RESIDENTS fighting to save a community war memorial in Knutsford gathered in silence to mark Remembrance Sunday.

Campaigners held a community remembrance event at Knutsford & District War Memorial, Northwich Road yesterday morning.

It was an informal gathering which continues to pay tribute to the fallen of 16 parishes at this site since the memorial opened in August 1922.

Local landowner and Freemason Cuthbert Leicester Warren, of Tabley Hall, created the former cottage hospital as a First World War war memorial.

Knutsford Guardian:

A wreath was laid by Gerald Norden on behalf of Freemasons

Cheshire East Council approved a scheme by McCarthy and Stone for 46 retirement apartments to be built on the site two years ago.

The building has still not been demolished and crusading campaigner Charlotte Peters Rock is appealing for support from residents to save the historic structure.

Two wreaths were laid at the memorial yesterday by Gerald Norden on behalf of Freemasons at 11am and one by the mayor of Knutsford Cllr Andrew Malloy later in the day.

Knutsford Guardian:

A wreath was laid by the Mayor of Winsford Cllr Andrew Malloy

Charlotte said: "It was and is our community war memorial.

"Early agreement by the local fundraising committee, which operated from early 1919, of which Cuthbert Leicester Warren and its architect Sir Percy Scott Worthington of Mobberley, were a vital part - meant that this war memorial would have also the purpose of serving the living community, by being built as a small cottage hospital.

Knutsford Guardian:

A Remembrance message from crusading campaigner Charlotte Peters Rock

"Throughout their lives they continued to collect annual donations. The entire community of 16 parishes was also heavily involved in fundraising on its own behalf with annual donations, subscriptions, fetes, dances, pound sales, charity shops and collecting tins.

"For nearly a century, that fundraising has never stopped. Local people still collect money."

Charlotte has been battling to save the memorial since the cottage hospital closed in 1990.

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"This is our communal property and history," she said. "No one has the right to touch it. No permission has been given by residents of the 16 parishes.

"This war memorial would currently make an ideal, safe, isolation hospital for local residents in this time of Covid. I want to get the community to stand up and fight back. It is coming up for its centenary. Once we lose our history, we've got nothing.

"This is the property and community war memorial of the parishes of Knutsford, Mobberley, Pickmere, Mere, Tatton, Toft, Bexton, High Legh, Tabley Superior, Tabley Inferior, Marthall, Ollerton, Over Peover, Lower Peover, Allostock, Nether Peover, Peover Inferior and Plumley."