Wednesday 13 November 2013
Blackley Forest is the City's oldest community woodland, planted in 1953 in remembrance of World War 2 and to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Soldiers young and old joined up with students and parents from Bowker Vale Primary School to hear poems written and read by youngsters to commemorate Armistice Day. Headteacher Rachel Jacques reaffirmed the schools commitment to respect, recognition and community values.
After a moving last post sounded by buglers from the local scout group a 2 minute silence was impeccably observed. The flag of the Royal Marines was lowered by Stan Hocking, chairman of the Royal Marines Association.
The event culminated in the unveiling of a new bench and plaque remembering the fallen and the planting of several memorial trees for all victims of war, in particular Royal Marine Jonathan Crookes, who helped on the original tree planting in project in 2007, but who was tragically killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
Former colleagues of Marine Crookes, Corporal Glyn Forshaw and Mne Bradshaw were also in attendance and laid a wreath in memoriam.
This poignant event was organised by Daisy Horsley from English Heritage as part of the Heritage Schools project and Dot Keller with the Friends of Blackley Forest, and was supported by the Council and Irk Valley Project.
Daisy Horsley of English Heritage said:
"The tree plant carried out by students at Bowker Vale Primary School is a shining example of what can be achieved as part of the Heritage Schools Project. By finding out about the history of Blackley Forest the children are gaining a real sense of their local heritage and a sense of pride in where they come from."