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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Parade in Workington remembers impact of Great War

People from every generation stood shoulder to shoulder to honour all whose lives were touched by World War One.

Workington parade photo
The band from the 4th Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment

Hundreds – from civic dignitaries to ex-servicemen and schoolchildren – took part in a moving commemoration service.

The parade in Workington, marking the impact of the Great War on those throughout Allerdale, comes as the nation prepares to mark the centenary of its outbreak later this year.

Those attending the service included Beattie Blair, 93, whose grandmother, Catherine Henderson, lost four sons in World War One and unveiled the war memorial in the town’s Vulcan Park in 1928.

Another of her grandchildren, 85-year-old George Bell, of Elterwater Avenue, was also there and said: “I come down every year for Remembrance Sunday. I thought it was important to come to this. It’s poignant with the familyhistory.”

Led by Royal British Legion standard bearers, the parade featured a band from 4th Battalion Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

Colin Smith, of Seaton, a member of the Royal British Legion Riders’ Branch, brought up the rear on his motorcycle.

As the parade made its way along Oxford Street and Vulcans Lane, small crowds gathered on pavements, applauding the marchers as they passed.

A short service in Vulcan Park was led by the Rev Steve Axtell, vicar of Westfield, of the Rev Alistair Smeaton, United Reformed Church minister and attracted a small crowd.

The parade then marched up Park Lane and along Oxford Street and Station Road to St Michael’s Church, off Falcon Place.

The commemoration service recognised all those who suffered as a consequence of the war – not just servicemen and the women of the overseas war effort but those working in essential jobs at home, the many women who took on much-needed roles in factories to help the war effort, and all those left at home with the heartache of knowing their loved ones were at war.

The Rev Canon Bryan Rowe, rector of St Michael’s, gave thanks for the dry weather.

He added: “If it had been raining it would have just brought to mind a little bit more of what the people in the trenches had to suffer.”

Canon Rowe spoke of the importance of keeping the memory of their sacrifices alive.

Following the service, a collection was taken for the Royal British Legion’s Cumbria Benevolent Fund and the church.

The parade then marched to the Carnegie Theatre for refreshments.

The event was organised by Allerdale Council at the request of outgoing borough mayor Bill Bacon.

Ronald Smart, 77, of Lorton Avenue, Workington, was one of the veterans marching in the parade.

A former soldier 1st Battalion The Border Regiment, he said: “I have come out today to commemorate the people who have been lost. I lost an uncle in World War One and my father in World War Two. I’m just pleased I wasn’t in them.

“Unless these things are commemorated and remembered they’ll happen again.”

John Wallace, 66, of Egremont, who served in 4th Battalion The King’s Own Royal Border Regiment, said: “The First World War had such a big effect on the country, not just the soldiers, their families, especially the women. It gives the community a focal point to remember.”

William Ennever, 58, of Ashfield, Workington, said: “We live in a legacy of what they did, not just the soldiers but the steelworkers and people who worked in factories. If they hadn’t done what they did we wouldn’t be living like this today.”

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