Earlier this year St Anne’s held a Vigil service and exhibition to mark the embryonic beginnings of the First World War. On Sunday the 28th of September a considerable number of the Church family travelled down to the NAM in Staffordshire to take part in a service of dedication and to remember with thanksgiving the men of Tottington who served during those years of conflict 100 years ago.
A granite memorial stone was made by Rawson’s Monumental Masons of Bury. This was placed at the foot of a Cheery Tree in the Meadow adjacent to Armed Forces Wood at the outset of the dedication service.
We processed from the chapel with Benjamin Rothwell (Ex Royal Navy) leading the way carrying the Tottington Ex Servicemen’s Standard. Behind him was Freddie Bearn our Piper from Bury Grammar School Boys in his CCF Uniform, Ewan Warburton our Bugler in his Bury Church of England High School uniform, Louise Cope our Ranger Leader and PCC Secretary carrying the memorial plaque, Major Stephen Douthwaite (Ex REME) who was the wreath bearer, our two Churchwardens, David Nuttall M.P and Gillian Leach, who is also our Girl Guide Leader, with their staves. Behind them were a bevy of folk some of whom had relatives from Tottington who had served and died in the Great War.
The service was very moving. Prayers were said and there was a reading from the book of Ecclesiasticus. The Act or Remembrance was solemnly and precisely carried out with Ewan Warburton playing the Last Post and Reveille with great aplomb as Ben Rothwell lowered the Standard. Freddie Bearn concluded with the Pipers Lament “Sleep Dearie Sleep”. The Vicar led the singing of the National Anthem and the gathering then dispersed.
Various folk sought out various areas in the Arboretum that held particular significance for them and laments were played at the Falklands Memorial and at other sites. A memorable day was had by all and it was agreed that we as a Church had done right by our forebears