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At the going down of the sun and in the morning - we will remember them.

Ceramic poppy tribute at Lytham school

A series of events take place across the North West today to remember those killed in the two World Wars and other conflicts . The region will fall silent at 11am - the time the guns on the Western Front stopped at the end of the First World War.

Lytham school pupils with the poppies they made

Pupils at a school in Lytham have marked the sacrifice made by former pupils in the Great War. Year 9 at AKS which was King Edward VII and Arnold School commemorated the loss of their old boys by making ceramic poppies for each life lost. Head of Art and Design Laura P. Heap planned the project after discovering 33% (73) volunteers had lost their lives.

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Report: A special ceremony for the First World War hero who's finally been laid to rest

One hundred years ago, in the early months of the First World War, a group of soldiers from Second Battalion the York and Lancaster Regiment were killed while trying to hold back an enemy attack.

Among them was 36-year-old Private William Butterworth, from Lancaster. Tragically, he was the first of four brothers to die in the war.

Today, his family were in France to see his remains reburied alongside 14 comrades whose bodies were found in a field five years ago.

From France, David Wood sent this report:

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Tribute to Rochdale's VC hero of the Crimea

Private Anthony Palmer VC. Credit: Manchester Evening News

A street in Heywood is set to be renamed in commemoration of Private Anthony Palmer, a Crimean war hero and Victoria Cross recipient, who is buried in Heywood Cemetery.

A heritage sign will be unveiled on Wood Street, outside Heywood Library, to mark the official renaming of the street to ‘Private Anthony Palmer VC Parade’.

Private Palmer was born on the 10 March 1819 in Brereton Green, Cheshire.

He joined the British Army and served with the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards during the Crimean War between 1854-1856.

He is buried at Heywood Cemetery, in a family plot with father James and mother Mary Rachel.

The citation on his gravestone reads ‘An upright, valorous, god-fearing hero much beloved’.

Following the War, he was presented with the Victoria Cross, the highest military honour, by Queen Victoria at Hyde Park in London in June, 1857.

Private Palmer is also believed to be one of only 13 recipients of the Bentinck Medal for Gallantry.

First presented by Major-General Sir Henry Bentinck, KCB in 1855, the medal recognised Guardsmen who had performed outstanding service, at a time when insufficient official awards for gallantry were available.

After leaving the army in 1863 he rose to become the Head Constable of The Millwall Dock Company.

He died on 12 December 1892 at the age of 73, in Crumpsall Hospital, Manchester.

The unveiling of ‘Private Anthony Palmer VC Parade’ follows that of ‘LCpl Joel Halliwell VC Way’ and ‘L Cpl Stephen Shaw MC Way’, in recognising servicemen associated with the borough, who have received awards for their gallantry.

The street renaming is one of a host of events across the borough this year commemorating the sacrifice of British service personnel.

The Bentinck Medal for Gallantry. Credit: Rochdale Council.

“Private Palmer’s story is one of gallantry and selflessness, he is buried in Heywood and, as such, we have an obligation to preserve his memory and to recognise his incredible heroism.”

– Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for the Armed Forces, Rochdale Council

Memorial to Liverpool WWI hero Ernest Alexander

Ernest Alexander VC.

A commemorative stone is to be unveiled in memory of a Liverpool man who was awarded one of the first Victoria Cross medals during World War One.

Ernest Alexander from Princes Park was a Lieutenant Colonel in the 119th battery of the Royal Field Artillery.

In 1914, against overwhelming odds, he defended his battery at Elouges in Belgium from German soldiers - enabling them to withdraw without serious loss.

The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces.

The citation for the medal in the London Gazette also highlighted his bravery in rescuing a wounded man under heavy fire “with the greatest gallantry and devotion to duty”.

Today, a Commemorative Paving Stone in his honour will be unveiled at the Sunburst Gates at Princes Park - a century to the day since he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

It is part of a national scheme run by the Department for Communities and Local Government which will see every World War One Victoria Cross recipient remembered.

The event will be attended by Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Erica Kemp, veterans and serving soldiers from the Royal Artillery and members of the Friends of Princes Park.

“Ernest Alexander was a brave and fearless soldier whose selfless actions saved many lives.

“It is important that his contribution to World War One is remembered and I am privileged to be able to attend the unveiling of the stone.

“It will be a permanent reminder of the incredible contribution that he made to the war effort and his role in making sure that more soldiers weren’t lost.”

– Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Erica Kemp
A Victoria Cross.

Ernest was also awarded the Companion of the Order of the Bath, the Companion of St. Michael and St. George, and the Belgian Croix de Guerre. He is also remembered with a memorial at Putney Vale Cemetery in London.

He retired in 1920 to live in Kingsbridge, Devon, where he died on 25 August 1934, aged 63.

Efforts to trace his relatives, including by a local historian, have proved unsuccessful.

He is one of eight men from Liverpool to be awarded the Victoria Cross during World War One, and the others will be honoured in the same way between now and 2018.

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