Mayor’s praise and thanks for Passchendaele response

August 3, 2017

The war memorial in the Wilmslow Memorial Gardens following the service at which wreaths and individual flowers were placed.

Cheshire East Council Mayor, Councillor Arthur Moran, has praised the large number of people who turned out for this year’s Passchendaele commemoration service at the Wilmslow Memorial Gardens.

An estimated 200 people, including descendants of the fallen, the Royal British Legion and other veterans groups, gathered for the service on Monday to mark the centenary of the bloodiest battle of the First World War – the Third Battle of Ypres.

The service included the laying of the wreaths and was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, with the Bishop of Stockport leading prayers. Part of the service took place in a heavy downpour, not unlike the torrential rain the troops had to contend with during the battle, which saw 325,000 allied soldiers and 260,000 German troops killed or wounded.

Mark Birtles and Jonathan Bailey, from Ansa, who prepared the gardens for the Passchendaele service

Councillor Moran said: “As the years pass by, it becomes more and more important that we do not forget those dreadful events and the appalling loss of life.

“I am pleased that so many people took the trouble to attend this ceremony in Wilmslow and I wish to extend my thanks to all those who came along.

“I also want to say a special thanks to the council staff that prepared the gardens and had the lawns and flower beds in immaculate condition.

“Many people commented on the wonderful appearance of the gardens.”

The two Ansa gardeners, Mark Birtles and Jonathan Bailey, had spent several days box mowing the grassed areas, preparing the flower beds and removing litter. 

One of the attendees commented: “The area was absolutely stunning,  the plants were all out in bloom with no litter to be seen.

“Everyone was so impressed with the tidiness of the gardens.

“It made a very poignant and moving service, that little bit special.”