A fitting place to remember

7 Oct 2021 04:40
Published by: Scott Callan

CONGLETON'S newly renovated cenotaph has been officially unveiled at a special dedication event.

The site now contains more than 600 names of local men and women who lost their lives through serving their country.

The town council says the cenotaph is now a safer, more attractive and "fitting place" for people to visit.

Town mayor, Councillor Denis Murphy, said: "It was an absolute pleasure to see so many people turn out to witness the official dedication of our new cenotaph.

"I would like to acknowledge local residents, members of the clergy, members of the Armed Services, distinguished veterans, civic guests and fellow councillors for playing a part in the parade and service.

"Special thanks must go to Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of the country of Cheshire, Lady Redmond, who did us the honour of cutting the ribbon and the Revd Ian Enticott who conducted the service."

The parade left West Street car park, led by the Rode Hall Silver Band, with Gary Dolman from the Royal British Legion taking the role of Parade Sergeant.

The service started when the procession arrived at the cenotaph. Short prayers and poems were read, the national anthem was sung, and the last post was played by Michael Whitehurst. The dedication concluded with a flypast from a Spitfire.

Members of the public were invited to lay flowers in memory of a loved one named on the new plaques.

The refurbished site features three new flag poles and on the day the Union flag, the town flag and the Prinses Irene Brigade flag were flying proudly to commemorate the occasion.

The 1920s granite Celtic Wheel Cross retained from the original site took centre stage for the proceedings, on an improved elevated position. The new memorial site now benefits form improved access for all.

The dedication of the previous site was held on Armistice Day on November 11, 1923. Cllr Murphy said: "Close on 250 names of the casualties were not recorded on the plaque. To right this wrong, 13 new Portland stone plaques, quarried in Dorset have been sourced to contain the additional names.

"It is important that we remember and honour all the local people who have lost their lives. I am delighted that we finally have a cenotaph site that does this, and I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible."

The project was headed up by The Congleton Partnership in conjunction with the town council, supported by volunteers, members of local organisations and councillors.

To make the build possible, funds were raised through grants and pledges. Mike Smith, project co-ordinator for The Congleton Partnership said: "We would like to thank residents, relatives of the fallen, local trusts, local businesses, local clubs and organisations, plus local statutory bodies for their kind and generous donations."

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