A permanent memorial to honour the service of local men who fought in the Gallipoli campaign, and the sacrifices made by their relatives, was unveiled at a special ceremony in Rochdale Memorial Gardens this afternoon (Sunday 28 June 2015).
The ceremony, which saw local people line the pathways around the Memorial Gardens, started with a parade at 2.30pm on the Rochdale Market site; the parade, comprised of the King’s Division Band, servingmembers of the Armed Forces, veterans and cadets from across the borough, marched along Baillie Street to Yorkshire Street and turned onto The Esplande.
Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for the Armed Forces at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Many who went out to Turkey didn’t come back home again and I think it’s important that we stop for a moment and remember their sacrifices. So many local men died in the battle and we wanted to commemorate that in Rochdale.”
In August 1914, 1,000 soldiers from the 6th Battalion of Lancashire Fusiliers gathered in Rochdale before being sent to Egypt and on to Turkey. Few came home alive or unscathed. Those who enlisted were remembered last summer with the re-creation of a march made by more than 1,000 soldiers from the 6th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers.
The memorial stone was donated by the ‘Life for a Life’ charity.
Following the ceremony, at 7pm in Rochdale Town Hall, the King’s Division Band played a concert to raise funds for the ABF Soldiers’ Charity.
ABF helps thousands of soldiers, former soldiers and their families in need each year.