On Remembrance Day 2015, co-operatives paid respects to members of the armed forces who have died in the line of duty.
In Manchester, the earth tubes outside the Co-operative Group’s Angel Square head office, which are involved in the heating and cooling of the building, were lit up with poppy motifs in tribute to those who lost their lives.
And in Salford, a new granite memorial, constructed by Co-operative Funeralcare, was unveiled at 11am on 11 November to pay tribute to 158 war heroes from the Greengate district of the city. The original memorial, installed in 1919, had been taken down in 1968 to make way for a new road, and was subsequently neglected and lost.
Backed by the Manchester Evening News, the memorial was the result of a campaign by Cassie-Ann Creely, whose great-great uncles, Thomas and Felix Battersby were named on the original.
“It’s a privilege to have been able to support the production of the new war memorial,” said Mark Potts, masonry manager at the Co-operative Funeralcare. “This will ensure that the memory of the 156 Salford soldiers, many of whom lost their lives fighting in the First World War, lives on.
“The new 2.2 tonne memorial has been built from solid granite and embellished with the names of the fallen soldiers and an engraved Lancashire rose design.” Many of those named served with the Lancashire Fusiliers and Manchester Regiment.
The memorial also includes part of Wilfred Owen’s poem Anthem for Doomed Youth.
Ms Creely and her family were joined by armed forces representatives, relatives of the 158 and members of the Royal British Legion and at the service of dedication conducted by the Rev Andy Salmon of nearby St Philip with St Stephen and Sacred Heart Churches.
“A wrong has been rectified and the turn-out was overwhelming, said Ms Creely in an interview with the MEN. “A lot of fantastic people have made it possible, and the job is done.”