Brought together in Remembrance

Remembrance Sunday will have an extra poignancy this year making as it does the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchaendale.

Also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, it has come to epitomise the true horror of the First World War with catastrophic casualties suffered on both sides as heavy rain turned the fighting front into a quagmire of mud.

But this remembrance is set have special meaning for two family members, linked by a Stalybridge World War One hero, who are hoping to meet for the very first time this Remembrance Sunday, after connecting over the recent Passchendaele commemorations.

William Rhodes, the great-great nephew and namesake of Sergeant William Rhodes, appeared on the BBC’s Passchendaele remembrance programme as he honoured his relative in Belgium.

After William featured on the Tameside Reporter’s front page following the programme, Sergeant Rhodes’ granddaughter, Sheila, contacted our news desk in an attempt to track down William.

We’re pleased to report that they are now in regular contact. William and his father, Ivor, who live down South, are planning to meet with Sheila and attend the memorial parade and service in Stalybridge this Remembrance Sunday.

William and Ivor are hoping to lay a wreath at Stalybridge War Memorial, where their relative’s name is inscribed.

William’s great-grandfather, Ralph Rhodes, was Sergeant Rhodes’ eldest brother. Sheila’s mother, Irene, was the youngest of Sergeant Rhodes’ children. She tragically never met her father as she was born after he was killed on the first day of the Battle of Passchendaele; 31st July 1917.

She did, however, honour her father’s sacrifice throughout her life. The first time Irene visited Sergeant Rhodes’ grave was with her mother and two siblings on 20th June 1927, when the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing was unveiled. She’d have been nine years old at the time.

Every Armistice Day, for at least the last 26 years of her life, Irene visited Tyne Cot and her father’s grave.

WE WILL NEVER FORGET: Today’s Remembrance Service held at Ryecroft Hall, Audenshaw.

Services of Remembrance have taken place at a number of venues today to mark the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month that the First World War officially came to an end in 1918.

Major parades and services will be held across Tameside tomorrow (Remembrance Sunday) to remember all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in both world wars and in conflicts since.

Many schools have also been remembering themselves this past week.

Pupils’ Matthew Cowan & Amaan Rahman with the impressive 3D soldier which features in their video production

Pupils from Flowery Field Primary School for example put their artistic skills to the test to create a bright remembrance poppy garden, produce a comprehensive ‘book of remembrance’ and added a full sized 3D soldier figure to display their artwork on the day.

Several of the pupils also produced a short video depicting the schools acts of Remembrance.

Headteacher, Alvin Fell said: “Each class produced a number of poppies to add to the beautiful outdoor art display as well as the stunning soldier figure, whilst compiling a book of remembrance in honour of those brave residents of our town who paid the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom and way of life.”


• Tameside Radio 103.6FM will be broadcasting a special two hour Remembrance Sunday show from 1pm tomorrow with reports from local services, plus featuring an interview with local historian Nigel Dunkerly and joining the ‘Friends of the Archives’ as they share some of the fascinating World War One archives kept at the Local Studies Centre in Ashton.



Remembrance Sunday Services

Sunday, November 12


Parade assembles on Market Street (side of the market hall) at 9am and marches to Ashton Parish Church. After service parade proceeds to Ashton War Memorial for wreath laying at 10.45am.


Service in St Gabriel’s Church, Stamford Street, at 10.55am followed by wreath-laying at adjacent war memorial at 12.30pm


Service in St John’s Church, Kings Road, at 9.30am. Then procession heads to Hurst Cemetery for wreath-laying at the war memorial at 11am.

Park Bridge

Service at the war memorial in the grounds of Park Bridge Institute at 10.45am


Parade assembles at Canon Burrows School, Oldham Road, at 2pm and heads to near-by war memorial for service at 2.30pm.


Service and wreath-laying in Audenshaw Cemetery at 3pm.


Parade assembles at Denton Working Men’s Club, Grosvenor Street, at 10am and heads to Victoria Street remembrance garden to lay wreath. Then goes via Denton Town Hall to war memorial in Victoria Park for service of remembrance at 10.45am.

Denton West

Wreath-laying in Thornley Park at 1.30pm.

Haughton Green

Service in St Mary’s Church at 10.30am followed by wreath-laying.


Parade assembles on Church Street at 10am and heads to Droylsden War Memorial for service and wreath-laying at 10.45am.


Parade leaves Dukinfield Town Hall at 2.45pm for service and wreath-laying at Chapel Hill memorial at 3pm.



Parade leaves Greenfield Street at 2.10pm and heads to Hyde Central Methodist Church, Norfolk Street, for service at 2.30pm. Then on to Hyde Town Hall for wreath-laying at 3.30pm.


Parade leaves Rosemount Trinity Methodist Church at 10am and heads up Bennett Street to George and Dragon for wreath-laying at 10.15am.


Parade leaves Lower Higham Visitor Centre, Higham Lane, at 11.45am for service and wreath-laying at Werneth Low war memorial at noon. Vehicular access will be available.



Parade leaves Broadbottom Community Centre, Lower Market Street, at 10.30am. Act of remembrance at war memorial at 10.45am.


Service in St Mary’s Church, Market Street, at 10am followed by wreath-laying at Mottram Moor war memorial at 10.50am


Service in Mottram Church at 10.30am.


Service and wreath-laying at 10.45am at Mossley War Memorial, Mossley Park.


Parade leaves Armentieres Square at 10.35am and heads to Trinity Street war memorial for service and wreath-laying at 10.55am.