Cathedral service call-up, and local memorial events

Some of the Todmorden men who will recreate the march made by the town's Territorial Army units to Rochdale at the start of the Great War
Some of the Todmorden men who will recreate the march made by the town's Territorial Army units to Rochdale at the start of the Great War

The 2014 volunteers for the reformed 1/6 Lancashire Fusiliers Territorials will take part in the City of Manchester’s Great War commemoration event at Manchester Cathedral on Suday, August 3.

The men, who will a week later recreate the march made by the original Todmorden territorials to the mustering point at Rochdale in August 1914, were invited to join the Manchester event.

It follows a route from Hell’s Gate near Victoria Railway Station, called so as it was where troops got on the trains which took them to the hell of the first world war battlefields, to thre cathedral nearby.

Darren Widdup of the Todmorden branch of the Royal British Legion and one of the marchers, said: “We will be drummed in by some Lancashire Fusiliers and will play our part in the ceremony.”

In Todmorden and Hebden Royd areas, a number of events will take place on Monday, August 4, the day Britain joined the conflict which was to last until November 1918.

At the Garden of Remembrance, 659 named crosses will be planted at 11am - one to remember each fallen Todmorden soldier. Darren said there will be some spare crosses available if anyone wished to come along and plant one in memory of a soldier who might not have a relative to do it.

RBL members will also be attending the service hosted by Churches Together in Todmorden at St Mary’s Church from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, a solemn commemoration which will be based on the service to be held in Westminster Abbey later that evening which is to be attended by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall (10pm, BBC2). By holding the service earlier it will enable those attending to see the televised event later in their homes.

The service will draw upon Sir Edward Grey’s famous remark that “the lights are going out all over Europe”, as the Abbey moves from light into darkness until one candle remains at the Grave of the “Unknown Warrior”, which will be extinguished at 11pm, marking the exact moment of the declaration of war.

The service in St Mary’s will feature music, readings, poetry and contemporary reflection, such as diary entries and letters from 1914. More details are availabe from the Rev Peter Baldwin, 01706 813812.

Finally, at 10pm, candles will be lit at the Garden of Remembrance, with the Last Post being sounded at 11pm.

The Todmorden branch of the Royal British Legion is organising the 11am and 10pm events as part of the countrywide RBL “Lights Out” event. People are welcome to attend and also light a candle, although they need to bring their own.

In Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd, there are events throughout the day.

At 10.30am in Hebden Bridge, there will be a short service of commemoration at the Memorial Gardens, Hebden Bridge, said an RBL spokesperson. The service will be led by the Rev Cathy Reardon and all members of the public are welcome to attend. There is an opportunity during the service for anyone who wishes to lay flowers.

At 11.30am, the same service being held at the War Memorial in Mytholmroyd, and the same information applies - anyone can attend and if they wish lay flowers.

The services will concentrate on commemoration and remembering those who left the Calder Valley and never returned to their families.

At 7.30pm that evening St Michael’s church, Mytholmroyd, in conjunction with the Royal British Legion, will hold a vigil service. The service will last about one hour and everyone is welcome to attend. After the service coffee and biscuits will be served in the Church Hall where people can chat and share their memories.