BOLTON will come to a standstill today to pay tribute to those who died during World War One — a hundred years to the day since the conflict started.
Yesterday, churches across the town held services to remember the fallen.
Last night, Bolton Parish Church held a civic service, while in Blackrod, a service was held at the village’s war memorial, attended by relatives of those who served during the war.
The event was organised by Blackrod Community Group.
A wreath of poppies was laid at the memorial in tribute to the Blackrod soldiers who fought in the conflict.
John Tapp, worship leader at Blackrod Methodist Church, said: “It’s good that people of all ages have got together to remember those from Blackrod who fought in the war.
“My grandfather was in the trenches in France and Belgium and when I found out I had a hero in the family, I was very proud.”
Brenda Barker, whose grandfather Thomas Dowling served in France during World War One, and whose name is one of the 42 names listed on the memorial, said: “It’s important to hold events like this to remind everyone of the bravery of our armed forces — especially this year.”
Mayor of Blackrod, Cllr Beryl Monaghan said: “It’s been an emotional experience being here today and paying tribute to the achievements of the village’s brave soldiers.”
Last night’s civic service at Bolton Parish Church was attended by many of the borough’s residents, councillors and Mayor.
It featured hymns, prayers and a rendition of the national anthem.
Visitors were given a 100th anniversary edition of The Gospel According to St John, which was printed in the form of a soldier’s pocket book.
A memorial service is due to be held at 11am in Victoria Square today.
A wreath will be laid at the war memorial, followed by firing of maroons, while a two-minute silence and a candle-lit vigil will be held in the grounds of Bolton Parish Church at 10pm.
World War One was responsible for the deaths of 9,200 Bolton soldiers. It lasted for four years and three months from 1914 to November, 1918.