Cheshire East Council has held a poignant ceremony to mark Armistice Day.
The Mayor of Cheshire East, Councillor Olivia Hunter, led two minutes’ silence outside the authority’s Westfields HQ, in Sandbach.
Staff, councillors and members of the public gathered to observe a period of quiet reflection and remember those who gave their lives in war. It followed a playing of the Last Post.
Short ceremonies were also held in Memorial Square, outside the council’s offices at Crewe Municipal Buildings, and outside Macclesfield Town Hall at 11am today.
Similar ceremonies were held at numerous sites across the borough to mark the 98th anniversary of the end of the First World War, on November 11, 1918.
At Westfields, Cllr Hunter paid tribute to the fallen in all wars. Before the two-minutes’ silence began, she read the famous lines of the Robert Laurence Binyon poem ‘For the Fallen’, which dates from the Great War:
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”
Cllr Hunter thanked those who attended and added: “On Sunday, it will be my privilege to lay a number of wreaths on behalf of the council. I am sure that many of you will be attending events close to where you live, or watching the national service of remembrance from the Cenotaph on television.
“I was honoured, back in July to lead the borough’s remembrance on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Without doubt that will be one of the highlights of my year in office.
“It is right and proper that today, the 98th anniversary of the end of the First World War, we remember those who gave their lives in that conflict and the many since.”
Cllr Rachel Bailey, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “It is tremendously important that today’s generation continues to remember and honour the sacrifice made during the First World War – and in all the conflicts since then. We will remember them.”
The Battle of the Somme, which began 100 years ago on July 1, 1916, is still the single bloodiest day in British military history. The British Army suffered a staggering 57,540 casualties that day, of which more than 19,000 were killed.
The battle lasted until November 18, 1916 and was one of the costliest of the First World War with a total of more than a million soldiers killed or wounded.
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.
The council’s collaborative Cheshire East Reflects programme has a dedicated website listing the vast array of events and activities being led by community groups, museums, arts organisations and heritage venues. You can read and upload your own stories in the My Reflections and Gallery pages.
For more information visit the Cheshire East Reflects website at: http://cheshireeastreflects.com/