Macclesfield Cenotaph remembers our war dead on 100th anniversary

  Posted: 21.09.21 at 20:17 by Alexander Greensmith

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A Macclesfield First World War memorial turns 100 today.

Macclesfield Cenotaph, located on Park Green, was first erected on September 21 1921.

It was then when Mayor of Macclesfield Alderman J.G Frost J.P unveiled the stone pillar and three bronze statues to our town.

A century later, to the day, Macclesfield's current Mayor has visited to commemorate the 100 year anniversary.

Current Mayor of Macclesfield Cllr David Edwardes laid a wreath this morning which read "Remembering all who have given their lives in these years. Macclesfield thanks you. 100 years of our Cenotaph."

The ten minutes ceremony included standard bearers marching, a trumpeter, a silence, and a recital of a famous war poem.

Macclesfield Royal British Legion Chair Allan Williams is left, Macclesfield's Mayor David Edwardes is in the centre, and Macc RBL Honorary Treasurer and Parade Marshal Peter Lake is right.

The event was organised by former Navy and ex-Mayor of Bollington Allan Williams, who's many titles also include Chairman of Macclesfield Royal British Legion.

Williams read For the Fallen, followed by Laurence Binyon, an excerpt of which is as follows:

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

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.

In 1921, 678 First World War Soldiers were etched into four plinths which are in front of the statue.

MACC IN TIME: The unveiling of Macclesfield Cenotaph 100 years ago.

Following the Second World War, a further 204 died-in-service Macclesfield Armed Forces members were etched into marble.

Those who died serving between 1939-1945 are engraved directly below to the left and right of the statue.

In preparation for the event, Cheshire East's Armed Forces Champion Councillor Ashley Farrall arranged for the stones to be cleaned.

"I'm very happy they were cleaned as some of the names at the bottom were covered by moss," he said.

"It looks excellent and it was great it was done in time for the 100th anniversary, so we can remember all who lost their lives [for our country]."

The memorial was given Grade-II* listed status in 1977.

In total, the names of 882 deceased local soldiers are immortalised into stone at Macclesfield Cenotaph.

All those years ago, John Millard of the Manchester School of Art produced the sculpture.

It took two years from being conceptualised in 1919, to being unveiled 100 years ago today.

The bronze figure features a crown of laurels being laid on the body of a soldier who lost their live to gassing.

At the time of unveiling, many sculptors across the UK objected to the depiction of a dead soldier on war memorial statue.

A two minute silence was held to remember almost 900 Maxonian's who died in the two World Wars, on the Cenotaph's 100th anniversary.

However, Macclesfield's design to this day remains a poignant reminder of the horrors of war, and the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces.

Macclesfield Cenotaph is located across the road from the public toilets on Park Green.

The people of Macclesfield are invited to pay their respects at the Cenotaph in the run up to Remembrance Day.

Macclesfield Royal British Legion, who attended today's event, are currently looking for volunteers to sell poppies around town this year.

If you'd like to help raise vital funds for the RBL, and get Macc buying Remembrance poppies, please call them on 01625 669876.

The statues show a grieving woman at the top, and Britannia laying a wreath over a fallen soldier at the bottom.

Macc RBL can also be emailed for voluntary enquiries via email [email protected]

All Macclesfield Branch Meetings are held at 20:00 on the 4th Wednesday of each month at our branch HQ 76 Chestergate.

Please click here to reach their website for contact details.

You can also order your poppy ahead of November online, via this link.

See Also: Macclesfield Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club expands ahead of Remembrance Day.

Macclesfield Nub News' Editor Alexander Greensmith was honoured to be invited to the private ceremony.

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