War Memorial

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Station Road Memorial
Two things of note in this picture, the first is obviously the war memorial, but to the left is a lamppost This is the original memorial sited at the end of Station Road.
The 2nd Picture shows the new War Memorial on Blackburn Road.

A lamp post was given to Rishton to assist people walking from the station to the town, before Station Road was illuminated. The lamppost sat at the junction of Station Road with Blackburn Road, next to the memorial. The lamppost is no longer in the town as far as I am aware, but the donor was a Mr. Thomas Steed.

The memorial is now situated half a mile up Blackburn Road, and is one of the first things you see when entering Rishton from Blackburn.

The memorial itself was a temporary construction, the permanent one is 22 feet high and constructed of Creetown granite.

Dedicated on the 6th October 1923 by Mrs Elizabeth Lewis, who herself lost three sons during the war.

The cost of the new war memorial was £2,800.00.

Mrs Elizebeth Lewis at the Memorial
Mrs Elizabeth Lewis at the unveiling of the memorial in October 1923.

500 feet directly below the memorial is a pit shaft running from Rishton Colliery, and at this point splits into 4 different routes.

On the 17th October 1935, the Urban District Council of Rishton gave permission for the War Memorial to be floodlit for 5 1/2 hours each evening. This was to cost the council £17.00 per annum. This lasted for 3 years, as on the 10th February 1938, it was decided by the council, that the floodlighting of the war memorial was to be discontinued.

In March 1936 Mr. Fred Bellas had an estimate excepted by the council  for looking after the War Memorial and the Grass Verge on the Arterial Road. Mr Bellas was one of the first residents to live on nearby Somerset Road.

On the 6th October 1938 it was decided by the council that the war memorials grass slopes were to be converted to rock gardens, and the 3 circular beds were to be planted with Primula Wanda, and tulips, and the 6 oval beds with polyanthus.

The War memorial was redesigned in February 1939, 6 tons of water worn Limestone rocks were bought from Messrs. Settle Limes, at  a price of 20 shillings per ton, to be used around the base of the memorial. New flower beds were to be added, and the flowers grown from seed by the council.

May the 4th 1939, and the council surveyor was instructed to move 3 seats without name plates from the War Memorial and Cutt wood park, and transfer them to Harwood Road Recreation Ground.

The Opening in 1923
The opening of the new War Memorial in 1923, shortly before the unveiling.
The original memorial opposite the church in 1919.

The members of the councils parks sub-committee submitted their report on the 27th September 1945, regarding the purchase of bulbs for the Esplanade, the War Memorial and Cutt Wood and that 8,000 bulbs were recommended to be purchased, in addition to the expending of the £25 given for Cutt Wood.

The Council Clerk was instructed to enquire if the British Legion could furnish the names of the fallen in the 1939-45 War on the 13th November 1947, and to place an insertion in the "Rishton Advertiser." The matter to receive consideration thereafter.

On the 2nd October 1949, the War memorial was unveiled to commemorate the Rishton dead during World War 2 by one of the victims mothers, Mrs Elizabeth Lewis, who can be seen beside the memorial in one of the pictures above.

Looking West
The War Memorial on Blackburn Road looking West to Blackburn.
Looking over the esplanade to the memorial.

The Council Clerk reported on an interview with Captain Petre and his Agent on the 16th August 1951, regarding the terms on which the gift was made and which would be incorporated in the Deed, a draft of which would be submitted subsequently.

On the 10th December 1953, Councillor Banks referred to the case of a young man who had lost his life during the Korean War, and that it was suggested by the British Legion that the Council should consider adding this name on the War Memorial. It was Resolvedâ€"That further consideration be given to this case together with a case of a name omitted in respect of the 1939-45 War, when the 1954/5 Estimates are prepared, as the question of renovating the Memorial would also receive consideration at that time.

The Clerk submitted an estimate of £12, on the 14th January 1953, for the replacement of missing and damaged lettering, plus 3/0d. per letter for additional names placed on the Memorial in respect of men who have lost their lives in the Korean War. Resolvedâ€"That the tender be accepted, and that the necessary amount be included in the coming year's estimates. He also submitted the draft Deed of Gift which had been received from the Solicitors to the Dunkenhalgh Estate. He further stated that several suggested clauses had been deleted or amended in the Councils favour. Resolvedâ€"That the draft be now approved.

The memorial now contains 185 names from the 1st World War, 23 names from the 2nd World War, and one name from the Korean War1.

The memorial was relit once more on the 29th October 2008. Officially opened by several councillors, and County Councillors, the only stumbling block that night was that no-one was aware that the lights took 15 minutes to warm up! Below are two pictures from the night.

Light Switch On
Image 1 - Councillors and representatives gather while the lights warm up.
Image 2 - The memorial lit up on the 29th October 2008.
PoppiesHow the Poppy came to be used in Rememberance.
Rememberance DayRememberance day in Rishton, the 11th of the 11th.
WW1 Honours ListWorld War 1 roll of honour.
WW2 Honours ListThe World War 2 roll of Honours


Rishton Urban District Council minutes for 1935, and 1953 - 54.

UK National Inventory of War Memorials Website1