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Calder Vale

War Memorial, Burnside Avenue.  PR3 1SE

Dedication of the War Memorial. Photo from the Chris Oldroyd Collection

There are 18 names on the memorial, 15 from WW1 and 3 from WW2

WW1  Names

Thomas Patrick Longworth

Sapper 66057. 106th Field Company, The Royal Engineers

Thomas enlisted on 26th January 1915 and was sent to the Western Front on 26th September 1915.

He spent two periods of home leave in 1916 and 1917, before returning to the Western Front in June 1917.

He was killed in action on 9th April 1918 in the River Lys Valley near to Bethune.

Thomas is one of the many who have no known grave.  He is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial near Zonnebeke.

He is also remembered on the Garstang and Bleasdale War Memorials.

Ernest Halton

Private 1416. 5th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment

Ernest was born in Carnforth in 1889, the son of Lawrence and Elizabeth Halton.

He was killed by a train near Didcot, along with Private James Walton, while both were guarding the railway on 30th

 September 1914.  He was 22.

Ernest is buried in the churchyard of St. John’s church, Calder Vale.

Henry (Harry) Malley

Corporal 12175.  50th Battalion Machine Gun Corps

Henry was born in 1894 at Bleasdale, the son of William and Jane Malley of Sunny View, Oakenclough, Lancashire.

He enlisted at Garstang as Private 21514 of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.

Henry was killed in action on 22nd March 1918 in the Somme area.  He was 24.

He is one of the many men who have no known grave.  He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France.

He is also remembered on a family grave in the churchyard of St. John the Evangelist, Calder Vale.

Samuel Piper

Private 7700.  Royal Army Medical Corps

Samuel was born on 28th August 1895 in Bamber Bridge, the son of John and Annie Piper.

Prior to enlisting he was a weaver at a mill in Calder Vale.

Samuel was killed in action on 26th September 1916.  He was 20.

He is buried at Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban, France

Lancashire Evening Post 15th November 1916


Pte. Samuel Piper (21), the R.A.M.C, was killed on Sept. 26th while bringing in wounded under heavy shell fire. Pte. Piper had been in the army for about five months before the present war broke out and went out with the original Expeditionary Force. Before joining the Army was a weaver at Calder Vale Mill, Calder Vale, near Garstang. 

Albert Ray

Gunner 25695.  12th Battery, 27th Brigade Royal Field Artillery

Albert was born in Preston in 1890, the son of George and Emily Ray.

He died on 23rd April 1917.  He was 28.

He is buried at Vimy Communal Cemetery, Farbus, France.

Albert is also remembered on a family grave in the churchyard of St. John the Evangelist, Calder Vale.

Frank Walton

Private 30580. 8th Battalion Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

Frank was born in Preston in 1894, the son of James and Elizabeth Ellen Walton.  He was the brother of James Walton who is also named on the memorial.

Frank was killed in action on 26th Sept 1917.  He was 23.

He was one of the many men with no known grave, and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.

James Walton

Private 1091.  5th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment

James was born in Preston in 1892, the son of James and Elizabeth Ellen Walton.

He was the brother of Frank Walton who is also named on the memorial.

James was killed by a train near Didcot, along with Private Ernest Halton, while both were guarding the railway on 30th September 1914.  He was 22.

James is buried in the churchyard of St. John’s church, Calder Vale.

Richard Whiteside

Private 21568.  10th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

Richard was born in Calder Vale In 1895, the son of Henry and Maria Whiteside.

He was killed on 14th July 1917.  He was 26.

Richard is one of the many men with no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.

He is also remembered on a family grave in the churchyard of St. John the Evangelist, Calder Vale.

Robert Kendall Whittam

Private 19330. 8th Battalion Border Regiment

Robert was born in 1884 in Staveley, Westmorland the son of Robert and Jane Whittam.

Robert was killed in action on 28th April 1916.  He was 31.

He is buried at La Chaudiere Military Cemetery, Vimy, France.

James Isaac Crompton

Private 70700. 1st/7th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers

James was born in Bolton in 1877.

In 1909 he married Eleanor Thompson at Garstang and the couple had a daughter Mary Agnes in 1910.

In 1911 the family were living at Dolphinholme where James was employed as a general labourer.

James died on 7th July 1919. He was 32.

He is buried at Mazargues War Cemetery, Marseilles, where an inscription on his headstone reads:


James and Eleanor Crompton – photograph courtesy of Geraldine Plumbley

Herman Fletcher

2nd Lieutenant.  7th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Herman was born in Eccles near Manchester in 1891, the son of Richard and Mary Fletcher of The Polygon, Eccles.

Prior to the war he was employed at Messrs Jacksons paper makers at Oakenclough, Lancashire.

He attended Manchester Grammar School and enlisted in the 20th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Public Schools) Battalion in 1914 as Private 4828.  

He was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in October 1916 and posted to the 7th Battalion of the North Lancashire Regiment.

Herman was killed in action on 13th November 1916 during the Battle of the Ancre.  He was 25.

He is one of the many men who have no known grave.  He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

John Greaves MM

Serjeant 23834. 55th Battalion Machine Gun Corps.

John was born in Claughton on Brock in 1893, son of Richard and Ann Greaves.

John was awarded the Military Medal.  The entry appears in the London Gazette 25th May 1918.

He was also Mentioned in Dispatches. The entry appears in the London Gazette 10th October 1918, after he had died.

John died of wounds received in action on 10th August 1918.  He was 25.

He is buried at Houchin British Cemetery near Bethune, France.

George Harris

Pioneer 126377. HQ Signal Company Royal Engineers.

George was born in Garstang in 1899, the son of Francis and Margaret Harris. He had a twin sister, Mary.

George’s brother Sergeant Dan Harris 24 K.O.R.L regiment, was awarded the Military Medal. He was wounded in France and invalided home to
a hospital in Oxford. After being transferred to another hospital in the South of England he was sent to a convalescent home in Blackpool.

George was killed on 4th February 1919.  He was 21.

He is buried at Belgrade Cemetery, Namur, Belgium.

Lancashire Evening Post 7th February 1920

In sad but loving memory of our dear son Pioneer G. HARRIS (126377), R.E. Signals, 4th Army Signal Company, died of pneumonia, February 5th, 1919 aged 21, and was interred in Belgrade Cemetery, Namur, Belgium, on the 8th. Only those who have lost a loved one know the meaning of the word gone. From his sorrowing Father, Mother, Brothers, and Sisters, 10, Christian-road (late of Calder Vale). 

Thomas Hoggarth

Rifleman 94923.  2nd/6th Battalion Kings (Liverpool) Regiment

Thomas was born in 1899 in Calder Vale, the son of John Thomas and Elizabeth Hoggarth.

He was killed in action on 1st Sept 1918. He was 19.

Thomas is buried at Queant Road Cemetery, Buissy, France.

Thomas’s obituary

Lancashire Evening Post 3rd September 1920

HOGGARTH.  In loving memory of our dear son Rifleman THOMAS HOGGARTH (Lewis gunner), 2/6th Liverpool Rifles, killed in action September 1st, 1918 aged 19 years. R.I P. 

With aching hearts, we shook his hand. Tears in our eyes. Kissed his cheek, but little thought It was our last good-bye.” Eternal rest give unto him, O Lord.” May he rest in peace.” Sadly missed Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, and Sister-in-Law, Calder Vale.

John Jose

Private 12774.  7th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment

John was born in 1883 in Redruth, Cornwall, the son of William and Mary Jose.

He married Anna Maymon Reed in 1904, and they had a daughter, Veda born in 1908

John was killed in action on 25th July 1915.  He was 32.

John is one of the many men with no known grave.  He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

Thomas Lindsay

Private 30410. 12th Company Machine Gun Corps

Thomas was born in Withnell, Lancashire in 1891, the third son of John and Martha Lindsay. Two of his brothers were also in the army.

He joined the army in July 1915.

Thomas was a well known local footballer, who had played centre forward for Fleetwood and Nelson.

He was killed in action at Ypres on 8th August 1916.  He was 25.

Thomas is buried at Essex Farm Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium.

Lancashire Evening Post 10th August 1917

LINDSAY. In loving memory of our dear son.  Lce. Cpl. TOM LINDSAY. M.G.C killed in action at Ypres August 8th, 1916. 

‘Tis sweet to know we’ll meet again, where partings are no more. And that the one we loved so well has only gone before. 

From his Parents, Brothers, and Sister. Calder Vale.                                                                                                                           

WW2 Names

James Magill

Private 3781471. 13th Battalion Kings Regiment (Liverpool)

James was born on 2nd June 1912.

At the time of his death he was married to Jane Agnes, and they had a daughter Kathleen Hester Magill who was born in 1939.

James was a cotton weaver, and prior to the war the family lived at Assembly Rooms House in Garstang.

He died on 6th September 1943, aged 34.

Janes is buried at Rangoon War Cemetery, Myanmar.

An inscription on his grave reads:


Thomas James Lever Rushton DFC

Flying Officer 108867.  107 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Thomas was born in 1914 in Garstang, the son of James Lever Rushton and Phyllis Rushton.

He died on 9th July 1943 in Egypt.  He was 29.

Thomas is buried at Alexandria (Hadra) War Cemetery in Egypt.

The inscription on his headstone reads:


Thomas was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1942.  

The DFC citation in the London Gazette of 10th November 1942 reads:

“This officer has completed numerous sorties, including many daylight attacks on shipping, aerodromes and  industrial targets.  In June 1942 he participated in a night attack on an aerodrome in the Netherlands.  In spite of heavy opposing fire and searchlight activity, Pilot Officer Rushton bombed dispersal areas and hangars, causing much damage.  Although his aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire which rendered it difficult to control, he flew it to base safely.  This officer has invariably displayed great courage, skill and determination.”

More information about Thomas can be found on the Barnacre page of the Poppy Trail.

Francis Wrennall

Lance Corporal 3862397. Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) 2nd Battalion Glasgow Highlanders

Francis was born in Garstang in 1912, the son of William and Elizabeth Wrennall. The family lived at 56 Albert Terrace in Calder Vale, and Francis was a spot cutter in the cotton mill.

He married Dorothy Bowman at Garstang in 1943.

Francis died on 8th February 1945, aged 32.

He is buried at Jonkerbos War Cemetery in The Netherlands.

An inscription on his grave reads:


St. John the Evangelist Church, Calder Vale.  PR3 1SR

St. John the Evangelist is a Grade 2 listed 19th century church, which was consecrated in August 1863.  The land it stands on was given for the building of the church by William James Garnett. It is constructed of sandstone rubble with slate roofs. The church comprises a west tower, nave with north aisle and south porch, and lower chancel. The tower has diagonal buttresses and a pyramid roof behind an embattled parapet.

Three of the 20th century windows are said to be by Morris & Co.

There is also a memorial window and tablet inside the church which bears the names of those who fell in WW1.

Richard Whiteside, who is remembered on the Calder Vale War Memorial is also remembered on a family grave in the churchyard.

In the churchyard are the graves of Ernest Halton and Thomas Walton.

Preston Herald 7th October 1914.


Pathetic Scenes at Interment of Local Territorials.

The remains of Privates James Walton and Ernest Halton, both members of the Garstang Detachment of the 5th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (Territorials) and belonging Calder Vale, who, it will be remembered, lost their lives with such tragic suddenness on Wednesday of last week as the result of being caught train on length line which they were guarding close to Steventon level crossing, were interred with military honours on Saturday afternoon last in the small graveyard attached the Calder Vale Parish Church, where they had attended.


The unfortunate young men were particularly well known and held in high regard in the village and surrounding districts, and it was therefore not surprising to find such a large gathering of mourners, relatives, intimate friends, and others by whom they were known – not only from the village, but elsewhere – paying their last tribute to their memory. Walton was normally employed at the Grizedale Lea Reservoir and was an operative at one of the local-mills.

The bodies were brought by rail to Garstang and Catterall Station the previous night, and were afterwards conveyed to the church, where they lay overnight in readiness for the solemn committal the following day.

The ancient and picturesque little village had, as would be expected under such circumstances, undergone quite a change from its customary gay appearance, for, from the arrival of the military (a section of the North Lancashire Regiment Territorials) from Preston, who acted as firing party and bearers, until their departure almost immediately after the last sad rites, practically every blind was drawn in tribute to the deceased, a fact alone which spoke volumes for the remarkable esteem in which they were held their fellow comrades.

The graves, to the right side of the yard looking from the main entrance, are in close proximity to one another, being within foot or two apart. During the whole proceedings, which, can be readily imagined, were of very heartrending character, hardly a dry eye could be distinguished.


The news of the young mens’ death came a terrible shock to everybody who knew them, for a letter had only been received in the village from one of them the very morning telegrams announcing their fate arrived in the afternoon. So sudden was the tragic news that first it could hardly be realised, but it spread with such great rapidity that in consequence work for the rest of the day at the two mills where they were known nearly all the hands, was almost at a standstill.

The church, during short service held prior the interment, was crowded to the doors, marry people desirous of gaining admission having to be turned away disappointed. The coffins, each covered with the Union Jack and several beautiful wreaths, were brought out separately amid many manifestations of sorrow and grief, the bodies bring laid to rest one after the other.

Whilst the service was in progress, and during the committal, the firing party was lined along the path leading to the church porch, afterwards taking up position behind the graves, and firing over them the usual three volleys. The Last Post having been sounded on the bugle, the local band, of which Walton was a member, played St Cuthbert,” Lead Kindly Light,” and Nearer My God to Thee.” On returning to the village “The Fallen Heroes” was rendered.

The last rites were conducted by the vicar the Rev. C. H. Wilson.


The principal mourners were: Walton; Mr and Mrs. James Walton (father and mother), Private H. Walton, Mr. Frank Walton, and Master Fred Walton (brothers), Mr and Mrs. George Walton (brother and sister-in-law), Miss Emily Walton (sister), Mr. and Mrs, Wilkinson (aunt and uncle), Miss Elizabeth Kendall, Miss Mary’ Kendall, Miss Davis, Miss P. Kelsall, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kelsall, and Mrs. William Richardson.

Halton: Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Halton (father and mother), Mrs. Lawrence Halton, (sister-in-law and wife of Private Lawrence Halton, brother, who was unable to be present on account of being away on active service), Lance-Corporal Ward Toon, Mrs. Gregg. Miss Gregg, Miss Elizabeth Gregg. Mr. and Mrs. R. Tvldsley. Mrs. Tyldsley (Nelson), Mrs. Toon, and Mrs. S. Hardman.

Amongst those in attendance representing the Army authorities were Major Bates (present on behalf of the commanding officer, Colonel Lord Richard Cavendish), Captain Wright (commander of E Company, 5th Btn. King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, in which deceased were privates) and Captain Hogarth. Captain Seward, and Lieut.Quartermaster Singleton, of the 5th Reserve Battalion of the same regiment.


There was large number of floral tributes, including the following:

Halton; ‘’In loving remembrance, from his sweetheart and family.

In loving remembrance, to Ernest Halton, from his comrades in the 5th King’s Own E Company) Royal Lancaster Regiment.

“With loving sympathy, from his brother and sister-in law”

“In loving remembrance of our dear son Ernest, from father and mother”.

“With deepest sympathy, from Mrs. Geldeard and the Chapmans.

“With deepest sympathy, from Mr. Horace Daboo and Miss Lizzie Gregg”.

“With deepest sympathy, from the canteen and hutkeepers at Grizedale Lea”.

“With deepest sympathy, from the foremen, engineman, tradesmen, and staff, Grizedale Lea”.

Walton’s wreaths included:

“A token of love from Lizzie and family”

“With deepest sympathy, from Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Whiteside”

Whilst amongst others were:

“In loving remembrance, from their comrades in E Company, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment”

“With deepest sympathy, from Captain W. O. Wright and Lieut. H. Coupland”.

On Sunday morning, before large congregation, the vicar made sympathetic reference to the memory of the deceased.

Lancashire Evening Post 9th November 1920


 A memorial window and tablet, bearing the names of those belonging to the parish who fell in the war was unveiled and dedicated Sunday afternoon in Calder Vale Church, in the presence of a crowded congregation.

About 80 members of the Bleasdale Foresters in uniform, attended the service.

The Calder Vale band led them in procession from the vale, and accompanied the singing in the church. Colonel Trist DSO, MC, of Rossall School formally presented this gift on behalf of the Foresters. 

The new vicar, the Rev. A. J. Woodhouse responded and the Rural Dean dedicated the memorial and afterwards preached.