A number of events are planned to mark the centenary of the First World War. If you are planning an event, please let us know about it so that we can publicise it here.



Oldham Theatre Workshop in association with Oldham Local Studies and Archives will be performing their acclaimed immersive theatre experience ‘Sides of Silence: Remembering the Battle of the Somme’ on Saturday, July 1.

The play follows the journey of a group of men from their home town of Oldham to the battlefields of France.

The performance also commemorates the centenary of the beginning of the Battle of Passchendaele, one of the most controversial battles of the First World War. More than half a million men were killed or wounded during the battle which became notorious for the scale of its casualties and the horrors of the Flanders mud.

The performance lasts about 45 minutes and will take place in the recently refurbished Egyptian Room in the Old Town Hall on Greaves Street.

There will be three performances at 11am, 1pm and 3pm followed by refreshments.

Places are strictly limited so if you would to take part in this unique event please book your place by contacting Oldham Local Studies and Archives, 84 Union Street, Oldham, OL1 1DN; tel: 0161 770 4654; e-mail:

There will be a small charge of £2 payable on the day.

The letter from Private Blomley published in the Oldham Standard is as follows:

I am well considering what I have just gone through. I suppose you have read about the big success we have had. We were the first lines over in one part of the line. We got on the top, but I don’t want to go through anything like it again. You know the lad I had my last leave with, Alfred Oliver. I am sorry to say that he has gone under. He was shot through the ears. The nights are awful, I can tell you. I cannot write very much now, but if I am spared I will let you know more.  I and the lad I ‘palled’ on with at Etaples are still together, having come through safely. I hope that we can remain safe and sound. Keep smiling and waiting for my return, as we will have some jolly times together some day. I did not think for a moment I should have had another letter to write home when I got to the top to see them falling on either side of me, but I thank the dear Lord as I want you to thank Him that I am still alive. I will close now with best love and respects to all. . . .It was the first time I had been in the first line trenches to hold them. When we had to go over for the advance you can imagine what a sensation it would be.


This year we are commemorating the Battle of the Somme. Watch this video from The First World War Centenary and find out more about the battle.

All the events taking place this year are below:


There was a service of Remembrance at the Kings Baptist Church in Cleethorpes, where the congregation had put together an exhibition of the night o the 1 April. The names of the Oldham soldiers who died were read out, with information given to them from Dorothy Bintley.

There were six people from Oldham there, and there was tea and cake.

One of the members of the congregation, David,  went to the church during the night and stood there at the time the bomb dropped. He said it was very atmospheric with the mist rolling in from the sea.

On the Sunday there were three wreath laying ceremonies attended by the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Oldham.

The first was the memorial to the 3rd Manchester’s, followed by the second at the CWGC memorial.

The third was at the Memorial Arch on the sea front where there were many plaques for different groups and regiments.


On August 14, 1945, it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War Two.

Since then, both August 14 and August 15 have been known as “Victory over Japan Day,” or simply “V-J Day.” The term has also been used for September 2, 1945, when Japan’s formal surrender took place aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.

We’re encouraging everyone to remember VJ Day (Victory in Japan Day) from 15 August to 2 September.

We would like residents and communities to come together and organise afternoon teas, themed events or story swapping sessions, from 15 August to 2 September. These could be held anywhere, in your house, garden or local community centre.

This is part of the ‘Oldham Remembers’ project that Oldham Council are running to show their commitment to commemorating World War One and World War Two.

Residents can advertise their own events and a template for a poster can be found on this website by visiting the link: 

Oldham Council will assist with advertising the events and all the information will be uploaded to this website.

If you would like to host an event please let us know by emailing or by calling 0161 770 3297


Oldham Remembers is launching a new project – ‘A History to Be Proud Of’ – and we want residents to be part of it.

We want local people to share stories about how their relatives fought for freedom in the World Wars, even though they didn’t hail from these shores.

Many of you will have ancestors from the West Indies, Africa, Europe, Australia, America and beyond who have told you about their experiences.

The Oldham Remembers team is currently researching and collecting stories but we need help from people across the borough to come forward with their own.

This new project is not just to remember, but to highlight how people from different communities ‘did their bit’.

Once all the stories are collected they will be organized and shared with Oldham.

For more information or if you have a story to share please contact or call 0161 770 3297


World War 1: Changing Faces of Heroism University of Leeds 3 Week Course

Learn how the war moved everyone away from traditional views of heroism and created new kinds of heroes and heroines.

Did World War 1 make heroism meaningless or was it the conflict that gave it the most meaning?

This course will help you explore, discuss and challenge the ways in which World War 1 heroism has been remembered. Experts will take you through the changing British, French and German views of heroism and discuss important similarities and differences.

Watch a short trailer here:

To find out more about the course visit: 


‘In Memoriam’ – First World War Exhibitions

Visit the Saddleworth Museum for the new display ‘In Memoriam’. The exhibition looks at the men and women of Saddleworth who served during World War One.

The exhibition, located on the first floor of the museum, includes a ‘dugout’, a display case of objects, an ephemera display and a noticeboard with the opportunity for people to remember those relatives who served or were killed.

Saddleworth Museum Saddleworth, High St, Uppermill, Oldham OL3 6HS

For more information call 01457 874093 or visit