces personnel back into civilian life.
Last year the government announced a four-year programme to commemorate the centenary, including educational and cultural activities.
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