Hundreds pay respects at Euxton War Memorial dedication

Euxton War Memorial group chairman, Jim Brotherston
Euxton War Memorial group chairman, Jim Brotherston
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“At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

“Although the Euxton War Memorial Group has worked tirelessly for nearly five years, Euxton has waited nearly 100 years for its first all-inclusive public war memorial in honour of its residents who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service with the armed forces”

Stuart Clewlow, Euxton War Memorial Group member

Around 500 people attended a moving ceremony for the dedication of Euxton War Memorial on Sunday.

After almost five years of fund-raising, members of the Euxton War Memorial Group were proud to see their hard work rewarded with a successful dedication service in honour of 50 casualties from the village who have died in service from 1914 to 2010.

The hour-long ceremony, which included a number of readings and hymns, was opened with a flyover ‘salute’ by Martin Keen of KeenAir Ltd, who spiralled above the Wigan Road memorial three times in his Piper Arrow aeroplane.

The City of Preston Corps of Pipes and Drums then played ‘Amazing Grace’, and a welcome speech was made by the group’s chairman, Jim Brotherston, before he handed over to representatives from Euxton Parish Church, St Mary’s RC Church and Euxton Methodist Church.

Member of Euxton War Memorial Group, Stuart Clewlow, who has spent years researching the names and stories of Euxton’s war heroes, said: “It was great to see the community coming together and paying their respects.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to be apart of this project.”

Wreaths and poppies which had been hand-made by school children were laid for each of the 49 men and one woman who gave their lives in the Great War, the Second World War, the Falklands and Afghanistan, including David Markland, who died in 2010.

The group was formed after the dad-of-two’s death, and his family discovered that although there were four memorials in Euxton, they only had the names of 20 people.

Mr Clewlow explained: “Although the Euxton War Memorial Group has worked tirelessly for nearly five years, Euxton has waited nearly 100 years for its first all-inclusive public war memorial in honour of its residents who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service with the armed forces.

“The group of volunteers have dedicated hundreds of hours to research and fund-raising to accomplish the required funds for the Portland stone and granite memorial, which is constructed by a detachment of Royal Engineers and also a traditional stone mason.

“The war memorial will undoubtedly become a village landmark.”

As Mr Clewlow read out the casualties’ names from the memorial roll of honour, relatives of the heros came forward to lay the poppies, and members of the community, including school children, did the honours for those whose families haven’t been traced.

“The dedication ceremony was in many ways seen as a celebration of a successfully completed project,” Mr Clewlow added. “But more importantly, it was a way to commemorate Euxton’s fallen, which will also be observed in a more traditional and sombre ceremony in November.”

A plaque has been erected next to the memorial, and a booklet detailing the lives of Euxton’s fallen is now available to buy from Euxton Library.