1914 – 1919 WAR MEMORIAL
AUDLEY RANGE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH,
Audley Range Congregational Church was situated on Audley Range Blackburn.
The memorial comprised of 5ft high tablet made from Italian marble on a black slate base. On the right-hand side is carved the figure of peace with the names of the 23 men who lost their lives inscribed in gold lettering. The Inscription at the top reads:
To The Glory Of God And In Grateful And
Loving Memory Of The Members Of This
Church And Sunday School Who Fell In The
At the base is another inscription that reads:
So Long As The World Endureth
They Shall Not Be Blotted Out
Their Memorial Shall Not Depart Away
And Their Name Shall Live From Generation
To Generation Ecclesiastic Xxxix Verse 8.
1914 – 1919
The Memorial was unveiled on Sunday the 13th May 1923, by William Jones, Deacon, Church Secretary, and Sunday School Superintendent.
Blackburn Weekly Telegraph: 5th May 1923, 19th May 1923
The names on the memorial are shown below:
LANCE CORPORAL FRED ASPIN
53272 Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 248 Company
Killed in Action 20th. September 1917
Remembered with Honour on Tyne Cot Memorial
Fred was with his unit of the 248th Company, Machine Gun Corps–part of the 33rd Division at the 3rd battle of Ypres when he was hit by a shell and killed instantly.
He was the fourth of seven children born to his parents, Nathan & Ellen Aspin. He was born on 7th. December 1893 in Blackburn. In 1911 he was living with his parents and siblings at 101, Riley Street, Blackburn and was working as a Cotton Reacher at Hindle's Bank Field Mill. In 1916 he married Ellen McCallum in Blackburn. He was drafted to France towards the end of that year. By early 1917 his wife had given birth to his son, Jack but died as a result of the childbirth. When Fred was killed later in 1917 he left his orphan son in the care of his mother, Ellen. His comrade wrote to his parents “Fred was my pal and I shall miss him greatly–he was held in high esteem by all. We buried him with three comrades and marked the spot with a cross." His Minister at Audley Range Congregational Church referred to him in the Church newsletter as “Tender Hearted Fred". His name was on the Roll of Honour in the Church.
DRIVER JOHN (JACK) ASPIN
75062 9TH Btn. Royal Field Artillery
Died Whalley Hospital 24th March 1919
Buried in Blackburn Cemetery CE J 11433
John died of pneumonia in the Military Hospital of St. Mary's in Whalley. He was a younger brother of Fred Aspin (see below), son of Nathan & Ellen Aspin of 235, Pringle Street, Blackburn. In 1911 he was living with his parents and siblings at 101, Riley Street, Blackburn and was working as a cotton weaver (aged 12 years). Having enlisted in 1915, he was drafted out to France on his seventeenth birthday.
PRIVATE HERBERT BROGDEN
57696 Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) 149th Company (formerly 11917 Army Cycle Corps.)
Died 14th November 1916
Remembered with Honour on Thiepval Memorial (Pier & Face 5C & 12C)
Herbert was born in 1897 in Burnley, Lancashire. He was the son of Moses and Esther Brogden who had married in Burnley in 1893. By 1911 the family had moved to 142, Alker Street, Blackburn where Herbert was working as a pawnbroker's shop assistant.
Four guns from his unit were ordered to take part in an assault on enemy positions of the Snag Trench at the Battle of Transloy Ridge in which Herbert was killed in action.
PRIVATE MARK CARTER
2914 1st/4th Btn. East Lancashire regiment.
Killed in Action 13th August 1915
Remembered with Honour on the Helles Memorial Panels 113–117
Mark was born Marcus Wreghitt in July 1897 in Chorlton. He took on the name “Carter" when his mother married Eli Carter in October 1899.
He was presumed killed after an action against the Turks on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 12th/13th August 1915. He is listed amongst almost 100 soldiers of the East Lancashire Regiment killed in that action and listed in the Battalion War Diaries. He has no known grave. His name is commemorated on the Helles Memorial and at Audley Range Congregational Church. He was reported as “missing" in the Audley Range Church newsletter of that date, being a regular member of the Church. Mark was employed at Eli Heyworth's Audley Hall Mill.
In 1911, Mark lived with his mother, May and step-father, Eli at 131, Walter Street, Blackburn.
PRIVATE CHRISTOPHER DUCKWORTH
71783 1st Btn. Lancashire Fusiliers
(formerly) 21459 Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
Died 19th April 1920
Buried Blackburn Cemetery E. NC 3643
Christopher was born on 14th January 1898 and baptised at St. Thomas's Church, Blackburn on 13th February that year.
He died at George V Military Hospital, Abour Hill, Dublin. A newspaper report at the time read “Private Duckworth of the Lancashire Regiment, who was accidently wounded outside Mountjoy Prison gate last Monday week, died last night in King George V Hospital".
In 1911, Christopher was living at 125, Alker Street, Blackburn with his parents, Christopher & Alice and three sisters. He was a cotton weaver by trade.
PRIVATE FRANK DUCKWORTH
32127 7TH Btn. King's Shropshire Light Infantry
Died 21st August 1918
Buried at Bucquoy Road Cemetery, Ficheux. VI. K. 22
Frank was born in Blackburn in 1897. In 1911 he was living with his parents, Philip and Isabella, and three siblings at 32, Norman Street, Blackburn. He was working as a Cotton Weaver.
He was killed in action during the early part of the Battle of Albert where his unit lost 10 Officers and 232 Other Ranks over four days. At the time of his death, his family were living at 10, Stansfeld Street, Blackburn. He was commemorated on the Roll of Honour at Alice Street Wesleyan Chapel and at Audley Range Congregational Church.
CORPORAL WILLIAM EDMUNDSON-MM
26823 Welsh Regiment–2nd Btn. Trench Mortar Battery
Died 20th August 1918
Remembered with Honour at Cambrin Military Cemetery – Panel 34
The War Diary for his unit mentions his death “20th August 1918. 105 rounds fired on usual trench targets–the following casualties received to this unit ……..56825(sic) Corporal W. Edmundson MM".
William was born at 55, Peter Street, Blackburn on 5th October 1896. He was the only child of Thomas and Mary Jane (known as Polly). William & his mother emigrated to Australia in March 1913, joining his father who was already there. The family returned to Blackburn in 1914 where William worked as a cotton spinner at Dugdale's mill before enlisting on 1st January 1915.
He was posted to the Shropshire Light Infantry and was wounded in February 1916 with a gunshot wound to his right wrist. He was then transferred to the Welsh Regiment. In April 1918, he was awarded the Military Medal for good work on that day. (Gazette 28th August 1918)
He is commemorated on the Roll of Honour at Haslingden Road Wesleyan Church and at Audley Range Congregational Church.
PRIVATE ROBERT ESKDALE
G/4709 Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Died 22nd July 1916
Remembered with Honour on the Thiepval Memorial Pier & Face 11C
Robert was born in 1892 at Town Green, Aughton, Ormskirk to John & Mary Eskdale. He moved to Blackburn and in 1911 was living at 4, June Street with his parents and five siblings, two of which were boys who also served in the forces. Robert was a cotton weaver at the time.
In February 1914, he married Lucy Jane Holt at St. Philips Church. He enlisted later the same year.
It would be at the battle of High Wood that Robert is listed as missing, presumed dead on 22nd July 1916. The Royal West Kent Regiment suffered 420 casualties during that action of which Robert was one. His wife, Lucy had written to the War Office several times trying to find out whether her husband had been taken prisoner of been killed and it was not until March 1917 that she received confirmation of his death.
Robert was Remembered with Honour on the Memorial in Audley Range Congregational Church.
PRIVATE HERBERT FELL
16763 1ST Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers
Died 16th June 1916
Remembered with Honour on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Panels 19 & 33
Herbert was born in Blackburn in July 1895 to Edward and Sarah Ellen Fell. Edward died in 1897 and in 1901 Herbert was living with his widowed mother and brother Ernest at 120, Audley Range, Blackburn. By 1911 they were living at 103, Dewhurst Street, Blackburn and Herbert was a cotton weaver.
No service records or pension records have survived. An obituary notice appeared in the Blackburn Times in September 1915 stating that his parents had received a letter suggesting that, after a great battle in Gallipoli, their son was missing. His mother wrote to the Red Cross in Switzerland and received a reply “We regret to inform you that your son was, according to the last German list, killed and buried sometime between the 28th April and 26th June somewhere East of Ypres. This is deduced from the finding of his identification disc." Herbert Fell was twenty years of age and worked, before enlisting, at Audley Range Mill. He was a member of Oxford Street Primitive Methodist Church and also attended Audley Range Congregational Church where his name is on the Roll of Honour.
PRIVATE WILLIAM ELLIOT KING
25347 8TH Btn. Border Regiment
Died 9th September 1917
Remembered with Honour at Tyne Cot Cemetery XLVII. F. 5
William was born in Blackburn in 1883 to William Henry & Margaret King (nee Briggs). In 1891 the family lived at 78, Scotland Road, Blackburn and young William was a scholar. By 1901 the family were living at the same address but William was now working as a commercial clerk. William married Emma Cowburn in Blackburn in 1905 and by 1911 William and his wife, Emma, had moved next door to 76, Scotland Road.
Shortly after the 1911 census William and Emma moved to Windermere where he worked for Messrs Pattisons Ltd., builders and contractors. He enlisted with the Border Regiment at Windermere in 1916 and was drafted to France in September of that year.
William was killed in Action on 8th September 1917 when his unit was at Glencorse Wood in the Third Battle of Ypres. His body was buried at the Tyne Cot Cemetery.
Prior to leaving for Windermere, William was a member of Audley Range Congregational Church. In his Church notes, his minister, Rev. J. Loosmore, referred to him as “Dear, laughing, mirthful Elliot, fond of his jest, and still fonder of his school." His name was on the Memorial for the Great War in the Church.
PRIVATE THOMAS WHITAKER MATLEY
R/2210 10th Btn Kings Royal Rifle Corps
Died 20th February 1916
Buried–La Belle Alliance Cemetery (B. 2.)
Thomas was born in Prestwich in the first quarter of 1889. In 1901 he was living with his parents, Thomas and Mary Ann (nee Whittaker) and his sister Catherine at 42, Dewhurst Street, Blackburn. By 1911 he was working as a factory operative and was living with his family at 16, Dewhurst Street, Blackburn.
No service or pension records have survived but he enlisted with the 10th Btn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps. His unit were in action at Ypres–Comines Canal defending the ground known as the Bluff. The Germans had used gas and mine explosions and the much fought for trenches changed hands several times. There were 1,294 British casualties during these exchanges, of which Thomas would have been one of 270 who died on that day. His effects were sent to the sole legatee, his sister Catherine.
Thomas was Remembered with Honour on the Memorial at Audley Range Congregational Church.
PRIVATE HERBERT PEMBERTON
17984 6TH Btn Border Regiment
Died 14th September 1916
Buried Ovillers Military Cemetery I. F. 7.
Herbert was born in Blackburn on 29th August 1895 and baptised at Christ Church on 6th October the same year. In 1901 the family were living at Copperfield Street and by 1911 had moved to 40, Audley Range. Herbert was a weaver at Bankfield Mill.
No service or pension records have been found but we know he was killed in action on 14th September 1916 when his unit were involved in the first battle of Ypres, a couple of miles North of Albert. His captain wrote “We will remember him as a good hearted, kind lad who we all miss. I wish to pay my tribute to the memory of a brave and capable soldier." A comrade writes that a shell dropped into the trench killing Pemberton and a friend named John Nickson; “Better lads never lived."
Herbert is buried at Ovillers Military Cemetery and is remembered with Honour on the memorial at Audley Range Congregational Church.
PRIVATE HAROLD ROSE
17225 1st Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers
Died 27th March 1916
Remembered with Honour on Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (panels 19 & 33)
Harold Rose was born in Blackburn on 8th December 1895 to parents Mark William and Alice Rose and was baptised at St. Thomas's Church on 22nd December 1895. The family were living at 95, Audley Street at the time but by 1911 they had moved to Walter Street from where Harold was working as a cotton spinner.
No service or pension records have been found but other documents reveal that he enlisted with the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He was with his unit in France in the battle of Albert when he was killed in action. He is remembered with Honour on the memorial at Audley Range Congregational Church, Blackburn.
PRIVATE JAMES SHUTTLEWORTH
26378 8th Btn. East Lancashire Regiment.
Died 23rd October 1916
Buried at Bancourt British Cemetery VIII. B. 20
James Shuttleworth was born in Blackburn 1n 1885 to parents Michael & Elizabeth Shuttleworth. The family lived in the Audley district of Blackburn for over thirty years, being at Walter Street, then Randolf Street and, at the time of James death, May Street. In 1911 James was a weaver in a cotton mill.
No service or pension records have been found but we know that he enlisted with the 8th Btn. East Lancashire Regiment and was with his unit during the battle of Ancre Heights on the Somme where he was killed. The register of soldier's effects shows that his effects went to his father, Michael.
James was a well-known local footballer having had a trial with Blackburn Rovers reserves. He attended Audley Range Sunday School and was a member of the finance committee of the Church. He is remembered with Honour on the memorial at Audley Range Congregational Church, Blackburn.
PRIVATE JOHN FREDERICK STONE
12962 4TH Btn. South Wales Borderers
Died 30th April 1917
Remembered with Honour on the Basra Memorial (panels 16 & 62)
John Frederick Stone, son of Samuel and Margaret Stone, was born in Blackburn January 1893 and Baptised at St. Thomas's Church, Blackburn. The family were living at 13, Skiddaw Street, Blackburn. As a boy, he attended Audley Range Congregational Church Sunday School but by 1911 he had left his family in Blackburn and gone to work in Llanelly, South Wales where he was boarding and working in a stamping works. He enlisted with the South Wales Borderers in Llanelly. He served with that regiment in the Dardanelles and was invalided to hospital at Malton suffering from Dysentery. On recovery he was drafted to Mesopotamia where he was killed in action.
He is remembered with Honour on the memorial at Audley Range Congregational Church, Blackburn.
PRIVATE WILLIAM TAYLOR
24617 2ND Btn South Wales Borderers
Died 1st July 1916
Remembered with Honour on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier & Face 4A)
William Taylor, son of William & Mary Jane Taylor, was born in Blackburn on 27th February 1896 and baptised at St. Matthew's Church on 1st April 1896, the family living 14 Ordnance Street, Blackburn. William worked as a weaver at the Audley Range Mill.
He enlisted as a driver with the RFA but was later transferred to the South Wales Borderers. He served in the trenches at the Dardanelles in August 1915, was evacuated to Egypt and then sent to France where he was killed on the first day of the battle of Albert, 1st July 1916. It was during an attack on the small village of Beaumont Hamel that, within a few minutes, the battalion lost over 250 men of which William was one.
William has no known grave but is remembered on the massive Thiepval Memorial and also commemorated on the memorial at Audley Range Congregational Church.
PRIVATE LAWRENCE TOWNLEY THOMPSON
21566 Royal Army Medical Corps
Died 11th December 1918
Buried at Oswaldtwistle (Immanuel) Churchyard (45.39)
Lawrence Townley Thompson, son of Jeremiah and Mary E Thompson was born in Darwen in 1888. The family were living at Colliers Row through 1891 & 1901 from where Lawrence was a part time weaver. In the summer of 1909, he married Mary Gertrude Warner when he moved to 258, Audley Range, Blackburn.
Lawrence served in the Royal Army Medical Corps but no service records have been found. He died at home on 11th December 1918 and was buried in the Churchyard of Immanuel, Oswaldtwistle.
He is remembered with Honour on the memorial at Audley Range Congregational Church.
PRIVATE THOMAS KENYON TOWNLEY
17226 1ST Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers
Died 27th September 1915
Buried at Halliun Communal Cemetery (B. 7)
Thomas Kenyon Townley was born in Blackburn in 1895 to parents William and Elizabeth Townley. The 1901 census shows the family living at 201, Walter Street, Blackburn and were weavers. By 1911 the family were living at the same address and Thomas had a sister, Edith. Thomas had become a clerk in an office.
No service or pension records have been found but we know he enlisted in Blackburn as 17226 Private Thomas Kenyon Townley of the 1st Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers. According to the register of soldier's effects, he was killed when he was shot in the head and died of wounds on 27th September 1915.
He is remembered with Honour on the memorials at Blackburn Cathedral and on Audley Range Congregational Church.
PRIVATE WILLIAM TURNER
19070 1st Btn Suffolk Regiment
Died 4th October 1915
Buried at Vermelles British Cemetery (I. K. 25)
William Turner was born in Blackburn in 1883 to parents James and Mary Turner. The family were living in Riley Street in 1891 and 1901 but had moved to 45, Ripon Street by 1911 when William was working as a Smith at a Bolt & Nut Manufacturers. He had also worked at Eli Heyworth's Audley Hall Mill. In 1913 William married Mary Nagle and was living at 11, June Street.
No service or pension records have been found but we know that William was with the 1st Btn. Suffolk Regiment during the battle of Loos in September 1915 when his unit were cut off from the support units in an attempt to take “Little Willie" trench from the enemy. The advancing men were attacked from both side by machine gun fire and (according to the war diary) in 20 secs. there were 250 officers and men on the floor. The register of soldier's effects shows that William was part of the 85th Field Ambulance and died of wounds.
He is remembered with Honour on the memorial at Audley Range Congregational Church.
L/CORPORAL ISAAC WHALLEY
12598 King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
Died 31st July 1916
Buried at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery (J.42)
Isaac Charles Whalley was born in Blackburn in 1891 to parents John Charles and Eliza. The 1901 census shows the family living at 27, Dewhurst Street, Blackburn. By 1911 Isaac's father had died and the family were now living at 8, Audley Lane, Isaac being employed as an Iron Moulder at Dickenson's Bank Top Foundry.
He enlisted in August 1914 with the 7th Btn. King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) with the service number 12598. No service or pension records have been found but we know that his unit were involved in the Battle of the Somme at Bazentin-Le-Petit where he was killed. Writing to his mother, one of his comrades says “we were about to make an advance– had started in fact–and your son was one of the first over the top, as he always was, for there was absolutely no fear in him, when he was wounded with a shell and died the following day".
He is remembered with Honour on the memorial at Audley Range Congregational Church.
PRIVATE JOHN WHALLEY
64372 9TH Btn. Welsh Regiment
Died 29th April 1918
Buried at Boulogne East Cemetery (IX. A. 53)
John Whalley was born on 13th December 1889 to parents Robert and Matilda Whalley. The family were living at 75, Dickens Street at the time. He was baptised at St. Thomas's Church on 15th January 1890. By 1901 they had moved to 178, Audley Range where John was working as a part time weaver.
He enlisted in Blackburn with the 9th Btn. Welsh Regiment with the number 64372. No service or pension records have been found but we know from the register of soldier's effects that he died of wounds in the military hospital at Boulogne on 29th April 1918, his effects sent to his mother, Matilda.
He was formerly a weaver at the Parkside Manufacturing Company's Mill in Walter Street and was connected with Audley Range Congregational Church and Sunday School where he is remembered with Honour on memorial at the Church.
CORPORAL PERCY WHALLEY
241716 1st/6th Btn The King's (Liverpool Regiment)
Died 20th September 1917
Remembered with Honour on the Tyne Cot Memorial (Panels 31-34 & 162)
Percy Whalley was born in Blackburn in 1893 to parents John Charles and Elliza Whalley. He was a younger brother of L/Corp Isaac Charles Whalley of the King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) who was killed in action a year earlier. The 1901 census shows the family living at 27, Dewhurst Street, Blackburn. By 1911 Percy's father had died and the family were living at 8, Audley Lane, Percy working as a Bill Poster for a theatre company.
He enlisted in Liverpool with the 6th Btn King's Liverpool Regiment with the service number 241716. No service or pension records have been found but we know his unit was involved in the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres. The 6th Liverpool were in action in the attack on Hill 35 and suffered heavy casualties battling against a determined enemy, heavy rain and thick mud. Percy was killed in this battle.
The magazine of Audley Range Congregational Church for October recorded his death “Killed in Action in France of 20th September–Percy Whalley, son of Mrs. Whalley, of 8, Audley Lane.
He is remembered with Honour on the Memorial at the Church.
PRIVATE HAROLD WIDDOP
18089 7th Btn. King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
Died 30th July 1916
Remembered with Honour on the Thiepval Memorial
Harold Widdop was born in Blackburn on 4th July 1897 and baptised at St. Matthew's Church on 28th July. He was the son of Thomas and Ada Widdop who were living at 4, Ripon Street, Blackburn at the time. By 1901 the family had moved to 10, Randolf Street, Blackburn and were still there when Harold enlisted in September 1914.
He had joined the 7th Btn. King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) and, after training, sailed for France in July 1915. No service or pension records have been found but the register of soldier's effects tells us that Harold was killed on 30th July 1916 or since. His unit was involved in the Battle of Poziers Ridge during which the unit became stuck making an easy target for continuous German shelling during which Harold was killed.
Harold's cousin, Robert, was killed on 2nd August 1915 whilst serving with the 4th Btn. East Lancashire Regiment at Gallipoli.
Harold has no known grave but is remembered with Honour on the Thiepval Memorial and also on the memorial at Audley Range Congregational Church, Blackburn.
The article was written and researched by Brian Houghton
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