Town’s permanent memorial in battlefields of France

The site of Chorley Street trench on the Somme
The site of Chorley Street trench on the Somme
Share this article

A First World War enthusiast has discovered a trench with a local connection on the Somme battlefield in northern France.

Named Chorley Street, it is close to the village of Ovillers-La Boiselle and not far from the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

It was found almost by accident by Graham Hough, 71, who lives in Astley Village and is a member of the Chorley In The Great War group.

He was walking the Somme trench line from Fricourt to Thiepval, aided by a First World War digital mapping software app, when a range of trenches with local names appeared on his phone.

Chorley Street trench was part of the British front line called The Nab and was probably named by local men who served there in late 1915.

There are other trenches called Bamber Bridge Street and Horwich Street nearby.

Steve Williams, Chorley In The Great War chairman and Chorley Remembers project manager, said: “It is quiet significant and shows the local link to the Somme well before the Chorley Pals arrived in the spring of 1916.

“Our research indicates the trenches were originally dug by the French but when the British took them over, they renamed them.”

Graham thinks they were named by members of the Chorley Terriers, whose battalion war diary records them being there in December 1915.

He would also like to find out if The Nab was named by them after Healey Nab.

Chorley In The Great War will hold its next meeting at 2pm on September 7 at Euxton Community Centre, when local historian, Stuart Clewlow, will give a talk named Euxton In The First World War.