Dozens gathered to commemorate the 95 local men killed in the notorious Battle of Passchendaele.

Also known as the 3rd Battle of Ypres it lasted between July 31 and November 10, 1917, and was one of the bloodiest of the First World War.

Around 325,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded, with at least 60 men from Macclesfield and a further 35 from the surrounding villages killed in the battle.

On Monday (July 31), veterans and civic leaders met at the war memorial at Park Green, Macclesfield, to pay tribute.

The event, organised by the Royal British Legion, started with four ‘thunderous’ rockets detonated in quick succession at 7.10am to represent the detonation of mines at 3.10am at Messines Ridge on 7th June 1917.

Pete turner, clerk for Macclesfield Town Council, said: “Macclesfield marked the commemoration of the commencement of the third battle of Ypres – Passchendaele. At 7.10 am, the Royal British Legion led a short service of remembrance at the war memorial on Park Green.

“Thanks go to the RBL for organising all who took the time to remember those who served.”

Among those killed on the first day of the battle were two cousins, both called Harold Mayers, who came from Bollington.

The oldest of the two Harolds was 38 when he was killed in action while serving as private in the 1st/6th Battalion Cheshire Regiment.

The younger of the cousins was only 29 when he was shot through the heart during an attack near Wieltje in Belgium.

He was serving as a private in the 1st/10th Battalion The King’s (Liverpool Regiment).

Other members of the Mayers family who served in the First World War included include John Henry who served as private with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and another Harold who served as private with the 1/7th Cheshire Regt, the 16th Manchester Regt and the 10th Cheshire Regt. Both survived the war.

The lives and deaths of men from the area at Passchendaele will be commemorated in a new exhibition by Macclesfield and Cheshire Villages Great War Societies.

The free exhibition in the Salvation Army Hall, Roe Street, Macclesfield, on Saturday August 5, 10am until 5pm.

For information on Macclesfield’s role in the war visit macclesfieldreflects.org.uk .

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