Tributes paid in St Helens on Remembrance Sunday

Large crowds gathered across the borough yesterday to honour those that gave the ultimate sacrifice during conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries as Remembrance Sunday events were held for the first time in a year.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 3:05 pm
Updated Monday, 15th November 2021, 3:06 pm
Crowds gathered in Victoria Square, St Helens town centre, for a Remembrance Day Service

As in previous years before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, residents congregated in Victoria Square where a parade - led by Armed Forces veterans and young representatives from the cadets, scouts and guides – made its way to the war memorial in front of St Helens Town Hall.

The ceremony opened with a welcome and prayers from Revd Rachel Shuttleworth before the square observed a two-minute silence at 11:00am.

After the two-minute silence, the ceremony continued with words of commemoration and performances from Haydock Male Voice Choir, and the Valley Brass Band, before the laying of wreathes by dignitaries, including St Helens Borough Council Leader David Baines; Mayor of St Helens Borough, Sue Murphy; Marie Rimmer MP; and Kristian Woolf and James Roby who were in attendance to represent Saints.

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A veteran salutes a war memorial in the gardens of St Mark's Church in Haydock

Following the service, attendees were invited into the town hall where a compelling exhibition containing historic materials was on display, courtesy of St Helens Archive.

Over in Newton-le-Willows, the focal point was the war memorial at Earlestown Town Hall where a parade and service were held before a church service at St John’s Church, followed by refreshments at Newton Social Club on Patterson Street.

Elsewhere in the borough, there were services at St Ann’s Church in Rainhill, followed by a procession to the Warrington Road war memorial – as well as other wards such as Blackbrook, Haydock; Billinge and Rainford.

Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage: “Remembrance Sunday is one of the most important days on the calendar which is evident by the turnout at events right across the borough.

Crowds gathered at the war memorial outside Earlestown Town Hall

“Throughout history, our borough has more than played its part in many wars and conflicts. While many have lived to tell their stories, we’ve sadly lost brave servicemen and women too whose memories will live on forever – with Remembrance Sunday being the most poignant way of commemorating their sacrifices.

I'd like to thank all of those who turned out to pay their tributes. It was great to see so many people pay their respects across the borough from every generation, culture, and religion - we gathered together as one to remember our heroes. We will always remember them.”