Generous acts of courage and sacrifice were remembered during a brief service at Diggle Day Nursery on Sunday 8 September to re-dedicate war memorials which, until July 2012, had been in the Wrigley Mill Methodist Church chapel.
Following the closure of the church and the sale of the building, Oldham and Saddleworth Methodist Circuit, which has continuing legal responsibility for the memorials, came to an agreement with Mr and Mrs Naughton, the owners of the nursery, to re-locate them in the top room of the nursery complex. This room, which is available for the community to hire, was felt to be the most appropriate site.
The plaques record the names of thirteen men, connected to the former church, who had made the ultimate sacrifice during the two world wars. The moving stories of three of them, Irvine Holden, Joe W Schofield and Elliot Longley, were recounted by their relatives.
As well as the relatives who had earlier enquired about the future of the memorials and Mr and Mrs Naughton, representatives of the Circuit also welcomed members of the former church congregation, leaders from the Diggle Community Association, friends from other churches and the village community and, the Commanding Officer and a senior cadet from the Saddleworth Air Training Cadet Corps.
Circuit minister, Rev Pete Moorhouse with ATC Chaplain, Rev Godfrey Adams, led the re-dedication of the memorials and offered prayers for those who have suffered in conflicts, and prayers for peace and justice in the world. The gathering listened to music recorded by Diggle Brass Band while reflecting on the cost of our freedom, concluding in a spirit of thanksgiving and hope.
Following the service, the guests were invited to stay for afternoon tea and home baked cakes.