Whalley memorial for Great War’s wounded men

Coun. Terry Hill with local school pupils at the unveiling ceremony.
Coun. Terry Hill with local school pupils at the unveiling ceremony.
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A plaque has been unveiled to honour wounded and sick soldiers from the First World War who arrived at the former Queen Mary’s Military Hospital in Whalley for treatment.

Whalley Woodland is on the site that was once Calderstones Hospital.

Ribble Valley Mayor Coun. Stuart Carefoot and Coun. Joyce Holgate at the ceremony

Ribble Valley Mayor Coun. Stuart Carefoot and Coun. Joyce Holgate at the ceremony

A dedication service attended by locals and volunteers was held to remember the over 56,000 wounded soldiers from the Great War who were bought along a railway line in the woodland for treatment. Ribble Valley Mayor Coun. Stuart Carefoot and Whalley councillor Joyce Holgate was also in attendance.

In total, 56,800 Allied servicemen were treated at Whalley from April 1915 until June 1920.

Coun. Terry Hill, Chair of Whalley Woodlands Friends, opened the service and a minute’s silence was held to remember the fallen soldiers.

A spokesman said: “Locals are determined to keep memories from fading by taking on the task of identifying not just those who did not survive the trenches, but the soldiers who made it home only to later die from their wounds. We wanted something low-key that fitted with any rail archeology that we could find from that time. The woodland conjures up memories of soldiers.”