Remembering the Euxton soldiers who gave their lives

As the Euxton War Memorial Group prepares to unveil the long-awaited monument this weekend, STUART CLEWLOW tells of some of the men honoured through the project.

The new Euxton War Memorial finally honours those from the village who lost their lives serving their country.

Cyril Balcombe

Cyril Balcombe

It commemorates casualties from both world wars as well as the wars in the Falklands and Afghanistan.

There is also the unusual feature of a female casualty from World War One who is buried across the road in St Mary’s RC Church yard.

The volunteers behind Euxton War Memorial Group have gone the extra mile to present details of the lives of the people from the roll of honour, so that future generations can appreciate that there is more to it than just a name on a granite stone.

- Cyril Balcombe used to live on Central Terrace, a workers’ residential area of the Royal Ordnance Factory.

A report featured in the Chorley Guardian that quoted Thomas’s Captain as saying he was an “example of courage and devotion to duty.”

Historian Stuart Clewlow

He had joined the Army before the war and served with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He died in the Far East on June 19, 1942.

- Joseph Beardsworth was born in Euxton on November 12, 1892, and before the war he was a weaver in a cotton mill.

He originally joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and fought at the Battles of the Somme, Mount Sorrel and Delville Wood.

He was killed in action serving with the Machine Gun Corps on February 19, 1917.

- Charles Eccles was born in 1897 and lived in Rose Hill Cottages, Euxton.

Before the war, he worked as a porter at Euxton Railway Station, was educated at Euxton National School and went to Euxton Parish Church.

On September 21, 1917, serving as a Private in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, he died after receiving gunshot wounds to the abdomen during the Battle of Menin Road, aged just 19.

- Alan Mahoney died in action serving with the Royal Air Force, on October 24, 1942.

He had been educated at Chorley Grammar School and his father was the verger at Euxton Parish Church.

Alan’s family were fortunate in some ways that his body was recovered and returned.

He was buried with full military honours at Euxton Parish Church and today his resting place can be identified with an official Commonwealth War Grave Commission headstone.

- Thomas Robinson was also killed in action aged just 19, and was another who died whilst serving in the Machine Gun Corps, having originally joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

He was born in March 1898 and lived on Pincock Street but employed at Leyland Rubber Works.

A report featured in the Chorley Guardian that quoted Thomas’s Captain as saying he was an “example of courage and devotion to duty.”

- Peter Roscoe had originally joined the Army in 1902 and served his time until being recalled for active service in 1914.

At the age of 31, he was the first from Euxton and one of the first from the Chorley borough to be killed in action on November 2, 1914.

He had served in the early battles of Mons, Marne and Aisne, never seeing the full horrors that trench warfare became.

This is just a selection of case studies from the Euxton roll of honour, and further details about the casualties can be seen on the Euxton War Memorial Group’s website (www.euxton-war-memorial-group.org.uk) or in a book to accompany the project, Euxton War Stories, which is available to buy from Euxton Library.

A war memorial honouring soldiers who served their country will be officially dedicated on Sunday.

The new monument will commemorate the 49 men and one woman from Euxton who gave their lives in the Great War, Second World War, the Falklands and Afghanistan.

Euxton War Memorial Group was formed after dad-of-two David Markland, from Euxton, died in Afghanistan in 2010.

His family discovered that although there were four memorials in Euxton, they only had the names of 20 people.

The group has worked for nearly five years to make the war memorial a reality. It is located on the corner of School Lane and Wigan Road in Euxton.

The dedication ceremony will start at 1pm on Sunday and will include members of three churches, schoolchildren, current service personnel, military cadets and Preston Pipers.