For your Tomorrow

"For Your Tomorrow We Gave Our Today"

As you enter the church have you ever stopped and had a good look at the war memorial situated in our garden of remembrance? It was originally on the internal wall of the old chapel, and then kept in storage for many years before being relocated outside several years ago. Nine names of people associated with the church who gave their lives during the First World War (1914-1918) are inscribed on it. As we approach the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month 1918 let’s find out a little more about the men from this church who gave their lives for King and Country.

Private John William Mitchell

was the son of Mr & Mrs Halliwell Mitchell of 4 Wales Bank, Newchurch. He signed up with the Royal Garrison Artillery and sailed from Plymouth on the 1st August 1915, and was then transferred to the Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. He was shot in the leg and transferred to hospital in Malta where he died suddenly on the 31st August 1915, just a month after leaving the shores of blighty.

Lance Corporal Frank Ashworth

was the son of William and Martha Ashworth of Waterfoot and husband of Edith Ashworth of 456 Burnley Road, Waterfoot. He enlisted in October 1914 and was drafted to the 8th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment on the 1st August 1915. He was wounded on the 16th July 1916 and died of his wounds 18th July 1916, aged 35. As well as his wife and parents he left two children aged 3 and 6. His wife was the sister of Mr T. B. Windle of Scout House and he was employed at Windle Scout Quarries. Frank was secretary of the Scoutbottom branch of the League of Young Liberals and was also treasurer of the Rossendale Federation of Liberal Clubs. A memorial service was held at Mount Zion on Sunday 6th August 1916. He was buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, Mericourt-L’Abbe, Somme, France and the inscription on the headstone reads “Not forgotten from wife and children Waterfoot.”

(This cemetery holds 2959 named bodies).

Driver Abraham Cropper

, he served with the 1st Aux. Mechanical transport Coy, army service corps. He was single and lived on Shawclough Lane and worked as a farrier with Mr J R Myerscough, Blacksmith of Central Garage Rawtenstall. Abraham died on the 13th February 1917 from pneumonia and is buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France. (This cemetery holds 8673 named bodies). Service Number T3/025057

Private Andrew D. Dyer

was with the 2nd/5th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. He was the husband of S A Dyer and lived at 15 Scout Holme Terrace, Waterfoot. He was shot through the head by a sniper whilst on sentry duty in France on the 15th June 1917 and died instantly aged 39. Before the war he was a weaver at Caleb Shepherd at Sager Holme Mill. He was called up on 4th September 1916 and was drafted to France in March 1917. He left his wife and two young children. Andrew was buried at Gorre British and Indian cemetery, Pas de Calais, France and the cemetery has 904 named bodies buried. Service Number 242366

Private Wilfred Sinclair Gregory

was with the 20th Battalion, the Kings (Liverpool Regiment). He was the son of George Henry Gregory of “Glenville” St. Stephens Avenue, Whitegate Drive, Blackpool. His father received a letter stating that he had been killed on 31st July, 1917 when engaged as a company stretcher bearer, however, three days later he received a second letter stating that his son had been taken to hospital with serious head wounds and had died on 3rd August 1917 aged 26. He was buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium which holds 2436 named bodies. The inscription on the headstone reads “He died on the pathway of duty that others might live”.

Private Fred Crisp

was killed on the 21st March 1918 aged 26. He served with the 2nd/4th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment. Son of Mr And Mrs John Crisp and husband of Florence he lived at 4 Heathfield Avenue, Stacksteads. I have found no record of burial but he is commemorated at Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France which has 14709 named casualties.

Private James Edgar Law

died of wounds aged 19 on the 23rd March 1918. He was serving with the 2nd Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment and had been in France since July 1917. He was the son of James Benjamin and Mary Law of 4 Vale Terrace, Piercy, Waterfoot. He was an apprentice cabinet maker for James Holt and Sons, Waterfoot and was an ardent worker at Mount Zion Baptist Sunday School. A memorial service was held at church on the afternoon of Sunday 5th May 1918. James is buried at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery, Somme, France, which holds 1996 named bodies. The inscription on his headstone reads “Loved and Remembered”.

Bombardier Harry Wadsworth

was killed in action 23rd September 1918 aged 23. He was the son of Mr Crossley Wadsworth and Mrs Elizabeth Ann Wadsworth of Hawthorne House, 242 Edgeside Lane. He served with the Siege Battalion, Royal Garrison Artillery. He volunteered soon after war broke out and went to France in July 1915. His last leave was February 1918. He along with three other gunners were asleep near the gun position when a shell landed at 5am killing him and two others instantly. The letter to his parents stated that he was laid to rest “in a pleasantly situated cemetery” a few miles behind the line that same day. Harry was a belting weaver at John Taylor & Co. Ltd, Hollin Mill, Waterfoot and was the eldest of three sons. He was buried at Quent Communal Cemetery, British Extension, Pas de Calais, France where 270 named personnel are buried. The inscription on the headstone reads “memory is a golden chain death tries to break, but all in vain”. A memorial service was held at church on the afternoon of Sunday 13th October 1918.

Private Robinson Whittaker

– on the church memorial it states missing May 3rd 1917. The only reference I can find is that of a Private Robinson Whittaker who died on Thursday May 3rd 1917 who was attached to the 8th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment and is commemorated at Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.

This memorial commemorates nearly 35,000 soldiers of British, South African and New Zealand forces with no known grave. Most of those commemorated were killed in the Battle of Arras, fought between 9th April and 16th May 1917.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.

By Rona and Roger Roundell