Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall, The Avenue, Churchtown.  PR3 0HR

The Memorial Hall was built by the Butler-Cole family in 1920, to honour the men of the parish who died in WW1.

There is a wooden memorial plaque in the building, commemorating the men from the parish who died in WW1 and WW2.

There are 7 names on the WW1 section of the plaque:

William Bateson

Private 3/19928.  6th (Service) Battalion East Lancashire Regiment

William was born in 1896 at Bilsborrow, the son of Roger Kenyon Bateson and Dorothy Bateson

He died of wounds received in action on 21st April 1916.  He was 21.

William is buried at Basra War Cemetery, Mesopotamia, now Iraq.

He is also remembered on the memorial at St. Helen’s Church, Churchtown

Thomas Billington

Private 82237. 20th Battalion Durham Light Infantry

Thomas was born in Catterall in 1894, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Billington.

The family lived at Brick Row, Catterall.

Thomas was killed in action on 4th September 1918, near Ypres.  He was 19.

He is buried at Voormezeele Enclosure No.3 Cemetery, near Ypres.

Thomas is also remembered on the Memorial at St. Helen’s Church, Churchtown.

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Ralph Crozier

Private 35737. 1st/4th Battalion Kings Shropshire Light Infantry

Ralph was born in 1899 at Churchtown, the son of Thomas and Ann Crozier

He died of wounds on 18th November 1918.  He was 19.

Ralph is buried at Solesmes British Cemetery, at Solesmes near Cambrai in France.

He is also remembered on the Memorial at  St. Helen’s Church, Churchtown.

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Henry Grayston

Private 315235.  25th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Henry was born in Bilsborrow in 1895, the son of William and Mary Grayston.

The family lived at Fylde Road, Churchtown in 1911.

Henry was killed in action on 31st October 1917, Mesopotamia, now Iraq. He was 22.

He is buried at Beersheba War Cemetery in Iraq.

Henry is also remembered on the War Memorial at St. Helen’s Church, Churchtown.

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Ernest Hall

Private 11868. 1st Battalion Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.

Ernest was the eldest son of James and Harriet Hall, and was born in Catterall in the last quarter of 1896.He joined the army, probably early on in the war, and was posted to the 1st Battalion of the Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.

He was killed in action on 8th October 1915, aged 24.

Ernest is buried at Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps, France.

He is also remembered on the War Memorial at St. Helen’s Church, Churchtown

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Richard Parker

Private DM2/179716. 819th MT Company, Army Service Corps.

Richard was the fourth child of Thomas and Mary Parker and was born in Catterall in the last quarter of 1894.

The date he joined the army is not known, but he served with the 819th M.T. (Mechanical Transport) Company of the Army Service Corps.

Whilst serving in Macedonia he contracted hepatitis and died on 19th November 1918.  He was 24.

Richard is buried at Skopje British Cemetery in Macedonia. He is also remembered on the memorials at Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall and at St. Helen’s Church, Churchtown

Richard is also remembered on the War Memorial at St. Helen’s Church, Churchtown.

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Henry Pearson

Private 112926. 11th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment

Formerly Private 49619 Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.

Henry was born in 1889 in Nateby,  the son of Thomas and Jane Pearson.

He married Alice Dunderdale in 1911 and they had 3 Children.

Henry died of wounds on 24th October 1918.  He was 29.

He is buried at the Quietiste Military Cemetery, Le Cateau, France

George Lawden Boys Stones

Captain. 7th Lancers (Indian Army)

George gained his commission at Sandhurst Military Academy in January 1909, and served in India with the 1st Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment from 1910 to 1911.

He served with the 7th Hariana Lancers (Indian Army) from April 1911 till February 1915, and then in Mesopotamia as Adjutant of the 7th Lancers from March to August 1915.

He then commanded the 1st Signal Troop, attached to the 6th Cavalry Brigade from October 1915 to January 1917, before finally serving as Staff Captain from January to March 1917.

George was wounded in action near Baghdad and died from his wounds on 30th March 1917, aged 29.

He is buried at Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery in Iraq.

He is also remembered on the War Memorial at St. Helen’s Church, Churchtown, and on a memorial plaque in St. Thomas’s church, Garstang.

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There are 4 names on the WW2 section of the plaque:

Leslie Cross

Sergeant 1029597. 103 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Leslie was born in Garstang in 1920, the son of John and Jane Cross.

At 1738 on 20th October 1943, 14 aircraft from 103 Squadron took off from Elsham Wolds on a bombing mission to Leipzig.

Leslie was aboard Lancaster ED 881, which failed to return from the mission and is presumed to have crashed into the sea. All 4 crew on board, including Leslie were killed. He was 23.

Leslie has no known grave, and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey. He is also remembered on the War Memorial at St. James’s Church, Stalmine.

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Harold Hoyle – information on the memorial at St. Helen’s Church (see below)

Ronald Parker – information on the memorial at St. Helen’s Church (see below)

Thomas Shore – information on the memorial at St. Helen’s Church (see below)

St. Helen’s Church, Church Street, Churchtown. PR3 0HT

Historically, the village of Churchtown was part of the ecclesiastical parish of Garstang, with St Helen’s as the parish church. The oldest parts of the church date from the 13th century, these are the piers and responds in the chancel, and the arch piers in the nave.

The church was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1736, an overflow of the River Wyre flooded the churchyard and damaged the church, necessitating its restoration. In 1811 the roofs were replaced, the walls were raised and a clerestory added. Further restoration work took place 1865–1868.

St Helen’s is situated close to the banks of the River Wyre, and was designated a Grade I listed building by English Heritage on 17 April 1967. The Grade I designation—the highest of the three grades—is for buildings “of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important”.

St Helen’s is known as the “Cathedral of the Fylde”.

Within the church are memorials to the fallen of WW1 and WW2, both memorials are together on the wall of the church.

Both memorials
The WW1 Memorial

The names on the WW1 Memorial are:

William Bateson

William is also named on the Memorial at Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall – information above

Thomas Billington

Thomas is also named on the Memorial at Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall – information above

Ralph Crozier

Ralph is also named on the Memorial at Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall – information above

Henry Grayston

Henry is also named on the Memorial at Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall – information above

Ernest Hall

Ernest is also named on the memorial at Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall – see above

Richard Parker

Richard is also named on the memorial at Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall – see above

Henry Pearson

Henry is also named on the Memorial at Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall – see above

George Lawden Boys Stones

George is also named on the memorial at Kirkland and Catterall Memorial Hall – see above

Within the churchyard at St. Helen’s is the grave of a fallen soldier from WW1:

Edgar James Salisbury

Serjeant 308305. 1st/8th Battalion The Kings (Liverpool) Regiment

Edgar was born in Garstang in 1896, the son of Elizabeth Mary Salisbury.  He and his mother later moved to Eccles near Manchester where he was employed as an office boy.

He enlisted in the Manchester Regiment and was later transferred to the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment.

Edgar was wounded in action and transferred to the Westminster General Military Hospital in Manchester, where he died of his wounds on 11th June 1917.  He was 21.

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The WW2 Memorial

There are 4 names on the WW2 Memorial:

Harold Hoyle

Flying Officer 150061. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 84 OTU

Harold was born in Rochdale in 1914, the son of Isaac and Elizabeth Hoyle.

He was a police constable with the Lancashire Constabulary, and at the time of his joining up in 1941 he was stationed at Garstang.

He married Joy Vause in Chorley in 1939, and the couple had a daughter in 1940. In 1939 the family were living at Wyrebank, Garstang.

Harold joined the RAFVR in October 1941 and was attached to 84 Operational Conversion Unit, which trained pilots.

On 21st January 1944 Harold was part of a crew of 4 practising circuits in a Wellington BX LN238 which suffered an engine failure and crashed into a wood. Three crew were killed, including Harold. He was 29.

He is buried at St. Andrew’s church, Leyland, Lancashire.

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Thomas Shore

Thomas served on a Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB), which was assigned to patrol duty along the European coasts similar to their role along the English coast prior to D-Day.

Several nights a week from European ports, the crews set out to harass German shipping, and the German navy equivalents of the the MTB’s, the E-boats and R-boats.

On February 14th, 1945, the Canadian 29th Flotilla of MTB’s  were moored at the Belgian port of Ostend (Oostende)  in a small  basin called La Crique, along with a British flotilla, including Thomas’s boat..

A patrol had been scheduled for that night, so some sailors were away from their ships for a few hours, while others were below decks sleeping.

During fuelling or de-fuelling operations that day some of the high-octane aviation fuel had been spilled onto the water, spreading out among the boats.

Something ignited the thin layer of fuel which had spread across the water, and quickly set the closely packed wooden ships on fire in a sudden and intense inferno.

For the next two hours fuel tanks and ammunition exploded and burned,

Five of the eight Canadian 29th Flotilla ships and seven British boats were destroyed.

26 Canadian sailors, and 35 British sailors died in the inferno, including Thomas. He was 21.

Thomas has no known grave but the sea, and is remembered on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

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James Ronald Parker

Sergeant 1541161. RAF Volunteer Reserve

James was born on 15th June 1914 at Garstang, the son of John Thomas and Ethel Parker.

He married Hannah E. Dunne in Garstang in 1937.

On 6th June 1944, James was serving with 2817 Squadron, which was part of an Operation Overlord convoy, heading for Juno Beach in a tank landing craft (LCT).

A German aircraft dropped flares over the convoy which illuminated the vessels for patrolling German E Boats (fast attack craft).

The German boats were successful in attacking some of the LCTs in the convoy. The one carrying 2817 Squadron received direct hits which smashed the ramps and pierced the hull. Some of those on board survived, but James was among those who did not survive. He was 30.

James has no known grave but the sea, and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

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Peter Mytton Thornycroft

Sergeant 1488238. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 77 Squadron Royal Air Force

Peter was born in Belper, Derbyshire, in 1923, the son of Peter Mytton Thorneycroft and his wife Ella Fountain Thornycroft.

He married his wife Hannah in Garstang in 1937, and they lived at Rough Hey, Claughton on Brock.

Peter’s squadron was part of Operation Mulheim – the bombing of the Ruhr in Germany in June 1943.

At 2305 on 22nd June 1943 Peter was part of the crew of a Halifax MK II aircraft DT 700 which took off from Elvington.

The aircraft did not return from the mission, and is presumed to have crashed into the sea.

All 7 crew, including Peter were killed. He was 20.

Peter has no known grave but the sea, and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

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