Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

The stories behind the names on Hoddlesden War memorial

Recommended Posts


100 years on.... more than just names, who were they?

I too am researching and gathering info regarding the names on the Hoddlesden war memorial.

I work in the local school and would like the children to create a lasting memory for each soldier to go into a book kept in the local history box for future years (I am also thinking of creating a time capsule to go in the foundations of a new extension)

Working with several geneologists locally we have been able to compile the basic details for about 2/3rds of the names but have no pics or stories to go with them.

It also appears that there are many more local lads (Hoddlesden, Blacksnape, Waterside, Yates and Pick-up Bank) who are not mentioned on the memorial (found either in the local graveyards or on the local roll of honour).

Can you help in any way? Especially pics as this helps the children to understand that there was a real person behind the name.

Many thanks


Link to post
Share on other sites


Have you tried the local library to see if newspapers from the time have been put on microfilm. These would contain obituaries and photo's for some of the men you are looking for.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hoddlesden? is that the one near Darwen?, If so your research may have some names that i am also looking at (see interests). I don't have photographs but if any were Railway men in that area is it likley they would have worked for the L&Y so I may be able to add some details as to what they did before the war.

How many names are on the memorial? and is it one of the 3 listed on http://www.ukniwm.org.uk? if so then the following newspapers may give you some more information

"DARWEN NEWS" 03 AUG 1921 "BLACKBURN TIMES" 02 July 1921, 06 AUG 1921


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies.

We now have the basic details for most men on the memorial, but just a couple of stories and pics.

Duncan - You used THAT word that makes me shiver....'microfilm'! There are lots of newspaper archives in Darwen Library but they cover the thousands of men from throughout Darwen who gave their lives and there's a lot to go through. I'm sure that the men will be there but it took me weeks to find just1 last time so I'm saving that option untill last (hmmm, perhaps the children might like a trip to the library...???)

Glen: Yes it is the third one. The second one is in the school church and has the names of the church boys who's bodies were never returned. In addition there's the 11 names on the gravestones in the church yard. As for connections to the railway, the Hoddlesden line was frieght only, Most villiages were employed in the colleries, cotton factories or pipe and brick works. I have searched through lots of census data with the kids and don't recall seing any 'rail' type occupations but I might be wrong. I also have the local schools enrolment register for late 1800's if you ever want to cross ref the men.

Link to post
Share on other sites

UKNIWM shows 16 "Did not Return" on that memorial, but unfortunatley no newspaper reference (I have found that the reports of some dedication ceremonies have details about those named on the memorial)

If you want to message me the 16 names - and any more you are looking at, then I will cross reference against my own lists and see if we have any who are compatable


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hoddlesden War memorial (Basic details nearly complete apart from red - looking for stories and pics)

William Ainsworth; Thomas Herbert Briggs; Robert William Briggs; William Thomas Briggs; Thomas Briggs; Job Booth; Joseph Bowker; John Crompton; Thomas Cooper; Gabrial Martin Canovan; James Stephen Canovan; Ralph Thomas Drinkwater; John William Duerden; William Henry Duckworth; Benjamin Entwistle; John Gilligan; Henry (Harry) Houghton; Edward Houghton; Benjamin Pickup Holden; Edmund Harwood; Arthur Harwood; Frank (Francis) Harwood; Hubert Harwood; Christopher Heap; George Hunt; George Henry Haworth; George Haworth; Albert Irwin; Thomas Johnson; William Leach; Norman Marsden; Howard Marsden; Martin Pilkington; Philip Riley; Clifford Riley; Joseph Smith; Robert Summerfield; Wellington Henry Townsend; Edward Walsh; John W Watson; John James Waddicor; Hubert Wood; John James Whittaker; John West; Robert Youd.

Hoddlesden St Paul's Church:

All appear on main memorial

Briggs Robert Briggs Thomas H Briggs William T Crompton John Drinkwater Ralph T Duckworth William H Duerden John W Entwistle Benjamin Haworth George H Holden Benjamin P Houghton Edward Houghton Henry Irwin Albert Leach William Smith Joseph Whittaker John J

Wesleyian Church memorial (7names):

memorial lost as church closed but the building is now owned by a business run by someone in the villiage and I am in the process of trying to find what happened to the memorial.

Graveyard at St Pauls -

Summerfield Robert; Ward William H; Leach Fielding William H; Shaw Richard; Cooper James Entwistle; Brindle John James; Lightbown John Thomas; Moulden Robert Boardman; Entwistle Benjamin; Holden Benjamin P; Whittaker John James; Muir Arthur; Robinson J.

Some died 1919 and 1920.... does that mean they were prob brought home to military hospitals like Bull Hill?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the names, unfortunately none match with my research.

The cut off date for the 1st war was August 1921, so any former service personel whid died from the effects of the war (the full criteria is here -http://www.infromthecold.org/war_grave_criteria.asp) up to that date would be entitled to a war grave. Those named may have been in hospital at the time of death, but may also have been discharged


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 11 months later...

whilst researching the local men of Hoddlesden who died during WW1, I noticed that some were not mentioned on the local memorials. A local group are currently raising money to have them added to the village memorial. They have asked me to help get together a list of missing names. Which leads me to my questions.....

1. Where would the experienced researchers amongst you start? (I'm wandering aimlessly through newspapers, census, school records).

2. Is it right, all these years later, to add names (especially as we don't know the reasons why they were never included)?

Your thoughts and opinions would be very much appreciated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone conducting research especially on WW1 Memorials more often than not find many more persons wit links to that location than appear on the Memorial!

That's because we have many more records available to search through, from books, War Diaries, and all the access of the internet.

What we DON'T have is the local knowledge as to WHY some Names were included that don't seem to have any connection and why some that obviously (now) did!

Whether it's by deliberate or accidental omission, we can't know now, so I'm rather loathe to expect the Memorials to be amended, except in special circumstances.

The place to start is the Memorial, and all records associated with it, such as a Memorial Committee and which Names were submitted. Many were raised by public subscription.

Newspaper archives are also useful, but it may involve a lot of time to physically sit and review 4 or more years of newspaper editions!

What about other library sources, books written about local units, and searches on ships or other major incidents such as Jutland or the Somme.

You'll need a strong sense of humour, a dogged determination and a positive outlook.

Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites


I have to agree that in my opinion you should not change your memorial by adding new names. Memorials were normally erected by public subscription and the criteria for those who were to be added varied quite alot from place to place. Decissions were made based on that local criteria and it is not for us to medle in them. You can't change history. It is very easy in hindsight to want to change things but one must respect what was originally done for whatever reason.

However, I am all for remembering those that you feel should now be recorded. Indeed I would encourage this because everyone involved in the conflict should never be forgotten. Do this, however, by having a second memorial. It could be a simple plaque that compliments the original memorial but should be seperate and clearly shown to be.

Well that's my thoughts anyway.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whilst researching the men on Rhyl memorial I just typed their name, regiment and year of death into Google. Surprisingly quite a few came up trumps, including photos and biographies. It seems a bit haphazard but it may produce results. Good luck. Oh and The British Newspaper Archive often have one month subscription deals for £1, worth looking into that as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have access to Ancestry? Our students have used this to look at census details which gives information about occupation, siblings etc. If you have the time to go back through 1911, 1901, 1891 etc you will probably find links between families. You can also see who else is researching these names, which may allow you to contact relatives. I used it to search SDGW for soldiers who gave Brigg as their place of residence on enlistment. This brought up fewer than half of the men actually listed on the memorial and half a dozen who weren't. Of these one was in prison in 1911!

Our town council have also decided not to add any names to the memorial for similar reasons to those mentioned by Tanks above.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your prompt replies.

I've trawled ancestry and the 1st year of local newspapers (until the microfiche knocked me seasick lol).

The main problem being that the men came from 3 satellite villages located in darwen, (part of Blackburn also called over darwen) so already I have 6 search locations (assuming that the records have been transcribed with the correct spelling).....

Many joined ELR as 2 local highly thought of gentry were captains of divisions but their battalions were merged several times so searching reg data is hard...

Kevinbattle.... You mentioned memorial committee....where could I find this information do you think? The only newspaper ref I can find is about the unveiling of the memorial in 1921.

Once again, thanks for your thoughts.... The memorial is in its own enclosed grassed area, perhaps I might suggest a smaller inscribed stone or urn.....

Link to post
Share on other sites


What can I say?

The place to start is the Memorial, and all records associated with it, such as a Memorial Committee and which Names were submitted. Many were raised by public subscription.

Is it a Church, Parish Council or private Memorial? Try those as a starter.

Ask in the pub, that should get some answers!

If you don't have info, a local History Society may be able to help, or your County Records Office.

Someone had to start the ball rolling, usually some local big wig in order to get the right permissions etc, and if collecting funds was involved then someone had to be held to account for the proper disposal of the funds.

If the Memorial is in need of repair, there are grants available from various Memorial charities

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 years later...

Hi just spotted your site.  Here are some photos of the connections that Robert had with Hoddlesden and the war.   

   I am not a blood relative of Robert but we  share the same name and family linage further back in time ; somewhere.  I will post some more photos soon. I don’t have any photos of Robert or his family. I would love to see any if you have some. 

    He is buried in France.. though his name is on the Hoddlesden gravestone. I know that they never told his father of his death; he died a few months later.  

     Regards David. 







Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...