Lights out to remember
Date published: 05 August 2014
OLDHAMERS joined a national tribute to those who lost their lives during the First World War last night.
From 10-11pm, households and businesses were urged to switch off their lights and display a solitary candle in their window to pay their respects to the fallen on the anniversary of the start of the conflict.
Despite the solemnity and awe-inspiring enormity, it was not a time for tears . . . at least until The Last Post reached into the hearts and minds of more than 200 Saddleworth villagers who stood quietly at the war memorial off Uppermill’s High Street as the names of the fallen were read in the glow of flickering candles.
Then a single, peerless teardrop rolled down the cheek of a child in trainers too young to know or understand the horror of war.
This was a deep, meaningful silence etched into a night that only comes once in 100 years. Heads bowed, the stillness was palpable. Memories of young men and women no-one had ever met but who were scythed down alongside the millions consigned to die in a foreign field.
There were no Christian names — just initials which added a poignancy and dignity to the service remembering the men and women who never got old.
This was followed by a respectful silence and the placing of tributes to those enshrined in family and collective village memories.
A fascinating chronology of 1914 complied by Peter Fox, curator of Saddleworth Museum, revealed a haunting urgency across the villages that August.
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