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Region's war dead remembered in special Somme service

Thiepval Memorial was the scene of commemorations on 1st July Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The Royal British Legion is holding a special service to mark the centenary of the end of the Battle of the Somme, in which hundreds of men from the North West were killed.

Organised with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, a Drumhead service will be held at the Thiepval Memorial in France which holds the names of more than seventy two thousand men who died on the Somme and have no known grave.

The event concludes commemorations which began on the anniversary of the start of the battle on 1st July. The Battle of the Somme cost more than a million casualties on both sides.

Throughout the First World War centenary, the Legion has led the nation in remembering the men whose sacrifice has come to symbolise the tragic scale and futility of modern industrialised warfare.

The Last Day of The Somme is a moment to reflect on the collective sacrifice of all those who fought and fell in such tragic numbers between 1 July and 18 November, 1916.

Their Service has left an enduring legacy across the UK and Commonwealth and it is fitting that members of communities from the UK that were affected by that loss, are able to pay tribute to these men at the close of the battle's centenary.

– The Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch KCVO, The Royal British Legion


Santa film released to highlight problems of dementia

A film has been released in Merseyside to raise awareness of dementia.

Made by Alzheimer's Research the film's called Santa Forgot.

It imagines the story of a Santa with dementia who forgets to deliver presents.

The animation is narrated by Stephen Fry and is set in a world in which the magic of Christmas has been lost because Santa is living with the effects of dementia and no longer visits children across the world on Christmas Eve.

Santa Forgot is a poignant and powerful reminder that dementia doesn't discriminate. We have to be provocative about dementia, to help fight misconceptions and fatalism around the condition and to demonstrate that pioneering research holds the answers. Santa is an important cultural figure, but the idea that he too could be affected drives home the point that dementia can strike those most special in our lives.

Dementia is one of our most feared conditions, but misunderstanding persists that it is an inevitable part of ageing. Santa Forgot, like previous campaigns from Alzheimer's Research UK, makes the simple point that physical diseases drive dementia, most commonly Alzheimer's. We have made enormous strides against diseases like cancer and AIDS, and with the right research we can do the same for dementia. Santa Forgot reminds us to believe in the power of research.

– Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Research UK,

From the moment I was told about Santa Forgot I wanted to lend my support - it is an inspiring and beautiful take on a Christmas tale. I urge people up and down the country to get behind the campaign so we can fuel the fight against dementia and take a step forward to making it history.

– Stephen Fry

She's done it! Woman drives 1,000 miles for charity

Ashleigh Howey from Halewood, who was going on possibly the world's longest driving lesson has completed her mission.

She and her driving instructor were planning to travel from John O'Groats in Scotland to Land's End in Cornwall.

And We're delighted to say that this morning she made it. She completed 994 miles and smashed her fundraising target of a thousand pounds for Alder Hey children's hospital and Alzheimer's UK.

For more information on Ashleigh's mission click: JustGiving

WATCH: Teen's special way of remembering the fallen

On Granada Reports this week we've been marking Remembrance week with a series of reports.

Tonight we meet a teenager from Liverpool who's got her own very special way of commemorating the fallen.

Beth McGivern, who is now 15, was only nine when she discovered two neglected graves for soldiers who died as a result of the Battle of the Somme.

Sidney Harris and Percy Wright lived just streets away from each other and both joined the Liverpool Pals.

For more information visit Imperial War Museum North


The Isle of Man remembers the fallen on Armistice Day

The Isle of Man supplied troops, vessels and enemy internment camps Credit: Helen McKenna, ITV

The Isle of Man has joined commemorations for Armistice Day.

Crowds gathered this morning at Douglas War Memorial to pay respects to the 1,165 who lost their lives in World War 1.

'The Manxman' stands on top of a pillar overlooking Douglas Promenade Credit: Helen McKenna, ITV

More than 8,000 Manx men were enlisted - over 80% of the island's male population of military age. The memorial has a statue of a soldier on a 50ft pillar of Manx granite, called 'The Manxman'.

Another service will be held there on Remembrance Sunday at 11am.

Armistice Day: The North West remembers

Today the North West will remember those who've made the ultimate sacrifice serving their country in war time.

Right across our region numerous events are taking place.
In Bolton war veterans and members of the public will gather in Victoria Square for a short service to mark Armistice Day.

Credit: pa

In Manchester's Heaton Park, a bugler will play The Last Post as part of a special ceremony. The parkland was where thousands of recruits gathered before being shipped out to France in World War One. There'll also be a staging of two plays based on the stories of one of Manchester's Pals regiments.

Armistice Day: The North West remembers Credit: Press Association

In Warrington the town centre will fall silent for two minutes marking the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - to remember all those who have been injured or lost their lives fighting for their country.

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