Ribble Valley archive’s book remembers the tremendous sacrifices of war

Margaret Brenchley at Slaidburn war memorial.
Margaret Brenchley at Slaidburn war memorial.
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A local archivist has compiled a record of those from the Hodder Valley who served in the Great War.

The book entitled “In Love, In Gratitude, In Remembrance”, remembers the men and women of Slaidburn, Newton-in-Bowland, Dunsop Bridge, Dale Head and Tosside, who served in the First World War as well as those who didn't survive it.

A pound from the sale of each book will be donated to the Royal British Legion.

A pound from the sale of each book will be donated to the Royal British Legion.

Margaret Brenchley, of Slaidburn Archive, who compiled the book, explained: “In 2014, Slaidburn Archive produced a display to mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WW1 or the Great War as it became known.

“This display concentrated on the individuals within the Hodder Valley who had given up their lives.

“As the research was nearing its end in terms of the display, it became obvious that many who fought and returned also made tremendous sacrifices in terms of health and mental well-being and family relationships.

“Whilst they were named on the memorials in Slaidburn’s St Andrew’s Church, Dale Head’s St James’ Church and Tosside’s St Bartholomew’s Church, no indepth research was carried out about their war service.

“This book is an attempt to redress the situation and to remember them as well as those who died.”

Following detailed research, what quickly became evident, was the vast number of men who served from such a sparsely populated area.

“At least 134 men served in some way and, of those, 36 gave up their lives,” Margaret explained.

She went on to thank all the families of the men who served in the war who lent letters and photographs to Slaidburn Archive for use in the book. She expressed particular thanks to William King Wilkinson, who died in 1939 leaving rare documents and a collection of letters written by local men and women during that period.

These “tell the story of the war more than any official document will ever do”, Margaret said.

The book costs £16 (plus £3-50 postage and packaging) and is available from Slaidburn Archive (open Wednesday and Friday 11am to 3pm). Call 01200 446161 or email: enquiries@slaidburnarchive.org

A pound from the sale of each book will be donated to the Royal British Legion.