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Marple WW1 Remembrance

Matthew Corrigan

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Marple Remembrance Day Memorial Park Friends of Memorial Park Stockport Council

November 11 2018 will mark one hundred years since the Armistice which effectively ended the First World War, bringing an end to hostilities on the Western Front. It will also see the culmination of a very special four year project to commemorate the sacrifice of the many local men who gave their lives on the battlefields of Europe and beyond.

Marple Remembrance

In common with towns and villages across the length and breadth of the land, Marple suffered unimaginable losses during the Great War. One hundred and forty-one young men were killed. Four years ago, as part of a national series of events to mark the centenary, a new display began to take shape in Memorial Park.

A consultation was held with Stockport Council and various other groups in the area. After considering various ideas, the Friends of Memorial Park decided to install a timeline on the railings at Hollins House, where it is immediately visible to anyone visiting the park. On the 100th anniversary of each man's death, a plaque has been placed on the railing with his name, brief details and, where possible, a photograph. The first to fall was Private Fred Atkinson, killed in action on October 24 1914. His plaque was duly added on the corresponding date.

Marple Remembrance

Over the centenary period, the memorial has grown in size to provide a striking record in real time. As the fighting intensified, the list of casualties grew ever larger. With this simple but highly effective display, the Friends Group hoped to make people realise how much of an effect the war had on the town's people. Almost everyone in Marple would have either known someone who had died or had lost a loved one.

The project has been aided greatly by research carried out by former Marple firemen P Clarke, A Cook and J Bintliff for their book 'Remembered – Marple Men Who Fell In The Great War'. Although no longer in print, this invaluable record can be seen in the Heritage Section of Marple Library.

Marple Remembrance

Originally conceived as a temporary installation, the timeline has proved immensely popular. Some local schools have based lessons around it during the Remembrance period. It has therefore been agreed that the display will be made permanent. There are currently five panels. The sixth and final will be completed in November. Poignantly, the last man to be killed in action died just ten days before the Armistice was signed. His death was not, however, the last to be commemorated. Eight men died as a result of long-term injuries after the war, the last being Private John Hampson. Pte Hampson passed away just over one year later, on 23 November 1919. He was just 22 years old.