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Programme for The Unveiling of Cheadle's WW1 Memorial Sculpture revealed

Cheadle Discovery Group are delighted to announce the programme for the unveiling of Cheadle’s new Great War Memorial as follows:

11am-3pm Project exhibition adjacent to site

12.30 pm Community band

2 pm Unveiling of sculpture
Dedication by the Clergy
Laying of wreaths, the last post and two minutes silence

2.30pm Open air pet service

3pm Refreshments- Methodist Hall

This unique memorial sculpture by local blacksmith Jim Plant has been designed with great thought and attention to detail. Each element of the sculpture has meaning as well as being visually stunning. At the peak of the sculpture is a finial with the Staffordshire Knot and the dates of the war. The main and central part of the sculpture is a soldier on horseback signifying the men and horses from Cheadle which served in the Great War. More than 80 horses went to war but only one returned. The outer circle contains smaller 3D cameos of animals including a donkey, mule, pigeon, dog, camel and elephant. All of these animals contributed significantly to the war effort and where possible their function is also depicted. Being an owner of dogs and donkeys Jim is passionate about the contribution those animals made in the war. Above the cameos are 2 combined red and purple poppies, the national symbol for fallen man and animal respectively. The 5 foot diameter sculpture sits above an 8 foot plinth which allows the sculpture to be silhouetted against a light sky for full effect.

“In one word I can only describe this sculpture as breathtaking.” said project leader Ivan Wozniak. “Jim has worked so hard to make this possible and leave a great legacy for Cheadle and our Heritage Lottery funded project “Cheadle Remembers the Great War”.

The dedication plaque installed on the front of the plinth also has special significance. Included is a poignant extract from a poem called “In Honorem Fortium” by the Cheadle war poet Captain Charles Masefield, MC who served in the Great War.

The laying of 3 different coloured wreaths during the unveiling ceremony will also mark this as a unique event. The red wreath will honour the fallen men, the purple wreath the fallen animals and a white wreath will represent the hope of future generations.

The project was initially funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund but as the scale of the project grew it became apparent other funds were required. In total more than 17 individuals, companies and organisations have made this possible. The grant funding from the town council, an Environment Enhancement Grant from SMDC, and community donations from district councillors Alan Banks and Peter Jackson has ensured the project is finished to a high standard. The full list of supporters is identified on a second plaque located on the plinth.

As well as the unveiling event, the Cheadle Discovery Group will present a series of their “Cheadle Remembers the Great War displays” in a gazebo adjacent to the site. This includes pictures of the horse pageant held last year and pictures donated by Jim Plant of the making of the memorial sculpture itself. The Cheadle Community Band has volunteered to support the event and will be performing live music from 12.30pm. Local community groups, especially those linked to animals are welcome to promote themselves on the day.

In a sense of true community spirit, Churches Together have organised an open air pet service at 2.30pm, immediately following the unveiling ceremony. All are welcome.

Groups who want to get involved, or anyone interested in more information about the unveiling, should contact the Cheadle Discovery Group. Telephone Alan Wigley (01538 753519) or e-mail More details about the event can be found on the Cheadle Discovery Centre’s website.

The completed memorial sculpture