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Can you help cast some light on First World War volunteer?

Farnhill, circa 1920
Farnhill, circa 1920
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Researchers on a First World War history project are hoping someone can help cast some light on a Colne man who volunteered to fight at the front.

Frank Leese was born in Skipton in 1881 and grew up in South Craven before moving to the Colne area in the 1920s.

The project has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to research the lives of 68 men listed in the parish council’s roll of honour who volunteered to serve in the war before conscription was introduced in 1916. One of these is Frank Leese but so far the project has been unable to trace any service records for him and knows little about what he did afterwards.

Graham Taylor, co-ordinator, said: “Most of the Farnhill Volunteers were from local families and lived all their lives in this area. However Frank Leese appears to have left the village early in the 1920s and moved to Colne, where he married local woman Florence Ellen Croasdale at the Wesleyan School Chapel in 1926.

"We don’t know much about their lives after they married, but we do know that they were living in Barrowford in 1939 and that Frank died in 1975 at Woodside Hostel, Burnley Road, Padiham.

"We don't think that Frank and Florence had any children, but we think that two of his brothers, Albert Edward and Bertie, who also moved to the Colne/Burnley area, both had a number of children who would have been Frank's nephews and nieces.

"We'd very much like to hear from anyone who may be related to or has any information about Frank Leese in particular what he did during the war and after he married. We'd also like to know about the Woodside Hostel in Padiham in the 1970s - was this an old people's home?"

Anyone with information is asked to contact Graham Taylor by emailing farnhillww1volunteers@gmail.com or via the project’s website at www/farnhill.co.uk/volunteers.