Peace Day centenary

Above: Parkroyal School Head boy Luke and Head girls Lily, Rosalyn and Caitlin along with members of the WW1 commemorations group at the tree planting ceremony on Peace Day 

Despite driving rain, people gathered in West Park to commemorate 100 years since Peace Day.

Macclesfield Town Council in partnership with the WW1 commemorations group, organised the planting of an oak tree in West Park.  This has extra significance as 100 years ago to the day, the Mayor of Macclesfield planted oak saplings in the town’s parks.

The official end of the war was on 28th June 1919 upon the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. In the following weeks, celebrations were held across the world. In Britain, Saturday 19th July 1919 was named Peace Day and declared a public holiday. Millions watched a Victory Parade of 15000 troops march through the streets of London to Buckingham Palace.

In Macclesfield, the main celebrations took place on Park Green and in the local parks – there were speeches, entertainment and a firework display. On the Wednesday before Peace Day, the Mayor of Macclesfield presented all the schoolchildren with commemorative mugs. On the day itself, the Mayoress planted a commemorative oak sapling in the local parks.

The silver spade used for the tree plantings was supplied by Mr H D Edwards Jewellers on Mill Street and was used in the ceremony on the 19th July 2019.

Helena Gowler, Community Engagement Officer for Macclesfield Town Council commented that ‘The WW1 commemorations group have been working hard over the last 6 years on projects and events. As their last act, they wanted to commemorate 100 years since peace day. It is so special that the spade used in the original planting was there for the planting of the oak tree in West Park. We would like to thank the Head Boy and Head Girls from Parkroyal School for providing a wonderful speech on the day ’

Macclesfield Town Council has also sponsored an exhibition called ‘World War One – the Aftermath’ which is taking place throughout July at Macclesfield Library. This exhibition was devised and produced by the Macclesfield and District World War One Commemorations group who have been working hard since 2013 to organise events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

The original tree planting on Friday 19th July 1919

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