By Major Andy Pilling, Company Commander, No 3 (Somme) Company
Cadets from No 3 (Somme) Company will not forget 6 soldiers from World War 1, whose bodies rest in the grounds of the former Brunswick Wesleyan Chapel and Cemetery.
The Chapel was demolished in 1954 and years later the gravestones removed, for safety reasons. All that remains is the wall that surrounded the chapel and graveyard and the outline of the chapel. Now the site is the Portwood roundabout in Stockport. The main arterial road into the centre of Stockport. Everyday thousands of cars drive past and around the roundabout, not knowing.
For several years cadets from No. 3 (Somme) Company, supported by the Friends of Stockport Cemeteries have adopted the cemetery and each year spend hours tending the grounds. Preventing it from becoming overgrown and full of peoples discarded rubbish. Keeping alive the memory of those who gave up their young lives over 100 years ago, not much older than some of the cadets.
Saturday 2nd April saw the unveiling of a permanent memorial to the soldiers. Made by Stockport Charity Seta, who train young people in working with metal. They designed a Tommy shadow figure and Poppies fixed the edges. A very fitting tribute which will be seen by the thousands who drive past the site every day.
The Commandant of Greater Manchester ACF, Colonel Catherine Harrison cut the ribbon and unveiled the Tommy. No 3 (Somme) Companies Padre, Rev Dr Gerard Fieldhouse-Byrne gave a prayer to the fallen soldiers and the others buried in the cemetery. The Chairman of The Friends of Stockport Cemeteries, Mr Brian Leigh, Lisa Harris from SETA and the Mayor of Stockport Cllr Adrian Nottingham were in attendance.
Those not forgotten:
Gunner Ellis Adshead aged 24
Lance Corporal Ernest Edward Boswell aged 19
Private John Edwon Bruce aged 24
Private W H C Crossely aged 21
Private George Meikle aged unknown
Private Isaac Nelms aged 19
Many of the cadets who attended, aged from 13 years would only read about the First World War in school or see old black and white films on TV. Being army cadets, they can put a name to 6 of these young men.
“They gave their today, for our tomorrow. “