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Thousands join forces for Remebrance
Thursday 14th November 2013 @ 16:00 by Mark Phillip

Thousands marked Remembrance Sunday with parades, services and wreath laying ceremonies across Tameside’s towns as young and old stood shoulder to shoulder to pay their respects.
This year was all the more special for 83-year-old Ron Andrew, for whom caring for old soldiers’ graves has become a personal mission.
For this year he had a special helper – Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Joe Kitchen.
Ron looks after more than 40 plots at Hyde Cemetery, keeping them tidy and placing poppy crosses on them at his own expense.
This year the Mayor, who has made service charities one of his priorities, stepped in to provide Ron with 50 free crosses, courtesy of the Poppy Factory, which gives specialist support to ex-service personnel.
The Mayor presented these to Ron in time for this year’s Remembrance Sunday.
Ron, who lives on Dukinfield Road, is a well-known figure in the town.
Although he served in the Royal Artillery as a national serviceman, he spent many years as a drum major for the Bolton Scottish Pipes and Drums and can often be seen in his Gordon Highlanders tartan uniform.
He said: “Several members of my family are buried at Hyde including my wife, May. It was while I was tending one of the plots that I found the grave of Lance Corporal Joseph Collier.
“I was moved by the fact that here was an old soldier who had gone right through such a terrible conflict and then died a month after it ended. The grave was a bit of a mess so I tidied it up and things have gone on from there.”
The Mayor said: “I was very touched by Ron’s story and impressed by his dedication. I’m pleased to have been able to help him and would like to thank Lee Griffiths and Martin York at the Poppy Factory. It’s great to see businesses working with the local community in this way.”