THE centre of Shaw fell silent as young and old, current and former servicemen and women, politicians and the public, church ministers and leather clad motor bikers were united for a moving Remembrance Sunday service at the Crompton War Memorial.
Several thousand people, under brilliant blue skies but wrapped up against a chill wind, paid their respects to the fallen of two World Wars but also to those suffering the mental and physical scars of serving their nation.
Silently they came, representing all aspects of parts of community life in Shaw and Crompton, to lay wreaths and a solitary cross of poppies at the Memorial.
The service began with a gathering at Shaw Royal British Legion before Delph Youth Band, led a parade of the participants down Market Street to the War Memorial.
A group of around 50 bikers raised eyebrows as their powerful, high performance machines rumbled into town.
But the groups from Shaw, other areas of Oldham and Tameside came to join the service before taking in a circuit of the M60 motorway by uniquely marking their Remembrance Sunday.
Father Graham Lindley opened the service with a Call to Remembrance prior to Allan Taylor from the Salvation Army playing the Last Post and before the crowd observed a minute’s silence.
Mr A P Bennett gave an oration and 14-year-old Connor Chadderton from the Army Cadet Force read the Kohima Epitaph: “When you go home tell them of us and say: For your tomorrow, we gave our today.”
The hymn, Abide With Me’ was the prelude go the lesson from Reverend John Piper from the United Reformed Church, prayers from Methodist Church minister, Revered Graham Kent and an address from Major Nigel Tansey MBE of the Salvation Army.
During the singing of O’Valiant Hearts the wreaths were placed at the base of the Memorial.
A final hymn, ‘I vow to thee my country,’ a closing prayer and the National Anthem marked the end of the 2017 Remembrance Service.