First World War Memorial at Thornton
Second World War Memorial at Thornton
The author of a new book about Poulton War Memorial shares some of the history of the Thornton monument with us.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
In 1919 a temporary war memorial was constructed in Woodlands Avenue Thornton, but in 1923 a permanent war memorial was built at Four Lane Ends, Thornton. This memorial was officially unveiled on 11th November 1923, the fifth anniversary of the end of the First World War.
For most of the 19th century the main occupation of the people in the area had been in agriculture, however, this all changed when in the 1890's the United Alkali Company (later to become Imperial Chemical Industries) built the chemical factories at Burn Naze, Thornton. The construction of the factories involved employing workers from outside the area and many of the men came from Ireland. When the factories were completed some of these men settled in Thornton Cleveleys and continued to work at the chemical factories or found other jobs in the area. Additional staff also moved to Thornton from the United Alkali Company's other factories at Widnes.
When war broke out in August 1914 many of the volunteers for military service came from not only local men but also from the communities that had settled in the area some years earlier. This is the reason why some of the surnames on the war memorial are not recognisable as local names from previous generations.
When the Second World War started in 1939 Thornton Cleveleys men and women were once again called upon to do their bit and the open book design which surrounds the original war memorial on which their names are inscribed bears testimony to their sacrifice on behalf of their country. Included in these names are those of three local women.
The First World War memorial contains 84 names whilst the Second World War Memorial contains 75 names. When in recent years the Imperial Chemical Industries factories were closed down and demolished, it became necessary to find a place in which to re-locate the Imperial Chemical Industries War Memorial commemorating company employees who died in both world wars. This memorial has now been placed within the confines of the Thornton Cleveleys War Memorial. It contains 50 names from the First World War and just 9 names from the Second World War. As would be expected many of the names are duplicates of those already on the main Thornton Cleveleys War Memorial.
For anyone interested in the men named on Poulton-le-Fylde War Memorial, a new bookwas published in 2011 entitled 'POULTON-LE-FYLDE WAR MEMORIAL AND THE MEN BEHIND THE NAMES'�. Written by a local military researcher, it contains 138 pages of information and photographs including 20 pages of photographs in colour. Priced at �9.50 it is only obtainable from the author. Telephone number 01253 882474.
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