A vigil held in St Mary and All Saints Parish Church in Whalley, incorporating songs and poems of the time, marked the centenary of the start of the First World War.
Passages from St John’s gospel were read out every half hour, between the hours of 10 am and 10 pm, along with the names of servicemen from the Whalley area who gave their lives in the “Great War”.
Individual crosses for each of the servicemen were placed in ranks in the Soldier’s Chapel. At 3 pm, the names of the 13 old boys from Wiswell school who gave their lives were read out – the irony that there were so many from such a small community was not lost.
Details of many of the fallen soldiers were posted in the church, including where the servicemen lived, their families and where their graves or memorials are to be located. This information came from research by Mr George Hardman of Mitton Road, using the archives of the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times. Local people who visited the church during the day brought details of their own family members who had perished and these were added to the display.
Mr Hardman discovered that Whalley originally had a wooden memorial in place where the stone memorial now stands in front of the old grammar school. He made a model from the photograph he found in the archives which is currently on display in the church.
The vigil ended with a solemn commemoration of the centenary of the outbreak of war at 10 pm, followed by the extinguishing of lights.