First missing name found for Blackburn war memorial

First published in News

PROUD grandson Russell Davies has provided the first missing name from an eroded war memorial and promised to help find the rest before it is renovated and resited.

His mother Clara helped ensure the obelisk was moved to the Cathedral grounds from St Michael and All Angels’ Church, in Bastwell, when that building was demolished in the 1980s.

Since then many names on the stonework recording those who lost their lives in the First World War have worn away.

Council regeneration chief Maureen Bateson wants to restore them before the memorial is given a new home.

Mr Davies, 70, has passed on details of his grandad John Harrison from Palm Street, who was killed aged 26 in the Battle of the Somme on Wednesday October 18 1916.

A private in the First Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment, John was an engineer and weaver when he died in battle He said: “I am very proud of my grandfather and my mother who got the memorial moved.

“I want to make sure my grandad John’s name is restored when it is moved to its new home.

“I have seen his name on the war memorial in Thiepval in France and want it back where it should be in Blackburn.”

Mr Davies, from Willis Road, Feniscliffe, has been searching to find the original list of names on the roll of honour but so far without success.

He said: “I am happy to continue my search and would like anyone who knows names to contact me or the council.

“They were so brave and deserve to be remembered properly in Blackburn.

“I am delighted the council is restoring the memorial and giving it pride of place n in the new Cathedral Quarter.

“My late mother would be too.

“The whole family is proud of John and my brother Ian still uses some of his tools in his job as a mechanic.”

The memorial will be moved from its current site to ensure it does not get damaged during phase one of the £33m Cathedral Quarter Development, and repositioned when work finishes in Autumn 2015.

Council regeneration boss Maureen Bateson said: “I am delighted that Mr Davies has given us one of the missing names from the memorial and is offering to help find the rest.

“We want anyone who knows any of the missing names or the whereabouts of the original list to contact us.”

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:32pm Sat 19 Apr 14

noddy57 says...

A worthy cause ,,there must be thousands of names missing from local now demolished churches of soldiers who should not be forgotten ,,
A worthy cause ,,there must be thousands of names missing from local now demolished churches of soldiers who should not be forgotten ,, noddy57
  • Score: 15

10:11pm Sat 19 Apr 14

woolywords says...

If I were searching for these names, I'd try the local library, where there are back copies of local newspapers of the time. You should note that, although these memorials honour the fallen, they aren't always raised within a short period of the Armistice. Often, only after the full enormity of the loss of life hits home in any community, then do they become a reality, a few years later.
Personally, I've never subscribed to this need for lists of names, especially after having visited so many of the Commonwealth war graves. Where you will see, the bold, stark words, 'Known unto God'. Which allegedly, was something that Kipling, one of my favourite authors, suggested as an epitaph. Then you have to wonder, whom mourns for those not named on any plinth. Was their sacrifice, any the less?

The tomb of the unknown soldier, whose remains could not be identified, present us with the paradox, on whose side was he? As any soldier will tell you, in war, you scavenge for any useful bits of kit, as you go, thus making identity, near impossible.
Whether they volunteered alone, en masse or were conscripted, each of them, named or not, on our side or theirs, are equally as deserving of our respect.
If I were searching for these names, I'd try the local library, where there are back copies of local newspapers of the time. You should note that, although these memorials honour the fallen, they aren't always raised within a short period of the Armistice. Often, only after the full enormity of the loss of life hits home in any community, then do they become a reality, a few years later. Personally, I've never subscribed to this need for lists of names, especially after having visited so many of the Commonwealth war graves. Where you will see, the bold, stark words, 'Known unto God'. Which allegedly, was something that Kipling, one of my favourite authors, suggested as an epitaph. Then you have to wonder, whom mourns for those not named on any plinth. Was their sacrifice, any the less? The tomb of the unknown soldier, whose remains could not be identified, present us with the paradox, on whose side was he? As any soldier will tell you, in war, you scavenge for any useful bits of kit, as you go, thus making identity, near impossible. Whether they volunteered alone, en masse or were conscripted, each of them, named or not, on our side or theirs, are equally as deserving of our respect. woolywords
  • Score: 7

8:58am Sun 20 Apr 14

Reasons says...

Are you aware of a Mr Hindle who wrote letters home describing the front he was at .He was buried at sea but remembered in Blackburn Old Cemetery at family grave .It was a sad tale of 3 men given white feathers only to be killed soon after .The letters are a sad but interesting read on what it was like .This would make a poignant story to tell
Are you aware of a Mr Hindle who wrote letters home describing the front he was at .He was buried at sea but remembered in Blackburn Old Cemetery at family grave .It was a sad tale of 3 men given white feathers only to be killed soon after .The letters are a sad but interesting read on what it was like .This would make a poignant story to tell Reasons
  • Score: 4

3:48pm Sun 20 Apr 14

taxpayer13 says...

Who do you contact and how ?? My Great Grand Father is buried in France from the ww1
Who do you contact and how ?? My Great Grand Father is buried in France from the ww1 taxpayer13
  • Score: 1

1:00am Tue 22 Apr 14

Darwen Malc says...

A great many folk from all sides, and all walks of life, gave their all in wars that they themselves had no say in whether those wars were justified or not. Whether victorious or defeated, all those individuals who fought in blind faith deserve our respect, and it is only fitting, if possible, to determine who they are and to dedicate/restore a memorial in their honour. It is the least that we can do.
A great many folk from all sides, and all walks of life, gave their all in wars that they themselves had no say in whether those wars were justified or not. Whether victorious or defeated, all those individuals who fought in blind faith deserve our respect, and it is only fitting, if possible, to determine who they are and to dedicate/restore a memorial in their honour. It is the least that we can do. Darwen Malc
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree