Newton Heath: Rememberance Day, Respecting is part of their makeup !
Wednesday, 12 Th March, 2014
By: Paul Reed. MUNReporter.
Veterans and residents joined forces with Councillors and local schools in Newton Heath yesterday for a Remembrance Day Parade and Service.
The parish of Newton Heath turned out to offer their respect for those who gave all.
At the ‘eleventh hour’ around 200 people gathered at Newton Heath Remembrance Gardens, at All Saints Street. This year we are marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War and therefore it was a very special occasion and as the clock at All Saints Church (Est:1556) approached the historic hour the areas surrounding fell silent.
All the schools in Newton Heath were represented and many of the children attending were in smart school uniforms, each school laid wreaths and each child planted wooden crosses into the soil at the remembrance wall.
Young and old stood shoulder to shoulder in this poignant ceremony marking the 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. A bugler sounded the ‘Last Post’ which marked the beginning and the end of the two minutes’ silence.
This year was a particular sad occasion as Herbert ‘Mac’ McNeill who regularly attended Newton Heath day of remembrance had passed away aged 88 just last month. Newton Heath people were proud of his military service for this country, after reading in the MEN about how he had been decorated in his hospital bed for death-defying missions to protect vital supplies during World War Two by Russian officials who had made the special mission to North Manchester General Hospital to honour and decorate Mr McNeill. Just five days before he sadly passed away. He will always be remember as a born and bred Newton Heath man who fought very hard along with other vetrans to get final recognition for their mates who served in the Arctic convoys. His Ushakov medal marked nearly 70 years since the war ended, after the British defence chiefs finally agreed to honour the thousands who risked their lives in freezing Arctic convoys. PM: Winston Churchill once described them as having made ‘the worst journey in the world’.
The open-air service was amplified so that the larger gathering could all hear.
Rev Andrew Wickens, rector of All Saints church, who when he’s not busy in the parish acts as an advisor on the BBC TV show Rev – which stars Tom Hollander, addressed the congregation at this year’s important service . The Rev Wickens was ordained at the age of 36, after a successful career as a professional singer and has sung in the choir at Windsor Castle. He also advises on dealing with parishioners in difficult inner-city areas and has helped many with mental health problems.
For the Fallen
Robert Laurence Binyon, by artist William Strang.
Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published in The Times newspaper on 21st September 1914.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
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