Funding granted to East Lancs war commemoration projects

TWO First World War commemoration projects in East Lancashire have been granted substantial funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Veterans in Communities, a Rossendale-based military charity, and Child Action North West in Blackburn are two of six groups from Lancashire and Greater Manchester to receive a share of £51,100 to mark the local impact of the conflict.

Bob Elliott, operational manager of Veterans in Communities, said the £10,000 funding was “fantastic news”.

He said: “We will use the money to help us clean up the 50 headstones of soldiers in the First World War in Bacup and Stacksteads Cemetery, which are disappearing, and to create a plinth to the 70 fallen who do not have headstones. We will also be researching the stories behind them.

“We are putting in a new dry stone wall in Whitworth Memorial Park, to replace the collapsed one, and landscaping there.

“One of our members is also making a wicker model of a World War One tank to stand at the entrance to Whitworth from the Rochdale side.

“We’d really like people to get involved.

“It’s something the whole community can take part in and be proud of.” Wilpshire-based Child Action North West is to use £7,800 to work with Blackburn schoolchildren to explore and commemorate the lives of 10 boys from Blackburn Orphanage who were killed during the First World War.

A memorial garden will also be created within the former orphanage grounds and the children will film a documentary based on their research, to be used as a learning resource in the future.

Helen Grant MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Equalities, announced the grant decisions at a visit to the Fusilier Museum in Bury.

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