Town re­mem­bers fallen on an­niver­sary of bat­tle

Macclesfield Express - - BEFORE THE BENCH - STU­ART GREER

DOZENS gath­ered to com­mem­o­rate the 95 lo­cal men killed in the no­to­ri­ous Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele.

Also known as the Third Bat­tle of Ypres, it lasted from July 31 to Novem­ber 10, 1917, and was one of the blood­i­est of the First World War.

Around 325,000 Al­lied sol­diers were killed or wounded, with at least 60 men from Mac­cles­field and a fur­ther 35 from the sur­round­ing vil­lages killed in the bat­tle.

On Mon­day (July 31), vet­er­ans and civic lead­ers met at the war me­mo­rial at Park Green, Mac­cles­field, to pay trib­ute.

The event, or­gan­ised by the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion, started with four ‘ thunderous’ rock­ets det­o­nated in quick suc­ces­sion at 7.10am to rep­re­sent the det­o­na­tion of mines at 3.10am at Messines Ridge on 7th June 1917.

Pete Turner, clerk for Mac­cles­field Town Coun­cil, said: “Mac­cles­field marked the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the com­mence­ment of the third bat­tle of Ypres – Pass­chen­daele. At 7.10 am, the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion led a short ser­vice of re­mem­brance at the war me­mo­rial on Park Green.

“Thanks go to the RBL for or­gan­is­ing, all who took the time to re­mem­ber those who served.”

Among those killed on the first day of the bat­tle were two cousins, both called Harold May­ers, from Bolling­ton.

The older of the two was 38 when he was killed in ac­tion while serv­ing as pri­vate in the 1st/6th Bat­tal­ion Cheshire Reg­i­ment.

The younger of the cousins was only 29 when he was shot through the heart dur­ing an at­tack near Wieltje in Bel­gium.

He was serv­ing as a pri­vate in the 1st/10th Bat­tal­ion The King’s (Liver­pool Reg­i­ment). Other mem­bers of the May­ers fam­ily who served in the First World War in­cluded in­clude John Henry who served as pri­vate with the Cana­dian Ex­pe­di­tionary Force and an­other Harold who served as pri­vate with the 1/7th Cheshire Regt, the 16th Manch­ester Regt and the 10th Cheshire Regt. Both sur­vived the war.

The lives and deaths of men from the area at Pass­chen­daele will be com­mem­o­rated in a new ex­hi­bi­tion by Mac­cles­field and Cheshire Vil­lages Great War So­ci­eties in the Sal­va­tion Army Hall, Roe Street, Mac­cles­field, on Satur­day Au­gust 5, 10am un­til 5pm.

Vet­er­ans, civic lead­ers and res­i­dents com­mem­o­rated the an­niver­sary of Pass­chen­daele at the war me­mo­rial at Park Green

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