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Re(1): Rochdale Remembers Gallipoli
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The report from Rochdale online
Rochdale holds first Gallipoli Remembrance service

Date published: 25 April 2019
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Gallipoli Remembrance Service

Photo: Rochdale Online

Gallipoli Remembrance Service

The very first special service to remember Rochdale’s men who fell at Gallipoli was held at the Gallipoli memorial stone in Rochdale Memorial Gardens on Thursday 25 April.

The Rochdale Fusiliers Association will be making the Gallipoli Remembrance an annual service to be held on the anniversary of the first Gallipoli landing, 25 April 1915.

More than 100,000 men from Allied troops, including British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers were killed during the landings at the Gallipoli peninsula, including over 180 Rochdale men and two 17-year-old boys.

The last British troops were evacuated on 9 January 1916, following the unsuccessful campaign to capture Constantinople (now Instanbul) and knock Ottoman Turkey out of the war.



A bagpiper opened the service



A permanent memorial stone was installed in the Rochdale Memorial Gardens in 2015.

www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/news-features/2/news-headlines/96629/gallipoli-memorial-stone-unveiled-at-special-ceremony

As the Rochdale Town Hall clock struck 11am, parade marshal Stephen Cooney read the Exultation before a lone bugler sounded the Last Post.

A minute’s silence was held before the Reveille was sounded.



A bugler with veterans



Prayers were led by Town Centre Chaplain Margaret Smith before wreaths were laid by the Mayor, the British Legion, the Rochdale branch of the Fusiliers Association, the Gallipoli Association, Hopwood College and Oulder Hill School.


Fusiliers Axemen
Fusiliers Axemen



Peter Clegg read the Kohima Epitaph before a final prayer was said.

Refreshments were served in the Town Hall.



Gallipoli Remembrance Service



Mr Cooney, who wore his hackle for 25 years, finishing as Sergeant Major, said: “It has been a wonderful turnout of the first of hopefully many Gallipolli remembrance services to commemorate the people of Rochdale who died during the landings.

“This is not just about commemorating the six Victoria Crosses won before breakfast, but to recognise the people of Rochdale who took part.”


The Gallipoli memorial stone
The Gallipoli memorial stone



A project to ensure that younger generations know about the profound local effect of the war is also being led with Rochdale Borough Council, Touchstones and local schools.


Fusiliers Axemen
Fusiliers Axemen



John Rodgers, vice chairman and vice president of the Rochdale and District Fusilier Association, said: “It is 104 years to the day that the Lancashire Fusiliers along with their allies attacked the Gallipoli Peninsula, against well organised and motivated troops of the Ottoman Empire.

“They came ashore to a sustained hail of gun fire. Extraordinary comradeship and courage was shown resulting in them winning 6 Victoria Crosses by breakfast time.

“The whole Gallipoli Campaign lasted eight months and, by that time, the total Lancashire Fusilier Deaths was 1,682.

“The impact of the battle on the Rochdale area was profound. The overall total from our local area killed was 181 - two of whom were only 17 years of age.

“We want Gallipoli to be part of this generation and be remembered because of the profound local areas. It is important to educate people why we are here today, because of the people who fought and died.

“Tracing our ancestors back is bringing the past into the present and making the impact of what happened real.”


Standards were lowered
Standards were lowered



Mayor Mohammed Zaman commented: “I was very glad to see so many people attend this first remembrance service for Gallipoli.

“The people who sacrificed their lives to restore peace and resolve conflict by taking part in all kinds of wars inspire our minds and stay in our hearts.

“These events pay tribute to why we are here today: because of these individuals who went the extra mile and gave the ultimate sacrifice.”



Group photo of all involved at Gallipoli Remembrance Service



Oulder Hill pupil Zara Shaukat, 13, said it was “moving” to be part of the experience.

She said: “It was really good to experience this and nice to see everyone laying wreaths. It was vey moving to be a part of it, and I learnt a lot of new things.”



Wooden crosses at Gallipoli Remembrance Service



Her teacher, Jessica Clarke added: “The students learn so much that aren’t necessarily in the history books by meeting people like the Fusiliers and veterans. It shows that these historical events are still current, and it is so important to keep their memory alive through young people.”


Oulder Hill pupils with wooden crosses and a wreath
Zara (second from right) with her fellow Oulder Hill pupils



A poem about the war, ‘You Are Brave’ penned by Zara, is now hanging in the Mayor’s parlour, and is reproduced here with her permission:

You are brave,

You are courageous,

You have earned our respect,

You fought for our country,

You made us proud.



Your families were broken, so ours won’t,

Your families suffered so ours don’t,

Your struggle was real,

Your act was selfless.



We wear our poppies with pride,

We hold our heads up high,

We are who we are because of you,

We think of you in a good way

for all the things you have done.



Your sadness was unbearable but you still lived on,

I can’t have gone through what you did,

You changed our lives and we thank you for that.



You are brave,

You are courageous,

You are heroes!
Sorry could not add their photos

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