Ribble Valley group searches for the stories behind plaque

From left, warden Mary Howarth, Rev Mark Pickett and co-ordinator Jilly Farthing with the St James’ plaque

From left, warden Mary Howarth, Rev Mark Pickett and co-ordinator Jilly Farthing with the St James’ plaque

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

MEMBERS of a Ribble Valley church are appealing for volunteers to help them complete a project researching 29 men who died during the First World War.

The group from St James’ Church in Clitheroe want to unearth the personal stories behind the 29 names engraved on a marble plaque in the church.

It’s hoped an exhibition will be held to showcase their findings by 2018 and a special service could be organised to honour the men soon.

The research group was set up and is being co-ordinated by congregation members Jilly Farthing and Nigel Rix.

The next meeting will be in July and the group is urging people to come forward to help before then.

Little is currently known about the men, apart from their names.

Families of the 29 men are also being sought in a bid to discover more information about the soldiers from the parish.

Co-ordinator Jilly, from Pendleton, who has been a member of the church for 15 years, said: “I think it’s something that can bring the community together.

“It’s so important in this centenary year to find out the personal stories but so far we only know their names which is a shame.

“It’s hoped that we can hold an exhibition by 2018 to show our findings and maybe also hold a special service for the men.

“It’s important for every generation to be shown that these men were part of our parish and that they laid down our lives so we could be free.

“To be able to remember and reflect is very important and it would be great to know more about the soldiers.

“I hope that people come forward and really get behind this group because it’s so important for the church and the wider community.

“I know that the Ribble Valley didn’t exist as an entity in 1914 but I think that this is something that the whole area could get involved in.”

For more information or to get involved, call 01200 423608.

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