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Conserving West Lancashire’s war memorials

Extensive research by West Lancashire Borough Council has been successful in earning seven of the area’s war memorial a place on the National Heritage List for England.

War memorials provide communities with an enduring link to those hundreds of thousands who gave their lives in the First World War.  They are an integral part of the social history of our villages and towns and are important places of commemoration for local communities.

No area of our heritage is more poignant than war memorials. They are found everywhere, and link the tragic impact of world wars with local communities across the land. Every community sent people off to fight and work; virtually all suffered losses, creating a powerful need for memorials. No greater wave of public remembrance has ever happened in history.

West Lancashire has a number of free standing War Memorials, many of which are found in our public spaces, parks and within Churchyards.   Six of the memorials in the Borough are publicly owned by the Council.

To mark the centenary of the First World War, Historic England have embarked upon a five-year project to nationally recognise the importance of war memorials and add those memorials which meet the national criteria to the National Heritage List for England.

As part of the national project, over the last 18 months, West Lancashire Borough Council’s Heritage and Environment Team have researched the history of our war memorials currently not ‘listed’ and under the national project have been successful in getting seven further war memorials nationally recognised and added onto the National List for England. This means that 15 out of the 18 free standing war memorials in the borough are now listed and nationally recognised. Some of these are owned by the Council.

The newly listed war memorials are:

Banks, in the grounds of St Stephens Church, Banks

Burscough, corner of Junction Lane and Liverpool Road South, Burscough (Council owned)

Great Altcar, in the grounds of St Michael and All Angels Church, Lord Sefton Way, Great Altcar

Hesketh Bank, in the grounds of All Saints Church, Station Road, Hesketh Bank

Lathom, Hall Lane, Lathom (Council owned)

Ormskirk Comrades, Coronation Park, Ormskirk (Council owned)

Tarleton, in the grounds of Holy Trinity Church, Church Road, Tarleton

Councillor John Hodson, portfolio holder for Planning said: “West Lancashire Borough Council understands that it is very important for communities to remember the fallen servicemen and women who have given their lives for their country. Recognising the importance of our war memorials to public remembrance is important to us and getting these war memorials ‘listed’ means that they will continue as lasting reminders of the sacrifice made by our servicemen and women.”

More information on the Council’s war memorials can be found on the Council’s Web site at www.westlancs.gov.uk/warmemorials.

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