A PARADE, service and a roll call of the fallen will be among a series of poignant events to be staged in Bury next month to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.
Bury town centre will be brought to a standstill on Sunday, August 3, for a major tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the 1914 to 1918 war.
A parade, involving military and civilian voluntary organisations, will make its way to Bury Parish Church where a service will be taken by the Rector of Bury, the Rev Dr John Findon.
Bury’s World War One commemoration programme will get under way the previous day — Saturday, August 2 — with an open day at the town’s Castle Armoury.
The free event, from 11am to 3.30pm, will have stands set out in the main drill hall by Reserve Armed Forces, cadet organisations and voluntary groups.
Lieutenant Colonel Eric Davidson said: “It will allow those taking part to tell the story of their own organisations.”
Sunday’s commemoration event will involve a parade to Bury Parish Church, a church service and a return parade. Those taking part will assemble in Knowsley Street at 10.30am.
The first procession, of veterans and Reserve Armed Forces and led by the Band and Drums of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, will set off at 11am.
The second parade, of pre-service cadet units, civilian voluntary organisations and led by the Band of 1036 Squadron Air Cadets, will begin five minutes later.
The third parade, involving a civic party and led by Tottington Public Band, will leave at 11.15pm. The church service will begin at 11.30am and conclude at 12.15pm.
Lt Col Davidson, the parade marshall, said: “Any ex-servicemen who wants to be part of the parade should be outside the Town Hall in Knowsley Street at 10.30am. And immediately after the church service, the mayor will lay a wreath on behalf of the people of the borough.
“This event is to recognise what was given by so many people, their lives, the ultimate sacrifice. We really hope that people will show their support.”
Later, some of those taking part in the return parade will attend a Fusilier Drum Head service in Gallipoli Garden.
Sunday, August 3, also sees the start of a week’s flower festival at Bury Parish Church. The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker, will preach at the 6.30pm service of Holy Communion.
On Monday, August 4, the centenary of the start of World War One, a vigil service will take place in the church from 7pm to 9.30pm to remember military personnel from Bury who died in the conflict.
Dr Findon said: “We will be reading out the names of all the servicemen from Bury who were killed in the war. There will be something over 2,000 names.”
The roll call will be done in sections, alphabetically, and the church invites those who lost relatives, or have connections with any of the fallen, to come along. Candles will be lit and prayers said.
Local authority and Fusiliers leaders will be in attendance as well as the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mr Warren J Smith.
On Wednesday, August 6, at 7.30pm, the Fusilier Band and Corps of Drums will be performing World War-one related music at Bury Parish Church. Admission is free and there will be a retiring collection.
On Saturday, August 9, from 7.30pm, the church will host a For the Fallen event, a concert featuring a selection of music, including two world premieres.
Among the composers to be featured will be Bury-born Gordon Crosse and Martin Bussey from Ramsbottom. Tickets are £7, with a concessionary rate for young people.