ALTRINCHAM veteran Vince Hastings and members of the Royal British Legion joined a local business as it unveiled a huge 13ft banner to celebrate the role women played in the First World War.

The banner, which graces the side of the Smart Storage Altrincham store in Craven Road, will remain in place in the run up to Armistice Day.

The Royal British Legion is running a campaign to say “Thank You” to the First World War generation – to all who served, sacrificed and changed our world.

To mark the collaboration between the Royal British Legion’s ‘Thank You’ campaign and the Self Storage Association (SSA UK), Smart Storage Altrincham has joined with more than a dozen other areas in the country to express a wave of gratitude to the forgotten women of the 1914-18 conflict.

Emma Greenwood, manager at Smart Storage Altrincham said; “Using our forklift and cage, we have hung the enormous banner down the centre of our building right above our trade counters – so it will be seen by everyone passing by on the busy Craven Road.

"We were thrilled that members of the Altrincham Royal British Legion and local veteran Vince Hastings attended the unveiling, to help bring the campaign to life in Altrincham.

"We are so proud to celebrate the role that many local women played in the War. Look out for it when you drive down Craven Road. You can't miss it!”

Rennie Schafer, chief executive officer of the Self Storage Association UK said:  “We were struck by how few women were remembered in the history books, even though they formed the backbone of the war effort.

"From making ammunition to serving at The Front, they showed such courage, determination and resilience.

"When we appealed for local stories, we were extremely touched by the memories people shared. Many of these personal accounts will be posted on our website leading up to Remembrance Sunday.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came forward to honour their female family members.”

Catherine Davies, head of Remembrance at the Royal British Legion said: “We owe the First World War generation a huge debt of gratitude for helping shape the world as we know it today.

"Not only the 1.2 million British and Commonwealth Armed Forces who lost their lives on the battlefields but also those who kept the home front going.

"Women played an essential role in the war effort, seizing the opportunity to prove their worth and take another step towards getting the vote.

"Each and every one of them deserves our thanks.”