Church Memorial

Churches and chapels made their own memorials after the war. They varied in type from a plaque, board or tablet, electric lights and cenotaphs. Wesley Chapel on Hargreaves Street dedicated a new window to the fallen as well as 28 photographs (among them Thomas H Lawson pictured here) from the Red Lion Street Sunday School.

On War Service

Local firms Butterworth & Dickinson and Burnley Components were involved with war work. Both were invited to contribute to a war trophies room at Towneley Hall. This was opened in 1920 but had disappeared by 1925. A piece of German artillery placed by the entrance to the hall was removed in 1930 when there was visible anti-war feeling in the country.

Wonder Weapon

Mechanised warfare took a great leap forward with the development of the tank. It was seen as a “wonder weapon.” In 1918, with mobile warfare on the Western Front and Britain’s “backs to the wall”, Burnley had a tank week, When “a wonderfully true imitation of a real tank having been built in the town’s tram depot toured Burnley on tram tracks and money was collected for the war effort.”

Ysenda Maxtone Graham (1895-1990)

Ysenda came from Scotland to nurse “a year at a convalescent home in Lancashire called Huntroyde. It was a pleasant and easy life but…I set off with my belongings in a haversack aged 21 [to France]. We were called up to deal with wounded men – filthy, many with ghastly wounds.” She is pictured below, on the far right, in a hospital ward in Rouen. After the war, she kept in touch with many of the soldiers she had nursed.

Peter Hannan (b 1888)

The form was completed by Peter during his stay at Huntroyde Military Hospital in Padiham. All patients completed a form which provided basic details of themselves and their stay at Huntroyde. Peter was in the army at the start of the war and being a ‘regular’ was involved in the early fighting. He gives a short but dramatic account of this.

Huntroyde Military Hospital, Padiham

One wing of the Starkie family home at Huntroyde, Padiham, was used as a hospital. Wounded soldiers commented positively on their stay, with many enjoying the grounds and surrounding countryside. Others were impressed by the “remarkable quality of stuff available in the Padiham district.” Injuries to the men at Huntroyde were not life threatening. At least 240 men were treated. Of these, 15 returned to the war and were killed in action. The image to the left shows that humour was Read more>>

Wedding of Cyril B Spencer (1915)

Maria Grant had promised to marry Cyril in 1915. They just made it – 30th December. Cyril served in the Machine Gun Corps but never went overseas. The couple were parents to Philip, a brilliant scholar who died on active service in World War ll, and Kenrick, who became a national authority on the lapwing and a respected local historian.

A double wedding

The double wedding of James Sullivan (1889-1973) and Ellen Nichols (1893-1971), and of John Nichols (1890-1969) and Nelly De Maine (1893-1978) was held in May 1915. In the picture, John and Nelly are on the right. Both men were members of Burnley Lads’ Club and both survived the war. James could be persuaded to play war games but always refused to be a German. James and Ellen’s sons died: one in infancy, one in World War ll. John was firm but Read more>>

Clara Frost (d 1952)

Bank Hall was one of three military hospitals in the town. The others were Primrose Bank and Huntroyde in Padiham. Matron Clara Frost  supervised the care of the sick and wounded at Bank Hall. For her service she was awarded the Royal Red Cross (second class) presented by the King at Buckingham Palace in 1917.

James Bailey (1883-1953)

James Bailey was foreman gardener at Queen’s Park. He designed a carpet bed representing the East Lancashire regimental badge and motto. James was so pleased with his efforts that he commissioned Standish Street photographers Taylor’s to photograph it. A colourist for the company was Susannah Halstead who James married in 1919. He is pictured in a greenhouse thought to be in Queen’s Park.