Hundreds of soldiers from the scattered rural villages on the edge of the West Pennine Moors lost their lives in the Great War.

This walks links the war memorials in two of them - Abbey Village and Brinscall - and also passes along the way the Withnell roadside cross commemorating Private James Miller, who earned the VC for delivering messages between trenches in the Battle of the Somme, 1916.

Many of the young men from these villages worked in the quarries, mills and farms that now lie disused on the moors overlooking Chorley. Some worked in the Withnell Fold paper mill, and this community has its own memorial and garden of remembrance.

The Abbey Village war memorial is situated along the main street by the entrance to the primary school near to the playground. Facing this turn right, continuing along the main street in the direction of Blackburn. At the northern end of the village look out for a signed footpath on the left hand side just before the old railway line is reached.

Turn left along this enclosed path which runs alongside the old railway line and reaches a bridge. Turn right across the bridge then left along the track. When the track forks, take the right fork and the track turns sharp right and enters a field. Bear diagonally left across the bottom corner of the field to reach the hedge on the far side. Keep this field boundary on the right and follow the path uphill between hedges to meet a road. To view the VC memorial to James Miller turn right along the road for a very short distance towards the church and the cross is on the right overlooking the road. To continue the walk after this, retrace your steps to where the path meets the road and then cross over to follow the farm track directly opposite. This leads straight ahead with good views left to the quarry on Withnell Moor with Great Hill behind it. Follow the track for about ½ mile until it joins a residential road.

Directly opposite where the track meets the road, cross it and join a path on the far side that runs downhill between garden fences. Keep to this until it meets another lane. Go straight ahead and the lane bends right to a junction with the main street through Brinscall village. Turn right uphill along the main street only for a short distance and cross over to view the village war memorial next to a converted church at the corner of Dick Lane.

Turn left along Dick Lane and follow it straight ahead as it becomes the tree-lined avenue heading towards Brinscall Hall. Just before the hall is reached turn left downhill along a stony track which crosses under the disused railway line.

Turn left along the tarmac lane after passing under the bridge and this leads along Lodge Bank Lane between the gardens of houses and the duck pond to pass the swimming baths on the right.

When you rejoin the main street cross over and almost opposite join the path that runs along the old railway line.

You can just keep to this path straight ahead which follows the route of the old line through a local nature reserve.

The line is followed for about a mile and eventually reaches the A675 Bolton Road at Abbey Village adjacent to the old Withnell Station. Turn right along the main street to reach the Abbey Village war memorial.