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Hundreds gather for war centenary

Date published: 14 July 2014

HUNDREDS of Oldhamers packed into Oldham Parish Church yesterday to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War.

A civic procession marched from New Radcliffe Street through the town centre to the church were a service was held to honour the war efforts of Oldham residents.

Hymns, poems and readings were heard in a ceremony led by the Rev Derek Palmer.

During proceedings, a torch was passed from old to young, while representatives of schools, scouts and Mahdlo youth zone read the litany and lit candles.

Local dignitaries including the Mayor, Councillor Fida Hussain, leader of the council, Jim McMahon, chief executive Carolyn Wilkins and Oldham MPs Debbie Abrahams and Michael Meacher attended.

Councillor Hussain, who recounted names of Oldhamers killed in the war, said: “It was known as the Great War but it is just a shame that it was not the last war.”

After the service, a tree was planted in the church grounds to mark the occasion, with soil laid at its roots by Councillor Hussain and Councillor McMahon. A bench was unveiled to remember those who gave their lives in the war.

The president of the Royal Tank Regiment Association, Capt John Cleverly (90) said: “My father fought in Normandy during the war and my son went to speak for me there as part of their memorial and he brought back a new medal for me to mark the occasion.

“It was a very popular service and the church was very full. It was a very nice service and it’s great to commemorate this landmark and meet comrades.”

The standard used, from the 2nd Battalion/10th Manchester, was a replica of the original which is housed in the Civic Centre and is too fragile to be moved.

It is housed alongside the original drums of the regiment with the money to buy them raised by the ladies of Oldham from public subscriptions and which are engraved with the names of 617 soldiers killed in the war.


"The pioneers of a warless world are the young men who refuse military service." - Albert Einstein.

Keep glorifying war.

Keep "remembering" "our" dead rather than "their" dead.

"Our" dead are important, "their" dead worthless.

This racism against the "others" is exactly why wars and killing and murder of civilians such as the children killed in Gaza continues.

More war, More war, More war.

And all justifed as "the just war".

"We" have a RIGHT to kill and maim whoever we want because "we are the good guys". Lies and propaganda.


It's pretty sick and disgusting that the church (supposedly against violence, killing, maiming and so on) is happy to host these glorification ceremonies.

"Hymns, poems and readings were heard in a ceremony led by the Rev Derek Palmer."

You should be utterly ashamed of yourself.

They claim to follow the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus would find these ceremonies an abomination.

But then church and religion are just another part of the pro-war establishment.

Plus ça change.

Proud to have been present and thank you Life for a Life who provided the tree and bench, also good to a Chelsea Pensioner made the trip from London to be with the people of Oldham.

Some questions for the second and third posters:

Where is the word "celebrate" in the article?

Where in the article is "glorifying war" suggested?

You should be 'utterly ashamed of yourself' Oldham Watcher.

You clearly know nothing of the history of Palestinian terrorism dating back to before the state of Israel was formed. Of their direct approval of the Holocaust and their involvement in it. How supporters of their leaders still give the Nazi salute to them.
If the people of Palestine wanted peace then they should be stopping Hammas from firing 500 rockets a month into Israel.

As you hypocritically say their dead are worth more than the Israeli dead.
How long do you think this country would put up with its civilians having to be able to get to an air raid shelter within 15 seconds?
The Fascist left have allied themselves with the Fascists of Palestine and showed us their true colours - not for the first time either.

@watcher. So the hundreds of countries and millions of people who participate in these type of ceremonies are only glorifying war?

Does that mean we should forget victims of road traffic accidents because it will encourage people to drink and drive? Does that mean we should not hold services for victims of crime because that celebrates murder? And so on...


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