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Borough falls silent as thousands remember fallen heroes

13 November 2020

Poppy. Residents and veterans honoured the nation’s war heroes as the borough fell silent on Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day to pay tribute to the fallen.

This year thousands of people ‘remembered at home’, as a special online service was live streamed by the council, with special contributions from the Armed Forces, the Mayor of Rochdale, local councillors, religious leaders and young musicians.

The Remembrance Sunday service featured the Last Post played by Emily Wharton of Wardle Bands, the Exhortation read by Rochdale’s Member of the Youth Parliament, Adam Rennie, and a moving Kohima Epitaph delivered by Peter Clegg of the Rochdale Fusiliers Association.

On Wednesday, 11 November 2020, Armistice Day was marked with a powerful rendition of the Last Post and a stirring Reveille played from the balcony of Rochdale Town Hall by Amy Hanson of the Rochdale Music Service.

Residents across Rochdale, Heywood, Middleton and the Pennines displayed specially designed poppies, wreaths and tributes in their windows and gardens, in line with the council’s ‘remember at home’ guidance.

"It was a poignant day and everyone who watched the online video said how moving it was"

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for the Armed Forces, said: “Despite the current restrictions, we honoured the fallen in the best possible way, whilst still ensuring the safety and wellbeing of residents and veterans was the number one priority.

“Yes, this year was different but through the support of residents across the borough, our talented local musicians and our special online video, we ensured those who tragically lost their lives in past conflicts were commemorated.

"It was a poignant day and everyone who watched the online video said how moving it was. Just as it did after 1918 and 1945, life will return to normal again. It was important this year to pay tribute in a different way and I was proud of how the borough responded. Thanks to everyone who played their part. Lest we forget.”