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On original site
Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
- Metal Bronze
- Stone Marble
- First World War (1914-1918)
- Second World War (1939-1945)
- Post-1945 War or Conflict
About the memorial:
A cenotaph flanked by two low walls the Cenotaph commemorates the two World Wars whilst the flanking stones mark those conflicts since 1945. The central memorial is made of Portland stone and is 701cm high, is 914cm wide and is 350cm deep. A bronze statue of peace sculpted by Walter Marsden stands at the front of the memorial. She stands 274cm high with her head is bowed and she holds a laurel wreath.
On the 9th of April 19?? a war memorial committee was appointed comprising the Mayor Joseph Nuttall and some of the Chairmen of the various Corporation Committees. The memorial was intended to stand for 'the spirit of heroism, the spirit of self-sacrifice, the spirit of all that is noble and great, that was exemplified in the lives of the Heywood men sacrificed in the Great War." It was unveiled by Hewlett Johnson, the Dean of Manchester on 22 August 1925, who spoke less of heroism and more of the "wastage of war, the wastage of human life, our sons, the sons of our Allies, the sons of our enemies, the wastage of treasure and the wastage of civilisation." He called for an effort to maintain the peace comparable to that which had prosecuted the war, an effort which would surely end all war. He suggested that the pursuance of peace required a fundamental reordering of values in which instead of property and jewels, great spiritual qualities such as art, science, literature, music, fellowship and brotherhood, 'things that can be shared without domination' should be held in the highest esteem. Only in this way could war be avoided.
The inaugural procession included a wreath-laying by the children, widows and relatives of the fallen. The roll of honour was not engraved on the memorial at the time because the trust fund established to cover the costs only contained enough money for maintenance of the site.
Lobbying by the Heywood British Legion secured a grant from Rochdale council to cover the cost, and the names from both World Wars began to be engraved on the monument in July 1986.
The flanking walls in recognition of servicemen and women who died in conflicts since the Second World War was officially unveiled at a ‘Dedication Day’ on Saturday 26 September 2009 in the Memorial Gardens, and included a public ceremony and reception in the Civic Centre. The service was led by The Right Reverend Nigel McCullough, Lord Bishop of Manchester at Heywood Memorial Gardens, and was accepted on behalf of the people of Heywood by councillor Alan McCarthy the town chairmen and Armed Forces Lead Member for Rochdale Council. The 1 metre high and 10 metre wide polished granite memorial has been specifically designed to sit alongside the existing Grade two, listed memorial which was first unveiled back in 1925.
Local Veterans considered various designs before councillors gave their approval.
The arc shape and colours of the new embrace links with the past, whilst the new memorial has polished granite and metal crests. There are three crests on the front of both end faces representing the Navy, the Army, Royal Air Force, Merchant Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Heywood town crest. The Heywood servicemen’s names included so far, who died in service, can be seen in the Names information and on the images. All inscription work to the new left and right flank memorials was done by a local stonemason, Alistair Chadwick.
To mark the 2014 World War I centenary commemorations, the town councillors decided that, after consultations with the veterans that the commemorations should not be in celebration, but rather in solemn reflection and remembrance of all those who have died and have served in our Armed Forces since the start of the Great War. Heywood Township Councillors specific World War One Centenary commemorations project was the addition of the four 8 foot Portland Stone Carved flags and painted in order of precedence, the Union Flag, the white ensign, the blue ensign and the red ensign were added to the original memorial, again done by a local, stonemason Harry Simpson of Urban Stone and installed by Rochdale Memorial Services. Designs and inscription details was delegated to the Heywood War Memorial Committee and were approved by the Heywood Township Committee. Along the centre line of the memorial is four full colour insignia depicting, the Royal ensign flag, the army emblem, the royal air force emblem and the merchant navy flag. A dedication day for the whole additions was held on Saturday 25th July 2015. The service was led by Father Paul Daly with moving words spoken by the Mayor of Rochdale and the Council Leader. To complete the 2014 World War one centenary works the town’s flagpoles were relocated and installed by soldiers from 202 field squadron, Royal Engineers into the memorial gardens.