It is almost 100 years since the Great War ended and guns finally fell silent on the Western Front and even now the period continues to attract interest and controversy. Programmes on television have looked at the stories behind the names on war memorials from WWI and John Shaw from Darwen has spent a week at Blackburn Museum researching and recording the names on the war memorials in its care.
Three of particular interest, are from Darwen and the Museum is keen to hear from anyone who can assist with additional information about them.
The first one, shown here, is an oil painting of the pivotal moment during the Battle of Jutland when the British battleships opened fire on the German battle cruisers. The painting was presented to the Corporation of Darwen ‘by an anonymous friend’ in 1920. The painting was moved to the Museum in 1974, when Darwen ceased to exist as an independent council.
The two other memorials are both Rolls of Honour, one is dedicated to the men ‘Belgrave Young Mens Class’ who served and died in the war. It is elaborately carved from oak and decorated with carvings of tanks, aircraft and artillery. The inscription is simple and direct ‘Duty called – They answered’. It is believed it came from the church in the area. One of the men named on it is the artist J.H. Morton, who was killed in action five days before the war ended.
The other roll of honour is from Greenfield Mill. Memorials from cotton mills are not as common as might be supposed. This one gives the names of the men who were killed in the centre of the memorial, flanked on either side by the names of those who served and returned home. Unusually, five women who also served with the armed forces are listed on the memorial.
View of the Cross of Sacrifice at the Western Cemetery on Cemetery Road in Darwen.
View of a grave in the Western Cemetery on Cemetery Road in Darwen, this is a headstone for Private A. G. Hargreaves.
View of a Memorial in the Western Cemetery on Cemetery Road in Darwen, this is for Lieutenant Edward Deakin Ashton.
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Boer War Memorial
The Garden of Remembrance at Corporation Park serves as a memorial to those who fell in the First, Second and Falklands Wars. It is Blackburn's principal memorial. The park opened in 1857 and covers over 50 acres featuring the valley of a small brook, 'Snig Brook'. The Garden of Remembrance stands just inside and left of the main entrance arch and the brook is culverted under the garden, presumably it fed the fountains and pond. There is a parade and service held at this site on Remembrance Sunday. The monument itself has two classical figures, and the plinth is planted by a plair of small fountains each stemming from the mouth of a lion's head. There were small plaques above each head which have now vanished. The lion heads were originally bronze but were stolen and have been replaced by black plastic replicas. There was a pond and rose garden before the sculpture was in place.
Sudden storms and flooding are not unknown in Darwen, but despite global warming there has been nothing like the great storm of August 1848 which burst the banks of Bold Venture Lodge and brought a torrent down into the town centre, drowning 12 people. To ensure that such a disaster could not happen again, extensive tipping was carried out to raise the land to its present level.
Work on the park started in 1889, after the land had been purchased from the Rev WA Duckworth. Mr W Stubbs, Borough Engineer was responsible for the basic layout and design of the park and Mr Thomas Hogg, the Park Superintendent took care of the landscaping and gardening work.
A kiosk was opened in 1902 donated by Mr and Mrs Ashton. It had accommodation for 50 people in the tea-room. Later it became thre home of Bold Venture Park.
At the top of the central driveway at Blackburn Cemetery is a memorial to those who fell during the First World War. On the highest part of the octagonal base there is an inscription which reads: 'To the honoured memory of those sailors and soldiers who gave their lives for their country in the Great War 1914-1918 and who were buried in this cemetery'. On the second octagonal section of the base there is an enscription which reads: 'Their names liveth for evermore'. Each of the arms and top of the memorial are finished off with an ornamental, slightly oversize cap. The approximately 12' crucifix is mounted on a base of 5 stone octagons, each smaller than the one it surmounts. There is a bronze sword on a stone crucifix mounted on a stone base with lead lettering. An unsheathed bronze sword pointing downwards is fixed to the front face of the crucifix. The lettering on the top octagon is on the front face. The lettering on the second octagon appears one word on each of the front five faces.
There is a memorial to those who fell in the First and Second World Wars at Little Harwood on Whalley New Road, Blackburn. There is a carved wreath and was erected by public subscription in honour of the men who made the supreme sacrifice in the Great War. It was unveiled by Major General A. Jolly, CB, CMC, DSO on the 11th August, 1923. The sides have lists of names of those who fell. Above the carved wreath has been added 'Loved, Honoured, Remembered 1939-1945'. The memorial is a four faced clock tower in Darley Dale Brown Stone, surmounted by a green slate spire and topped by an arrow windvane. On the 27th January 1923, the following four foundation stones were laid. The front stone was laid by the Mayor and Alderman J. T. Ramsay also on behalf of the servicemen, George Hindle JP, Chairman of the committee. The right side stone was laid by Mrs A. Eddestone and the left side was laid by T. B. Aitken. Thirty-nine of the names on the plaque are repeated on the St. Stephens 1914-1918 memorial.
A war memorial erected by public subscription to the honoured memory of Belthorn men who fell in the Great War of 1914-1919.
The Oswaldtwistle War memorial was erected by public subscription and unveiled on Saturday, January 14th 1922 by Major General Shoubridge CB, CMG, DSO. The memorial is a monument consisting of a polished granite pedestal standing upon three steps and embellished with bronze groups. The total height from the ground is 30ft. The monument is crowned with a winged figure of Victory in bronze, standing upon a globe. On the centre plinth is a bronze group of two soldiers, one in the act of defending his wounded comrade, entitled 'Patriotism'. Projecting from the centre plinth, on a level with the group are ships' prows each containing a small winged figure in bronze: one representing the spirit of the navy and the other the spirit of the air force. On the front of the monument is the inscription: 'Erected to the memory of the Men of Oswaldtwistle who fell in the Great War, 1914-1918'.
The organ at King George's Hall was erected in remembrance of those who fell during World War One.
A photograph of the War memorial at Queen's Square, Hoddlesden. This monument is a memorial to those who fell in the First, Second and Falklands Wars. An inscription reads: 'To the Glory of God and in memory of the men of Hoddlesden, Waterside, Pickup Bank and Blacksnape who made the supreme sacrifice. For Freedom and Honour. The Great War 1914-1918. May they Rest in Peace who died to give us Peace. November 11th 1918 - 1917 - 1916 - 1915 - August 4th 1914. Sons of this place, let this of you be said, that you who live are worthy of your dead. These gave their lives that you may live may reap a richer harvest ere you fall asleep'. There are 44 names on the memorial and the inscription for those who fell in World War Two reads: 'In Grateful Remembrance of the men of this place who died for freedom. 1939-1945. More brave for this that had much to love'.
The Roll of Honour for those who fell during the First World War is kept in the foyer in the old Town Hall, Blackburn.
Darwen has over twenty Christian churches giving witness and places to which the people from town could join in worship over the last 400 years. Everyone has a War Memorial to church members who died in war.
The Imperial War Museum discovered that many hundreds of church memorials existed in the United Kingdom but it did not in fact have a record of photographs. The museum asked local communities to record them and send them as a permanent record of the variety and types of commemoration.
In Darwen a small group undertook the task with the generous help and support from Darwen Camera Club, Blackburn with Darwen Library and Information Services and the Lloyd Trust to record all the Memorials and donate a set of framed photographs to the Borough of Blackburn with Darwen. Copies of the information on CD ROM would be sent to the Imperial War Museums in both London and Manchester.
The photographs record the many men and woman who died in the two major conflicts and stand as a permanent reminder of the vast sacrifice they gave. Many of listed worked and lived in the town it is hoped that the resource will help relatives and researchers in discovering the wealth of information recorded in the churches.
The project will evolve and eventually will provide more detail on each memorial and the individuals listed on them.
The Blackburn and East Lancashire Royal Infirmary Memorial wing. These buildings were erected as a memorial to the men from Blackburn and East Lancashire who fell in the Great War 1914-1918. The foundation stone was laid by Mrs. R. A. Yerburgh on May 24th, 1924, and the opening ceremony was performed by her on June 16th 1928
In addition to the war memorial plaques in the church there are four prints in a single frame showing the two plaques, the altar with the plaques and the Memorial Committee: Rev. C. C. Browitt, Mr. R. Roe, Mr. R. Ibbotson, Mr. W. Towers, Mr. J. J. Merrell and Mr. F. Readett. It is dated 4th September 1921.
View of a memorial plaque for those who lost their lives in the First World War at St. Bartholomew's Church on Bolton Road at Ewood, Blackburn.
View of a memorial plaque for those who lost their lives in the Second World War at St. Bartholomew's Church on Bolton Road at Ewood, Blackburn.
A First World War memorial plaque at St. Bartholomew's Church on Bolton Road, Ewood
There are First and Second World War memorials at Blackburn Ragged School (Audley Centre), Bent Street, Blackburn. The World War One memorial is a marble/alabaster plaque located upstairs in the Audley Centre, attached to the east wall with St. George in the centre. The World War Two plaque is downstairs on the east wall in what was the men's class at the Ragged School.
Scholars of the Blackburn Ragged School, photograph taken in Corporation Park.
Laying the foundation stone of the Blackburn Ragged School. Donated 9th August 1873 by Mrs. H. Cronshaw via Councillor R. F. Baxendale.
Blackburn Ragged School on Bent Street, Blackburn
The Rev. Royston Bishop chatting to Telegraph Reporter Vivien Arabin in the new Youth Centre at the Ragged School near Montague Street, Blackburn.