Liverpool’s ‘Unknown Soldier’ to be the site of a special remembrance service
As part of this year’s centenary events to commemorate World War I, the bronze statue of the Unknown Soldier on Liverpool’s historic Exchange Flags will be the focus of a special remembrance service, which will take place on Tuesday 11th November at 11:00am.
The service, which is being organised by the International Cotton Association (ICA), will be attended by Stephen Burrows, Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside, who will lay a wreath on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. A wreath will also be laid by Jenny Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the Liverpool Business District; Dave Southall, Assistant Head, Ministry of Defence representing the Armed Forces; Lieutenant Colonel Tony Hollingsworth MBE, Chairman of the Liverpool Pals Memorial Fund and Robert Carter, ICA Director on behalf of the association and its members. The ‘Last Post’ bugle call will be played during the service to mark this special centenary year.
Commissioned in 1922 by the ICA – known then as the Liverpool Cotton Association – the statue of the Unknown Soldier was originally situated in Liverpool’s Cotton Exchange Building, before being relocated to Exchange Flags in 2013 to bring it closer to the ICA’s new office in Walker House on Exchange Flags – the spot where cotton was first traded in the open air in the 1800s. As part of the relocation project, a new bronze plaque was also cast to accompany the statue, dedicated to the 423 men from the Association who lost their lives during both World Wars.
“It was always our intention to bring the soldier with us when we moved office,”says Kai Hughes, ICA Managing Director. “Having once stood in a quiet corner off Old Hall Street, we are delighted with the statue’s new location, as many more people will get to see and appreciate him. Last year we held our first remembrance service on Exchange Flags and we welcomed a huge crowd. It was fantastic to see so many people wanting to pay their respect to those who died for their country. We hope even more people will be able to join us this year.”
The ICA’s links with Liverpool date as far back as the mid-1700s when the first-ever cotton auction in Liverpool was recorded. The ICA was officially formed in 1841 and has been at the forefront of the city’s business networks for over 170 years.