The chance finding of a battered war memorial on a scrap heap in Greater Manchester sparked the hunt for any remaining family members of the Clitheroe heroes of the First World War who feature among the names on the roll of honour.
The appeal comes after the memorial has been restored to its former glory. It will be re-dedicated as close as possible to its original siting.
The memorial, which had lain undiscovered for 15 years in a warehouse in Trafford Park, appears bronze, but is, in fact, made of cast metal. It features the names of 49 individual war casualties.
Surnames of the men, with their initials, regiments and how they died, gave clues which led to the eventual identification of this as being the missing memorial from the Co-operative Wholesale Society Buildings and shop fittings department in Vere Street, Salford.
Carol Pearson, of Clitheroe, was one of the first relatives of the men to come forward. She said: “We first became aware my grandfather was one of the men named on the plaque after a news item on BBC North West Tonight a couple of years ago. We went over straight away to see the memorial for ourselves and were so moved when we saw how beautiful it was, even though it was badly damaged and battered.”
Carol’s grandfather was Peter Hulland, Private 30876, 2/5th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, who enlisted in Clitheroe and was the husband of Maggie Hulland, of Union Street, Low Moor. Originally from Forton, Peter worked at Low Moor Farm before becoming a time-keeper for the Co-operative Wholesale Society at a farm in Chaigley. Carol said: “We felt it was really important to try to find as many relatives of the men as possible before the re-dedication service, which will be held on Friday, November 11th, at 11 a.m.
“The memorial has been fully restored and looks fantastic. It will be permanently displayed at the Co-operative Funeral Service building at 143 Cross Lane, Salford, as this is the nearest post code to the original siting in what was Vere Street.”
The 12 men from Clitheroe are named: Edmund Rawlinson, William Thomas, James Loynd, Charles Park, Thomas Hitchin, Peter Hulland, John Samuel Davies, J. Durham, James Fell, Dixon Alston, Thomas Alston and Robert Bowker.
l If you have information on any of these men, or require further details, contact Carol Pearson on 01200 422340 or Shirley Penman on 01200 424462.