From lone buglers to beacons of light and 24-hour theatre, there’ll be events citywide
With a death toll of over 16 million combatants and civilians, World War 1 was one of history’s most devastating conflicts - and contributed to many more mortalities through genocide and influenza. Much like World War 2 just 21 years later, allied victory came at an inconceivable cost.
As well as holding a two-minute silence on Remembrance Day (11th November), Manchester will again be paying respects citywide on Remembrance Sunday (10th November) as part of UK commemorations.
At 6am at Manchester Cathedral, a lone piper - one of a thousand countrywide and around the world - will play Battle's O'er.
At 11am at the Cenotaph in St Peter’s Square, Manchester’s annual Remembrance service will begin; preceded by a short parade from outside the Radisson Hotel on Peter Street, which will set off at 10.25am.
Civic dignitaries, faith leaders, political leaders and members of the armed forces - both serving and veterans - are invited to pay their respects at the ceremony, which will commence with a two-minute silence marked by the firing of a 105mm gun.
The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Abid Latif Chohan, will lead tributes from Manchester City Council. He’ll be joined by the council’s chief executive Joanne Roney OBE and the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Warren Smith.
Following the service, the parade will march back past Central Library. Here a salute will be taken by the Lord Mayor, the Lord-Lieutenant, senior representatives from the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force, the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, 207 Field Hospital and the Reserved Forces.
At 12.30pm, Manchester's bells will ring, joining bell-towers nationwide. A symbolic way to give thanks for the end of war 101 years ago, this is designed to replicate the national outpouring of relief that took place as news of the Armistice filtered through, and the UK's bells - which had long been silent - rang out once more.
Finally, at 6.55pm at Manchester Cathedral, a bugler will sound The Last Post before a beacon is lit at 7pm.
One over a thousand Beacons of Light across the UK and Overseas Territories, this represents an end to the darkness of war and a return to the light of peace.
The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Abid Latif Chohan, said: “Remembrance Sunday is a solemn occasion for the people of Manchester. We are able to come together as one to pay tribute to the lives of those who died protecting our country, and honour the legacy of veterans and serving members of the armed forces.
“This year is particularly poignant for this city as it marks the first year the red poppy will commemorate the lives of civilian victims of conflict. The events of May 2017 have left a scar on the collective memory of Manchester, but through the poppy we will ensure the victims of such a terrible attack will never be forgotten.”
Here are some other ways to commemorate...
THESE DAYS: THE PEACE SONG CYCLE | Manchester Cathedral | Sunday 10th November
Since its world premiere in 2018, Feelgood Theatre’s inspiring Remembrance Day performance - with libretto by local poet icon Tony Walsh and music by nine critically acclaimed composers - has been hailed as an example of what music and theatre can do to celebrate and learn from the best of our past. The theatre group will also be hosting a morning Remembrance service at Heaton Park.
ARMISTICE CEREMONY | IWM North | Sunday 10th November
The Imperial War Museum North will be holding a two-minute silence at 11am, followed by the premiere of Breaking the Silence: a performance created by Drake Music - leaders in music, disability and technology - alongside composer Ben Lunn and FUSION, a group of young disabled women.
24 HOURS OF PEACE | Royal Exchange | 10th - 11th November
Neil Bartlett’s tribute to 100 contemporary peace-workers is a show of epic proportions; featuring two days of continuous performances from the likes of Julie Hesmondhalgh and Don Warrington. The theatre will stay open throughout the 24 hours of the performance, and admission will be free.
VICTORY OVER BLINDNESS | Manchester Piccadilly | Permanent
Commissioned by Blind Veterans UK - a charity that supports ex-servicemen and women blinded in battle - this touching statue commemorates all those the charity has helped since WW1. Depicting seven blinded soldiers leading one another away from the battlefield, it was created by artist and sculptor Johanna Domke-Guyot and twinned with the stories of seven blinded veterans living now. The only permanent memorial of its kind, the statue was also inspired by the lack of records depicting disabled service persons.
REMEMBRANCE MURAL | The Fox Inn, Blackley | Permanent
Conceived by parachutist-turned-landlord John Price, who wanted to find a way for his Greater Manchester pub to honour veterans and fallen comrades, this commemorative mural can be inscribed by ex service men and women in an enduring act of remembrance. Amongst the first to leave their details was WW2 hero Ray Shuck.