A centenary commemoration has been held to honour Cheshire’s fallen at the First Battle of Ypres.
Veterans groups, dignitaries and members of the public gathered at a poignant wreath-laying ceremony at Sandbach War Memorial today (Monday, October 20).
The First Battle of Ypres was one of the first major battles of the Great War and the battle which led to the stalemate of trench warfare, which lasted until early 1918. The First Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment played a significant part in the battle.
Councillor Michael Jones, Leader of Cheshire East Council, led the wreath-laying at Sandbach War Memorial and gave a short speech before the Last Post was played and a minute’s silence observed.
Councillor Jones said: “Remembering the sacrifice made during the First World War by those across what is now Cheshire East is tremendously important.
“In August, we held a major event at Tatton to commemorate the very significant losses sustained by the Cheshire Regiment at the Battle of Mons.
“Today, we mark the First Battle of Ypres. The town of Ypres, in Belgium, was completely destroyed in three terrible and prolonged battles during the Great War and hundreds of thousands of soldiers died.
“There will be few families in Cheshire East whose ancestors were not involved in some way in these conflicts – and it is right that today, 100 years on, we pay tribute to their great sacrifice.”
The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Royal British Legion, Cheshire Regiment Association, Sandbach Town Council and Cheshire East Council – including CEC Chief Executive, Mike Suarez.
The commemorative event is part of the Council’s four-year programme of remembrance of the sacrifice by the people of Cheshire East during the First World War.
Cheshire East will be marking a number of key anniversaries in the period up to November 11, 2018, when the centenary of the signing of the Armistice will be commemorated.