Village must have its own war memorial for heroes we’ve lost

Remembered: Warrant Officer David Markland, who was killed in Afghanistan
Remembered: Warrant Officer David Markland, who was killed in Afghanistan
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Last week the Guardian reported how a campaign to create a war memorial in Euxton was gathering pace.

Warrant Officer David Markland, 36, from the village, was killed in Afghanistan on February 8, 2010.

This week historian Stuart Clewlow has written an article about why it’s so vital.

Recently the Chorley Pals statue has come to epitomise the district’s commitment in the First World War.

But, the landmark statue and roll of honour is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of people from the borough of Chorley who have served and died during conflict.

That is not to say though, that anyone who wasn’t a ‘Chorley Pal’ has been forgotten.

There aren’t many villages within Chorley that don’t have a war memorial, war memorial building or memorial garden.

For example, St Pauls tower in Adlington is a war memorial, there is the war memorial garden in Withnell Fold and even the Bay Horse Pub at Heath Charnock has a war memorial plaque inside.

However, one Chorley village without a public war memorial and roll of honour, despite many residents having died in conflict, is Euxton.

It should be noted that Euxton does have four listed memorials; inside the Methodist Church, the Lych Gate of the Parish Church, St.Marys RC plaque and the War Memorial Club (The Insty).

But Euxton cannot boast of having a public war memorial which can be accessed by anyone, at any time of the day, unhindered by licensing laws or issues of religion.

Since the start of World War One, Euxton has lost many of its sons and at least one daughter.

More made the ultimate sacrifice in World War Two and during this conflict Euxton had even formed its own detachment of the Home Guard, ready to defend the village against a very real threat of invasion.

It should also be remembered that even those who survived the conflict had risked everything and many did not come back the same as they had left, be it through injury or things they had experienced.

Sadly, although to many people World War One and Two, seems like history now, the story of sacrifice continues.

This February marks the one year anniversary of the death of Euxton soldier David Markland in Afghanistan.

Jim Brotherston, himself a long-serving Soldier, and Stephen Berry, are David Markland’s uncle and cousin respectively.

Commendably and unselfishly, they are leading the way for a public war memorial in Euxton; not just as a mark of respect for David, but to remember all those from Euxton who have lost their lives in service of their country.

A war memorial committee is being formed with the support of Euxton Parish Council but it is hoped that the group will be able to raise the funds to apply for charitable status.

In turn grants can be applied for to part fund the project. Provisional aspirations are for a public war memorial with a roll of honour and possibly the production of a booklet detailing the military and social history of Euxton and with information of those who lost their lives and also to acknowledge the service of those who were fortunate to return home.

At this stage any ideas, suggestions or donations are welcome but the core aspect to this project and the request at present, is that the families of those people that this project relates to, get in touch.

The War Memorial Committee wish to hear from anyone who thinks a relative may be eligible for inclusion on the war memorial; that is to say anyone having been born, employed or residing in Euxton at the time of their death in service.

It should also be stressed that it isn’t confined to WW1 or WW2 but any conflict such as Suez, Korea, Falklands- to the present day.

The group would also like to hear from anyone from Euxton who served in the Armed Forces at any time, for example, were you in the Euxton Home Guard? Were you born in Euxton and called up for National Service?

To find out more about the ambitions of the project or to offer assistance or information, contact Jim Brotherston on 01257 412133 or email euxtonmemorial@ymail.com