Nelson War Heroes

A memorial…

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St John's Churchyard, Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, Lancashire

National Lottery support for The Friends of St John’s Churchyard to mark the First World War Centenary
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The Friends of St John’s Churchyard have received a National Lottery grant of £8300 to research Nelson’s First World War Heritage as recorded in St John’s Churchyard. Awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War then and now programme, the project will focus on generating a database of the casualties, researching and documenting their lives within the local community and creating a permanent memorial to these local men in the form of a Garden enhanced by information boards.

To mark the Centenary of the First World War, the project will enable people in Nelson and surrounding areas to come together to preserve the stories and heritage of the local people who lived and died during the First World War. Volunteers will acquire new skills through completing guided research; media requests will enable the public to share family items such as photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and photos of keepsakes, as well as family tales passed down to help them build a clear picture of what life was really like.
The information will be accessible to all through this newly created website. Events and exhibitions will publicise and share our findings and at the same time commemorate the lives of ordinary men from our community who died as a result of the First World War.

There are over 100 local men buried or commemorated in the churchyard at St John’s; until now there has been no permanent memorial recognising all of them. In this Centenary year it is fitting that we acknowledge and remember their huge sacrifice and discover and share as much as we can about their lives and also those of their families left behind.

Information please

This website will be an ever-growing project to honour the 109 who are buried or commemorated in the Churchyard of St John's in Nelson, Lancashire. We will try to tell their stories, but we also want to document the effect that this Great War had on the community of Nelson - the women left behind, the poverty and consequences on industry in the area.

We are searching for any information/pictures/documents/stories that relatives may have regarding the 109 soldiers. We have a list of them here. Please help us if you do have anything - contact us through email (contact form below).

Website under construction
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  • Local MP Andrew Stephenson opens Memorial Garden
  • Stone Planters for Roses
  • Sandstone Plaque
The Memorial Garden
The Garden has been created as a lasting memorial to honour over 100 local men who died in World war One and who are buried in the churchyard or remembered on St John's Roll of Honour

Some casualties are buried in Commonwealth War Graves, others in family graves; many fell on the battlefields, particularly in the Battle of the Somme, and were never recovered. Few families are able to visit where they died or attend memorials abroad, so the Garden will provide a tranquil accessible alternative.

It is also to commemorate the 100th anniversary to the end of World war One.

Symbolism in the Garden

An avenue of silver birch trees represent soldiers on parade
" A native tree, the silver birch is thought to symbolise renewal and love. Good for wildlife, and used to make hardwearing bobbins, spools and reels for the Lancashire cotton industry."

Hornbeams stand to attention at the end of the avenue
"Reported to be the only single tree left in Delville Wood, known by soldiers as "Devil's Wood', where fighting was particularly ferocious during the Battle of the Somme. Also native and good for wildlife"

Small rose garden in four stone planters
"Different coloured roses to signify the stages of grief and bereavement - red (anger), purple (denial), pink (acceptance), white (remembrance).

Blue Slate covers the rose garden and is kept in place by a surround of uninscribed sandstone kerbstones.

Sandstone Plaque


Local Men: Local Heroes
Lest We Forget
Pause Reflect Remember
1914-1918

Kindly donated by….

Stevenson Memorials, Blackburn logo
Churchyard Location

St John with St Philip Church
Barkerhouse Road
Nelson, Lancashire
BB9 9EY

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