Concert Program for the 1914 Parade can be found here.
It was during World War 1 that the TOC H lamp was adopted by that organisation - it bears the Cross of Ypres, and is an oil lamp, it was intended purely as a symbolic focal point for TOC H, not for it's brightness. The term TOC H originates from the signallers' language for T. H., short for Talbot House, the original soldiers' refuge, opened by "Tubby" Clayton, a local lad, in 1915. Read more about Rishtons TOC H here.
At the end of the 1st World War, medals were presented to any babies which had been born during the four years. This was known as a piece medal.
The Peace Medal was issued by the Commonwealth Government, to all Commonwealth States, to commemorate the signing of the Peace Treaty, ending World War 1.
The Government had decreed that every child in the Commonwealth should receive this particular emblem
In hindsight, it is ironic to think that this gesture was made in all sincerity, in the hope that there would never be another conflict on this scale.
The front of the medal shows a soldier in a robe crouching down, offering his sword to a child opposite him. Over his shoulder is his scabbard. Between the man and child, who
is sat on the tips of the angels wing, is the soldiers shield led on the floor. The angel (possibly Gabriel?) overlooks the proceedings. The angel is holding a tub or basket under his right arm, whilst the left arm is withdrawing something from inside it. The sun is peeping out from behind a cloud, its rays shining on the three some. The child is leaning on something which is stuck in the ground, perhaps some kind of stick to rest on?
The back of the medal has the then Rishton Urban District Council Members, and round the outer edge of the medal it has the inscription "The Urban District Council of Rishton, August 1919".
The full list of the council members are;
Chairman, R. Gilroy J. P.,
J. H. Airey,
T. H. Carr,
W. H. Lomax,
T. E. Noble,
E. E. Proundman,
R. W. Place,
A. E. Roberts,
Clerk to the Council, J. Barr, M. B., J. P., M. O. N.,
W. Knowles, Surveyor,
W. H. Cottam, Collector.
This particular medal was presented to the parents of Alice Wilkinson, daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Jess Wilkinson, who resided at number 5 Clarke Street. All of Rishtons children born in the town were presented with this medal after the Great War.
Mr. Jess Wilkinson was formerly of the Hygiene, in Clayton Le Moors, and his wife was Louisa Sheppard Massey from Great Harwood. Louisa was the daughter of George Kay Massey, who became the father to 12 children in all, having been married twice previously.
Mr. and Mrs. Jess Wilkinson emigrated to America in the December of 1919, taking their daughter Alice, and arrived in Philadelphia on Christmas day the same year. From here they proceeded to New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Alice was still alive and well in 2003, and was living in Taunton, Massachusetts, aged 84. She gave the above medal to her cousin, Jack Wilkinson, from Rishton, when he visited the States tracing his ancestry. Alice herself, meanwhile, would love to know if she has any living relatives in England, and can still recall some of the names of the people who travelled to America with her family in 1919 on the same ocean liner, these include;
Mr. and Mrs. Edge, Isaac Laycock, Albert Taylor, Ted Shorrock, Benny Baldwin, and Mrs. Rodgers to name but a few.
Jack Wilkinson (Blackburn Road) via postal letter.