Holmes Chapel on Armistice Day 1918
In November 1918, Holmes Chapel village was at a low ebb. Not only had 28 members of the community died at the Front over the past four years (out of a population of 926 residents in 1911), but also Spanish flu had broken out a few weeks earlier. Both Cranage School & Macclesfield Road County School were closed because of the epidemic on Wednesday 16th October, and did not reopen until 18th November. Saltersford College was also seriously affected. Flu also impacted the Paper Works on Tuesday 15th October when 13 were compelled to cease work. A dance was cancelled on 25th October due to the epidemic, and four deaths were reported in the newspapers as being due to influenza between 27th October and 6th November.
On Monday 11th November, when news of the Armistice reached Holmes Chapel, the local mills ceased work, and employees were given a three day holiday. However, there were no holidays at the schools because they were already closed. The village centre was quickly dressed with an abundant display of flags and bunting, and peals were rung on the church bells until nearly midnight.
If you would like to know more about Holmes Chapel at the end of the Great War, there will be a three day exhibition in St Luke’s Church Hall on Remembrance weekend to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War (see separate advertisement). There will also be a supporting booklet available for purchase.
Holmes Chapel U3A Local History Group