James Grundy MP: Marking 100th anniversary of war memorial on Remembrance Day

Last weekend was Remembrance Sunday, and this year, I spent the morning at Tyldesley Cenotaph.
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This year was a special occasion for Tyldesley Cenotaph, as 2022 marked the hundredth year since the erection of the war memorial.

It was constructed originally to commemorate those military personnel from Britain and the Commonwealth who fell in battle defending Britain in the First World War.

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Two weeks to the day from Remembrance Sunday there will be a rededication ceremony for Tyldesley Cenotaph which will mark the exact date the Cenotaph was erected 100 years ago, which I hope to attend.

Leigh MP James GrundyLeigh MP James Grundy
Leigh MP James Grundy

Afterwards, I visited Atherton to speak to a number of veterans who had been to the Remembrance event in Atherton earlier that day, many of whom had served in recent conflicts.

In the afternoon I visited Golborne for the Remembrance event there.

Golborne is slightly unusual in that the event has traditionally been held in the afternoon, although no one can quite remember how the tradition began.

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I would be grateful for any guidance as to the reason from any local historian.

In the meantime I intend to make inquiries from our excellent local archives based at Leigh Town Hall, given the subject came up in discussion at the event this year.

My staff also laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Leigh on my behalf, following the tradition set by my predecessor, Jo Platt, of the Leigh MP visiting different local Remembrance services held across the constituency in rotation, rather than only attending the main service in Leigh.

I was struck that turnout was very high at all the Remembrance Sunday events that I attended this year.

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Of course, our local borough is home to the highest number of veterans in the country.

And this means that there are a very large number of local families with either a veteran as a member, or indeed, a serving member of our armed forces among them.

But it very much felt like the general public had turned out in large numbers.

Perhaps this was because people had not felt they could turn out in quite the same way during the two years Remembrance services were affected by the pandemic.

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Perhaps they were making up for it now, or perhaps public consciousness about Remembrance Sunday had been heightened given the ongoing Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

Either way, it was extremely heartening to see so many members of the public turn out in force to commemorate those brave members of our armed forces who have fallen in defence of our nation, both in the two world wars, and in more recent times.

It is because of those who fought bravely for our country, and paid the ultimate price while doing so, that we remain a free and sovereign nation.

We shall remember them.

And we must never forget their sacrifice.

Long may the British public continue to honour the memory of the fallen in great numbers.

It is only right that we do so.