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Conrad is remembered as local road named in his honour

28 February 2020

The Mayor of Rochdale and Councillor Janet Emsley with Armed Forces members.

Hundreds of people came together at a poignant dedication ceremony to officially name a road in honour of Fusilier Conrad Cole who lost his life serving in the 1st Gulf War.

17-year-old Conrad, of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, tragically died when a US Air Force 'tank-buster' jet launched an attack on a British armoured vehicle. He was the first Gulf War's youngest casualty.

The special service to dedicate Conrad Cole Road in Kirkholt, on the 29th anniversary of Conrad's death, was attended by Conrad's family and friends, the Mayor of Rochdale, the Armed Forces Community, councillors and local residents.

Military personnel, including Fusiliers past and present, paid special tribute with a parade to the ceremony in Conrad's memory.

The dedication ceremony included moving tributes to Conrad, prayers, led by Rev Margaret Smith, the laying of wreaths and the unveiling of the street name.

Conrad Cole Road is located on a new development off Balderstone Road, which has been developed in partnership between Rochdale Borough Council and Gleeson Homes.

'It was lovely to see so many people come together at this poignant and moving service'

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for the Armed Forces, said: "It was lovely to see so many people come together at this poignant and moving service. Conrad was a young man in the prime of his life, doing a job he loved serving his country and helping to protect the values, liberty and freedoms we cherish so much. His loving family, his many friends and his Armed Forces comrades who gathered can be proud of his life and his legacy.

"Our Armed Forces community is a family that always come together to reflect, remember and honour the fallen. A light may have gone out on that tragic day in February 1991, but Conrad's spirit will shine brightly for ever. Lest we forget."

Councillor Richard Farnell, ward councillor for Balderstone and Kirkholt, said: "Conrad died in tragic circumstances serving his country. He will be forever remembered by his family and his many friends from Kirkholt. The naming of a new road will be a lasting tribute to a brave young man."

Colonel James Denny, regimental secretary for The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, said "It was a great honour to be part of this event and the very least we can do to honour Fusilier Cole's service with the regiment. As we say in the regiment, Once a Fusilier, Always a Fusilier, so this touching tribute will create a lasting memorial for Fusilier Cole for many years to come."