Events, research projects and commemorative ceremonies will be taking place during the four years of 2014 to 2018, marking the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Representatives from The Co-operative Credit Union recently attended an event at the CWS war memorial in Old Bank Building, Manchester.
The Old Bank Building memorial has a special place in co-operative history. In the late 1920s the Manchester CWS Ex-Serviceman’s Association (formed by war veterans) suggested that plans for the bank building (opened in 1930) should include a national war memorial for CWS employees killed in the Great War. The Manchester association donated £100 towards the cost of the memorial with the funds being raised by CWS employees. The memorial, which gives the names of the 810 employees who died in the war, was inaugurated in a special ceremony on Armistice Day 1930.
For decades since, co-operative colleagues have gathered at the memorial on 11th November. This year the event was attended by board members of The Co-operative Group, including Ursula Lidbetter, the Group Chair, as well as many colleagues. Linda Edwards, Andy Davey, Karen Appleton and Katie Walker from The Co-operative Credit also attended the ceremony. The event, always poignant, had special significance this year given the centenary commemorations. It also had personal resonance for Andy Davey, the credit union office manager as his father is an ex-marine and his uncle is currently serving in the armed forces. The team felt privileged to attend the event and remember the sacrifices of co-operative employees a century ago.