The dedication of a few of our locals made this project possible, it is right their time and effort are noted and appreciated..

Many people have been involved in researching the lives of the soldiers and all their contributions have been appreciated.

The work of the research group has been coordinated and edited by Linda Spencer (apart from biographies by A Woodward).

The names of the researchers are shown on the bottom of each biography. Those who have completed more than 20 biographies each are:

Linda Spencer, Alan Woodward, Irene Spencer and Karen Oldfield

Wendy Carley
Eileen Cowen
Martin Duckworth
Paul Dyson
Sandra Glancy
Jennifer Layne
Marjorie Lomax
Graeme McIver
Margaret Ollerton
Derek Ramsden
Anthony Redman
Jocelyn Russell
Stephen Shields
Andrew Spencer
Helena Spencer
Mary Tebay
Katharine Warman
Kathleen Westhead
Lesley Westhead

Thanks are due to the following people who have assisted with the project:

Heritage Lottery Funding arranged by Peter Charnock and Julian Clissold

Michael Williams for rescuing the photographs during renovations to The Barlow

Duncan Stott for reproducing the original photographs of 144 soldiers in The Barlow

Alan Woodward for the design of the front and back covers

Julie Lamara, Collections Access Officer-Local Studies, Bolton History Centre and Steven Hartshorne, Information and Enquiry Officer, Bolton Museum and Archive

Jennifer Layne, British Home Children Research and Advocacy Association for information relating to Canadian soldiers linked with the National Children’s Home and Orphanage and Anita D Forth for history of the NCHO.

Isabel Holowaty, Bodleian History Librarian, Oxford University

"I believe that one of the comforts to us all out here is that we know we shall always be honoured in the old village."

Gerald Ainsworth, died Ypres Salient: 27th March 1918

WW1 Soldiers

The Great War


War Memorials


Mapping Loss

Commemorative Books

Men from Childrens Homes

History of the Childrens Homes


Blackburn with Darwen Council handed over the running and upkeep of The Barlow to the community in 2013. Since then The Barlow Charity has relied upon the generosity of benefactors and income from users of the facilities, plus the efforts of volunteers to sustain this much valued community facility. Significant improvements have been carried out to help ensure a long-term future, including a new roof, replacement windows, new hygienic worktops in the coffee shop kitchen and a new hot water & heating system. Most recently (summer 2022) the renovation of the outdoor veranda has been completed and a new adjacent decking area has been installed. In addition the snooker room has been restored to its former splendour by a small group of volunteers.

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An important source of funding that has contributed to the above mentioned improvements is The Friends of the Barlow scheme.  By becoming a Friend you can contribute to a fund that is used for repairs and renovations to the structural fabric of the building and pathways etc, and to upgrade, refresh and improve facilities e.g. now that the building is once again weathertight there are plans being drawn up for the main hall can be deep-cleaned, re-decorated and refurbished and other water-damaged areas such as the main stairway & its beautiful large, stained glass window to also be restored to their former glory.

As a Friend of The Barlow, your regular donations provide a much appreciated, steady income stream that to date (summer 2022) has raised in the region of over £40,000, which has been mostly used contributing towards paying for the roof, windows and heating system.
We intend to soon publish the overall list of improvements/tasks and from that you will see that there is a significant amount of expenditure still needed to achieve all of the identified tasks and improvements. We would welcome donations/sponsorship for specific items that may be of particular interest to individuals or families or groups, but the regular donations by Friends of The Barlow are also crucial. Therefore, we welcome any and all new donors and are grateful for whatever amount you choose to donate.

We are of course also very grateful to all of our existing Friends of The Barlow and if you are able to increase your monthly donation by any amount, that would be hugely appreciated – you can either make the increase to your standing order directly with your bank or you can complete a new form and send it to your bank or give it to us to process.

Please also consider increasing the value of your donation at no extra cost to you by using Gift Aid – as an example, an £8 donation from you becomes £10 with the Gift Aid add-on!

If you wish to donate please click on the link below, complete the form and either send it to your bank with an email copy to our email address  or return the completed form to the Barlow’s office in a sealed envelope addressed to Friends of The Barlow.  Paper copies of the form are available from The Barlow.

For any further information please email or contact the office via or 01204 852216.

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