St. Michael’s on Wyre Church, Blackpool Road, St. Michael’s on Wyre. PR3 0UA
There has been a church here since at least the year 640. It was rebuilt in 1525, and in 1066 it appears to have been the only building of it’s kind in the area, apart from one at Kirkham.
The clock in the tower was presented to the Venerable Archdeacon Hornby by the parishioners in 1850, and a new organ was purchased by subscription in 1877.
Inside the church is a framed Roll of Honour which shows the names of all who served. Those with a black cross beside their names are the fallen.
War Memorial, Blackpool Road, St. Michael’s on Wyre
The War Memorial is situated outside the front of the church, on Blackpool Road.
It shows the names of 19 men who died in WW1. 3 casualties from WW2 are also shown, together with one who was killed in Palestine in 1946
Those named on the War Memorial from WW1 are:
John Tripyear Bateson MM
Driver 87564. 88 Battery 14th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
John was born in Garstang in 1893, the son of Mary Ann Willacy.
John was awarded the Military Medal, and the notice of his award appeared in the London Gazette dated 11th Match 1919.
John’s date of death, and burial place are not currently known.
Lance Corporal 17915. 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Harry was born in 1894 in Hornby, Lancashire, the son of Robert and Mary Ball. He was the brother of Robert Ball.
He was killed in action on 30th December 1915. He was 21.
Harry is one of the many men with no known grave. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial, France.
Private 17915. 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
Robert was born in 1896 in Freshfield, Lancashire, the son of Robert and Mary Ball. He was the brother of Harry Ball.
He was killed in action on 20th September 1917. He was 21.
Robert is one of the many men with no known grave, he is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial at Zonnebeke, Belgium.
Gunner 161179. B Battery, 180th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
John was born in 1898 in Nateby, the son of Edward and Betty Croft.
He died of wounds received in action on 7th August 1917. He was 19.
John is buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery, near Poperinge, Belgium
Lance Corporal 240102. 8th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment
Henry was born in 1889 in Elswick, the son of Thomas and Isabella Hall.
He was killed in action on 12th May 1917. He was 29.
Henry is one of the many men with no known grave, he is remembered on the Arras Memorial, France.
Harold Robert Hesketh
Gunner 161072. B Battery, 223rd Brigade Royal Field Artillery
Harold was born in 1895 in St. Michael’s on Wyre, the son of William and Rose Hesketh.
He was killed in action on 23rd March 1918. He was 23.
Harold is one of many men with no known grave, and is remembered on the Arras Memorial, France.
Thomas James Hesketh
Private 34503. 12th Battalion Highland Light Infantry/582nd Company, Labour Corps.
Thomas was born in St. Michael’s on Wyre in 1895, the son of Thomas and Nancy Hesketh.
He originally joined the HIghland Light Infantry. In 1917 a number of infantry battalions were transferred to the Labour Corps, and it is believed that this is what happened to James’s battalion.
He may have been wounded and transferred as not fit for the Front, or he may have just been transferred along with his battalion.
Thomas died on 12th November 1918, believed from wounds received in action, his death being recorded at Garstang.
He is buried at Nateby Baptist Chapel, Longmoor Lane, Nateby.
Geoffrey Phipps Hornby
2nd Lieutenant. 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment
Geoffrey was born in 1890 in St. Michael’s on Wyre, the son of The Venerable Phipps John Hornby, Archdeacon of Lancaster, and his wife Agnes.
He was the brother of William Hornby.
He was killed in action on 8th May 1915. He was 24.
Geoffrey was one of the many men with no known grave, and is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.
Lieutenant. 17th Battalion Kings (Liverpool) Regiment
William was born in 1893 in St. Michael’s on Wyre, the son of The Venerable Phipps John Hornby, Archdeacon of
Lancaster and his wife Agnes.
He was the brother of Geoffrey Phipps Hornby.
He was killed in action on 12th October 1916. He was 21.
William is buried at Warlencourt Military Cemetery, France.
Private 241224. 2nd/5th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment
Thomas was born in 1891 at St. Michael’s on Wyre, the son of John and Alice Jenkinson.
He was gassed while in the trenches, and sent to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station at Estaires where he died
from broncho-pneumonia on the 8th April 1917. He was 26.
Thomas is buried at Estaires Communal Cemetery Extension, near Armentieres, France.
He is also remembered on the WW1 memorial at St. Mary’s RC Church, Great Eccleston.
Gunner 214097. No 2 Training Depot, Royal Garrison Artillery
George was born in 1881
He died on 27th February 1920 from illness contracted while serving. He was 39.
George is buried in Scotforth Cemetery near Lancaster.
Percival Burghope Pimm
Private 3396. 4th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment
Percival was born in 1896 in St. Michael’s on Wyre, the son of Edward and Annie Pimm.
He was the brother of William Reginald Pimm.
Percival was killed in action on 27th May 1916. He was 20.
He is buried at Le Fermont Military Cemetery, near Arras, France.
William Reginald Pimm
Private 3268. 1st/4th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment
William was born in 1897 in St. Michael’s on Wyre, the son of Edward and Annie Pimm.
He was the brother of Percival Burghope Pimm.
Prior to enlisting he was employed as a temporary postman at Garstang.
William was killed in action on 25th June 1916. He was 19.
He is buried at Agny Military Cemetery, near Achicourt, France.
Gunner 97504. 111th Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery
Bartle was born in Chipping, Lancashire in 1888, the son of Richard and Elizabeth Pye.
He married Beatrice Gay in April 1914.
Bartle was killed in action on 6th April 1918.
He is buried at Ribemont Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, France.
William Hayes Rawcliffe
Sergeant 13129. 7th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
William was born in 1887 in St. Michael’s on Wyre, the son of Thomas and Jane Rawcliffe.
He died of wounds received in action on 23rd July 1916.
Willaim is buried in Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-l’Abbe, Somme, France.
Private 30042. 1st Battalion Border Regiment
Christopher was born in 1895 in Ashton-on-Ribble, Lancashire, the son of Christopher and Jane Rowson.
He was killed in action on 19th May 1917. He was 22.
Christopher is one of the many men with no known grave, and is remembered on the Arras Memorial, France.
Private 40958. 1st/5th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment
James was born in St. Michael’s on Wyre in 1899, the son of Dorothy Sharples.
He was killed in action on 20th October 1918. James is buried in Belle Vue British Cemetery, Briastre, France
Private 30172. 2nd Battalion (Cameronians) Scottish Rifles
Robert was born in 1896 at Little Eccleston, Lancashire, the son of James and Ellen Stuart.
He was killed in action on 5th May 1917. He was 21.
Robert is one of the many men with no known grave, and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Lance Corporal 65932. 235th Company Machine Gun Corps
Joseph was born in 1896 in Whittingham, Lancashire, the son of James and Margaret Ann Walton.
He was killed in action on 30th November 1917. He was 21.
Joseph in one of the many men with no known grave, and is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial, France.
Those named from WW2 are:
Frederick George Bamber
Pilot Officer 121134. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 9 (Observers) Advance Flying Unit
Frederick was born in Garstang on 8th July 1911, the son of Hannah Martha Hodgson.
In 1939 prior to joining up, the family lived at 2, Gable Row, St. Michael’s on Wyre. Frederick was employed as an agricultural foods salesman.
On 21st August 1942 Frederick was on board Anson DJ117 when it crashed into the sea off Port William (Luce Bay) in Scotland.
All five crew were killed, including Frederick. He was 31.
Frederick is buried in the graveyard of St. Michael’s church.
Henry Grayston Hodgson
Gunner 14337298. 55 (West Somerset Yeomanry) Field Regiment
Henry was born in Garstang in 1918, the son of John and Dorothy Hodgson.
In 1939 the family were living at Sunnyside, St. Michael’s where Henry was a poultry and pig farmer.
Henry died on 5th October 1944. He was 26.
He is buried in Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery in the Netherlands
An inscription on his gravestone reads:
PEACE PERFECT PEACE
Also named on the Memorial is:
Lance Corporal 14100599. Corps of Military Police
Albert Wedge was the son of Mary Wedge (nee Cresswell) and adopted son of her husband, William Wedge.
The family lived at 1, New Cottages in Sowerby.
Albert was killed while serving with the Military Police on 1st March 1947 in Palestine. He was 20.
He is buried at Khayat Beach War Cemetery in Haifa, Israel.
At the time of Albert’s death, the parish council did not put his name on the war memorial as he was not killed in either of the two World Wars.
His family, assisted by local councillor and historian Albert Clayton, eventually managed to get his name included.
The Garstang Courier, in 1986, explained how local Councillor Albert Clayton helped the family to get Albert’s name inscribed on the memorial, some 40 years after his death.
“HONOUR FOR HERO AFTER 40 YEARS
Relatives of a soldier who lost his life on active service, have had to wait almost 40 years to see his name on the village War Memorial in St. Michael’s on Wyre.
National serviceman Albert Wedge was killed on Mount Carmel, Palestine, in 1947 aged 20.
Now his name has been given its rightfully honoured place on the memorial alongside the parish church – thanks to the efforts of local historian and parish councillor, Albert Clayton.
The young Royal Military Policeman died when his jeep ran over a landmine. He is buried in Haifa War Cemetery.
At that time his widowed mother, brother and three sisters, who lived in Sowerby near St. Michaels, were distressed to learn that the young hero’s name could not go on the village memorial because he was killed after World War II ended.
“Mother was heartbroken” said Mrs Molly Walmsley, a sister who now lives in Fairsnape Drive, Garstang.
On Saturday, Councillor Clayton took her to see the new inscription.“I found it an emotional but proud experience” said Mrs Walmsley. “I feel that no longer is my brother just a member of a forgotten army. Justice has been done and the family is most grateful for Councillor Clayton’s efforts”.
She regrets that her mother, who died 10 years ago, did not live to see her son’s name on the memorial.Councillor Clayton said: “I thought it a shame that someone who died for his country was not commemorated on the memorial. Everyone I approached agreed with me”.
Since then Albert’s family have been awarded the Elizabeth Cross, an award from the Queen to recognise the sacrifice made by family members since WW2.