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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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South Cumbria ceremonies mark centenary of First World War

HEROES long since gone were remembered under a grey and moody South Cumbria sky yesterday to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War.

A parade braved heavy showers to march from Barrow Town Hall, at 10.15am, to the cenotaph in Barrow Park to remember the dead.

The rain stopped briefly as the parade passed through the gates of Barrow Park, and a service was led by Alan Jones, lay chaplain of the Submariners Association.

The ceremony was run by the Tri Service Veterans – made up of the Barrow Submariners Association, the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment Association and the Royal Air Force Association – with the support of the Royal British Legion.

The parade had been under threat after Barrow Borough Council announced it would not be providing a commemorative event, but the veterans groups banded together to foot the bill.

Gary Gibson, of Gainsborough Place, Barrow, was out to support his son Kane Bonham, who was a major drummer with the Marine Cadets.

“He is very proud of what he is doing,” he said.

Sandra Pilkington, from Ulverston, braved the rain to pay her respects.

She said: “We came out to commemorate those who went and fought in the First World War.

“They gave a lot for us so that we can stand here talking today.”

Mrs Pilkington, 67, said her granddad Arthur Horridge had served in the cavalry in Flanders.

She said: “He would never talk about it, I think it was too painful for him.”

After he left the army Mr Horridge worked as a grave digger dealing with the bodies of people caught in the Spanish Influenza epidemic which swept the continent in the aftermath of the war, killing millions.

Mrs Pilkington said: “A lot of people who survived the war struggled to get a job when they came back. “As a child I used to see people begging on the streets with one leg.”

The crowd, led by Mr Jones, sang hymns including Jerusalem and heard readings from the bible.

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock, who marched in the parade alongside Barrow mayor councillor Marie Derbyshire, said: “I think the centenary of the First World War reminds us all that we are privileged to live through times of relative peace in this country.

“We are only able to live in a country we call Britain with the values we have because of the sacrifices our forefathers made for us on the battlefield.”

In the afternoon a parade marched from Brogden Street in Ulverston to the war memorial in Market Square.

Estate agent Ralph Spours, who attended the event, said: “We should all be here. We can’t ever forget what a sacrifice they gave for us.

“The weather was suitably horrible, but that showed the strength of feeling through how many people were here.”

Ulverston Town Councillor Pat Jones said her father Paddy Oakes had fought in the First World War.

She said: “He was an Irishman and they weren’t conscripted, so they were all volunteers.

“He fought in the Somme and then his regiment was sent to fight in Salonika (in Macedonia), which was the forgotten second front.

“Mothers cry when their children leave for university, so it’s hard to imagine what it’s like when they go to war.”

  • Dalton Town Council is holding a candlelit vigil at the Dalton war memorial, in Station Road, tonight at 11pm to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War.
Have your say

Well it looks like that both "stalin" & "did my bit" have completely lost the argument.
The silence says it all!
Question for Rose--why on earth would you want to vote UKIP?
UKIP havn't got any policies any different from any of the other mainstream parties.....

Posted by Charlie on 21 August 2014 at 22:19

You deserve a nice big pat on the back for that Rose,-from Patrick O'Flynn.

Posted by Ram on 13 August 2014 at 20:02

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