Appeal to restore villages’ First World War memorial

Slaidburn Archive's Margaret Bletchley and Helen Wallbank at the village's war memorial. (s)
Slaidburn Archive's Margaret Bletchley and Helen Wallbank at the village's war memorial. (s)
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An appeal for funding has been launched to help restore a precious memorial that records the men from the parish of Slaidburn, which includes Newton and Dunsop Bridge, who served in the First World War.

St Andrew’s Church at Slaidburn is home to the memorial which dates back to the early 1920s and lists all those who not only died in the Great War but those who lived to tell the tale.

Church warden Margaret Brenchley said that £1,500 was needed to restore the memorial. She is appealing for the relatives of those named on the memorial to get in touch if they want to make a donation.

“The memorial is important in that it is the only record of those men from the area who served in First World War and survived the trenches and, the gas attacks,prison camps and the other horrors to which they were subjected. Many of whom suffered for the remainder of their lives because of their experiences,” she said.

Its age and the damp conditions in the church means that some of the memorial’s calligraphy writing has started to fade and the vellum, the fine parchment on which it is written, has become crinkled.

Some of the restoration work will be carried out by a scribe based in York and funding will also be used to restore the wooden frame that encases the memorial.

The Parochial Church Council has submitted an application for funding to the War Memorial Fund, but it is expected this will not cover the full cost of the restoration.

Anyone who would like to make a donation should contact Mrs Margaret Brenchley, at 16 Gooselands, Rathmell, Settle, BD24 0LT.

l Slaidburn archivists are also researching the stories behind those local men who fought in the First World War and are named on war memorials in the Hodder Valley.

Margaret Brenchley, who is also one of the archivists at Slaidburn Village Archive, wants to hear from the relatives of the men listed on the war memorials who may have memorabilia for a future display in St Andrew’s Church.

“One lady brought in the original letters that had been written by the nurse in the hospitals in France, informing his family that their son had died,” Margaret explained.

There are war memorials in Slaidburn, Dunsop Bridge, Newton and Dalehead and also at Tosside in both church and chapel, with one or two’ names duplicated on each.

“We know that some of the families still reside in the Valley,but there are some that live away that we really need to contact us,” said Margaret.

Any photographs or documents would be copied and returned to their owners.

Anyone withphotographs and documents can call the archive on 01200 446161 or 
Margaret on 01729 840690.