Last year saw a long and bitter battle over plans to dig up the Swinton Unitarian Burial Ground to build a service yard for HGVs at a new ASDA superstore at the back of Swinton Precinct (see here for full background details).
In May, a Memorial Service was held, attended by the families of those interred in the burial ground and campaigners "not to show their anger and displeasure at those who seek to disturb the eternal rest of the dead for profit, but to remember and respect those who cannot speak for themselves" (see here).
Despite the campaign, Salford Council granted planning permission (see here), the graves were dug up, and this week the burial ground's most high profile body was re-buried with full military honours.
Private Wilbraham Lomax Blears was firstly injured fighting in World War 1, only to return later to the trenches and suffer a gas attack which led to his slow and painful death at a military hospital in Huddersfield.
At Swinton Cemetery this week around fifty people, including Salford's Ceremonial Mayor, attended Private Blears re-internment. Many were ex-soldiers, old and young, wearing their medals, while one person wore a custom made uniform, as close as possible mirroring what Private Blears himself would have worn.
"The Last Post was played with an emotional tremble by a 78year old veteran, as the Standard Bearers lowered their flags" an attendee told the Salford Star "Then there was a minute's silence as people honoured this young war hero. After he was laid to rest the crowd dispersed, many of whom were going to The British Legion to raise a glass to their fallen comrade."
The stone memorial from his old grave was placed at the head of Private Blears' new resting place.
Photos by itookyourpic.com