Men from Childrens Homes

On the war memorial at the Methodist Church, Bolton Road, Edgworth there are 28 surnames and initials which are listed as ‘NCHO’..

On the war memorial at the Methodist Church, Bolton Road, Edgworth there are 28 surnames and initials which are listed as “NCHO”.

These are men who would have spent some time at the National Children’s Home and Orphanage at Crowthorn, just outside the village of Edgworth. The identities of these men were unknown. However, by looking through census records information began to emerge.

It was discovered that at least 17 of the names related to men who fought with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. It was common practice at the time to send both boys and girls to Canada to work as indentured domestic servants and farm labourers. Many charities were involved in this, including the Methodist Children’s Home and Barnardo’s.

The Methodists did their best to vet the homes the children were sent to and many of the children were taken into families and treated well, although inevitably there were some instances of abuse. Despite the fact that only 2% of children who emigrated to Canada were orphans, having parents and siblings in the UK, some charities discouraged contact with their old families as it was thought this would enable the children to adjust better to their new lives.

A possible motive for enlisting in the forces was that the men had the opportunity to return to the UK where they could try to find relatives. Close to 100% of men who had been sent to Canada and were eligible to fight enlisted.

More information is available from the British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association (

Other men listed on the memorial signed up with the British forces and their stories are included. It has not been possible to find information on everyone, but the search is ongoing. These pages include the biographies of 21 of the 28 names. Sadly no information has been discovered for the following names:

Davidson, H
Hornby, J
Johnson, A
Simpson, J
Tracey, H
West, C
Wood, P

"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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