World War One Events & News

World War One Commemorative Events and News

The following events were organised by The Edgworth Pals Group to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the war.

Lives of the First World War – Imperial War Museum Project

At the beginning of the commemorations the IWM set up the Lives of the First World War digital memorial.  This has now closed for editing and will be open to the public shortly.  The majority of the WW1 biographies were uploaded to the site and will be preserved for future generations and research. The IWM already has a set of the commemorative books.

Passchendaele Commemorations

The 31st July 2017 is the Centenary of start of the 3rd Battle of Ypres – Passchendaele.  After the battle Lt. Gen Sir Lancelot Kiggell visited the front and after seeing the endless pools of mud and slime exclaimed “Good God, did we really send men to fight in that?”

Three men from this area died on the first day of the battle – 31st July.  They were Alfred Simpson, James Hewartson Haworth and William Edward Barton.  Other men who died in the battle and are remembered on the Tyne Cot memorial were William Henry (Billy) Beckett and Gerald Ainsworth.  You can read the biographies of all these men in the biography section of this site.

World War 1 Exhibition at Blackburn Museum

The contents of The Poppy Room have now been transferred to the Community Gallery at the museum, where they will remain until 13th May – now closed.

New pictures added to the War Memorial

New pictures have been added to the original 144 photographs on the landing at The Barlow.  During the research, many more photographs were discovered, mainly of the men who had died and had obituaries in the Bolton Journal.  The additional 66 photographs have been framed and were unveiled recently.  The photographs can be viewed at any time when The Barlow is open.

13th November 2016

The Commemorative Books were dedicated at the Remembrance Day service at St. Anne’s Church, Chapeltown.  The large posters of soldiers were hung from the balcony creating a very effective display.  Readings were given from the biographies of Billy Beckett, James and Thomas Duckworth and James Hewartson Haworth.  Two small children described their visit to France when they discovered the grave of Orrel Whitehead and they told us all about Orrel.  All these men appear on the war memorial in St. Anne’s church.

9th July Event

An event was held to mark the formal end of the project. The Commemorative Books were presented to the Barlow Library and accepted by ladies of the village.

The theme of the event was “Looking to the Future”. Pictures of survivors of the war were displayed around the hall and their stories recounted.

Two World War 1 Drill Sergeants appeared from the past and gave everyone a taste of what it was like to be a recruit in 1914! “Do you like potatoes son?” “Good, you’ll be peeling lots of them.” It was an excellent performance.

The Folk Group performed and brought to an end a poignant and uplifting event.

The Poppy Room

A special room has been opened to display the poster size photographs, the biographies and other artefacts relating to the war.

On Saturday 7th November 2015 at 11-00 am Rhona Wood, daughter of Ellis Ball one of the 144, unveiled a poppy in an oak case. It has been placed there as a mark of respect to all those from the area who were involved in the conflict.  Four generations of Ellis Ball’s family were present, including his great grandson.  The case was crafted by a village man from French oak.

The poppy was one of the 888246 ‘planted’ around the Tower of London in 2014. Each flower represented a lost British and Colonial military person from World War 1

8th November 2014 – A day of remembrance

A special commemorative day which included readings from Anna Hope’s book “Wake”; a specially commissioned play, display of photographs of soldiers, themed floral and seat displays and an exhibition of research findings.  Sandra Isherwood created the stunning floral arrangements.

The Play – A Long Line of Hope and Glory

The play was written and directed by Sheena Rudd and Joyce Pollard. The participants and actors were all local people and the performance received a standing ovation.

Programme Page 1
Programme Page 2

Other people who contributed to the play were: Simon Blachley who was always first to arrive and last to leave rehearsals. His expertise with the lighting transformed the whole production. The Poppy Majorettes also put in a lot of time rehearsing and were very excited to be involved. Well done to Alice Ryder, Elysia Tanner and Daisy Mather.

21st and 22nd June 2014 – Prelude to the project*

Organised by The Barlow library, Anna Hope visited The Barlow and read from her book “Wake”. She signed copies and was well received, indeed was invited to return in November 2014.

On 22nd June 2014 – Walking the Khaki Line

In early 1915 a huge transit camp was established in the area. To read about the event, click here:

(Walking the Khaki Line – 22nd June – a copy of the handout that was provided on the day explaining the reason for the walk)

Around 200 people in the village came together to commemorate this event by walking along the route the soldiers would have taken to leave from Turton Station.

Click here to read a contemporary report on the Lancashire Fusiliers and the Chapeltown Camp from the Salford Reporter

Rephotographing the photographs

Duncan Stott has rephotographed every one of the 144 photos from the Barlow, which are 100 years old. Because of the way the photographs had originally been taken, instead of large images becoming blurry, they actually showed every single detail clearly. Amazing!

These were first shown on a Powerpoint presentation and were very much admired. Duncan also enlarged some photographs which were very effective. The photographs are included in the biographies.

The Edgworth Pals

Events are organised by The Edgworth Pals Group (Peter, Penney Clissold, Lesley Westhead, Linda Spencer, Duncan Stott, Helen Brisland, Alan Woodward, Wendy Carley, Sheena Rudd, Sandra Isherwood)

For information relating to events, please call Peter on 01204 852965

For enquiries relating to the Biographies, please contact Linda on 01204 853638, 07779 060962 or

The Barlow World War 1 Project is supported by Heritage Lottery Funding (except where indicated*).