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War Grave wreath presentation in Darwen

GroundworkChristmas2012Nicola Jackson who is a nurse in Sidney, Australia, laid a wreath to Australian solider Alfred Ward during the Christmas Holidays at Darwen Western Cemetery.

Nicola, daughter of Rosemary Jackson, Secretary of FODC is one of the furthest Friends and has completed much research on the grave in Darwen.

Students from Blackburn College along with volunteers from supported accommodation came together with Groundwork Pennine Lancashire's Youth Team to create Christmas wreaths, grave pots and table decorations as part of the Community Space Challenge Programme which is funded by the National Lottery & managed through Catch 22.

The volunteers made over 30 decorations which were donated to a number of Care homes, DACA's Senior Citizens Party & The Friends of Darwen

John East, Chairman said, "It is wonderful to remember the War dead, especially with a casualty who is buried so far away from home.

Nicola has researched the solider and help to transcribe many of the old
cemetery records as a friend of the cemetery group. With help from Groundwork we were able to remember
many of the
90 war dead buried in the Western Cemetery."

Picture has Nicola Jackson (knelt and Karen Marsden and Deborah Robinson from Groundwork laying the wreath at the war grave in Darwen Cemetery.

                                                         FODC December 2012

Notice for Section B

The Friends of Darwen Cemetery are currently
undertaking tidying of this section and hope to start work on repairing
headstones shortly. 

We would like to identify people who still tend a grave here and would be grateful if you could let us have your current contact details 
Please ring the Cemetery Office
on 0845 6066612 (local call rate)

35 headstones were repaired in 2011 with funds raised by the Friends of Darwen Cemetery.
Funds are now available to complete Section B.

To print off the poster click on the image.

                                                        FODC December 2012

2012 Working Parties Come to an

robin-and-holly[1]Hi All. 

As we reach the end of our year's activities I would like to extend my personal
thanks to all the friends who have given so freely of their time, energy and skills, 
in so many ways, throughout the year
Without all your efforts the progress
achieved in the last twelve months would not have been possible.
Wishing you all a peaceful
Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Thanks again Mick W.

P.S. Next Saturday session 26th. Jan 2013 --- See you there ?

RJC013Remebrance Day 2012

Friends of Darwen Cemetery have once again held their Services of Remembrance. 

On Friday 9th November the Friends of Darwen Cemetery held, what is fast becoming, their annual Service of Remembrance.

Over eighty pupils from ten local primary schools and students from Darwen Vale and DACA attended the service to mark the sacrifice made by the fallen soldiers. 

Officiated by Rev Terry Young and attended by the Dept Colonel of
the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Steven Davies, MP Jake Berry, Veteran Richard Westall and Alf Davy
a Second World War - Prisoner of War, who all placed wreaths on the Cross of Sacrifice followed by a two minute silence. 

RJC016Following the service the pupils toured the cemetery with the
visiting dignitaries and placed poppies on each of the Commonwealth War graves.

One pupil from St Barnabas said to Richard Westall - "It has been a pleasure to meet you sir" and warmly shook his hand.

A Sudell Primary school pupil said, "It was an

interesting service and I am glad I could be part of it."

RJC019 The service was repeated on Sunday 11th November where once again St Joseph's Scouts attended the service but were this year joined by the Beavers, Cubs and Scouts from the
Whitehall Packs. The services followed the same format as the Friday service.

This was followed by the scout groups visiting each of the war graves they sponsor and lowering their flags as a mark of respect.

The Friends of Darwen Cemetery would like to thank all those who
attended the service as well as the volunteers who helped make the service such a success.

Link to more

                                                          FODC December 2012

FODC Collect a cheque for 2,000.00 from the 
Crown Awards.
Jill and Rosemary received a cheque for 2,000 from the Crown Paint 
Town Council from the Mayor of Darwen, Cllr Eileen Entwistle.

We are using the money to finish off putting the headstones back up in Section B
 FODC November 2012


Darwen Cemetery Welcomes Two New War

During September the Commonwealth War Grave Commission erected two New War Graves in the Western Cemetery

The two graves are Private V. Cocker (photograph on the left) and Lance Bombardier H.A. Haworth (photograph on the right) both the graves are found in Section 4B, unfortunately both of these graves will remain unadopted due to the rest of the grave been unsafe.

V. Cocker                                          H.A. Haworth

If you wish to see more information about the 2 war graves click on the photograph to go direct to the graves of V.Cocker and H.A.Haworth.

If you would like to see more about the 97 war graves in Darwen Cemetery click on the link below.

War Graves

                                                                FODC October 2012

Collage of Photographs of Darwen

Photograph by Alan Walton


FODC raise 248 at Darwen Gala.


FODC one again attended
this years Darwen Gala, this year with two stalls, we had a fund
raisingstall out in the main field and an information stall in the Marquee.

We managed to raise 248.90 from a bottle raffle and and the Cemetery Game for the kids, together with some donations.

Thank you to everybody who donated the bottles and small gifts in the lucky dip box.

The weather stayed fine and the Gala was well attended with a steady flow throughout the afternoon. 


On the day we also completed 42 questionnaires for the Heritage Bid, 
all 42 replies were in favour of developing a Heritage Walk around the Cemetery to commemorate the war dead buried in the
Cemetery which died in the Great War of 1914 - 1918. 

Thank you to all the members who helped throughout the

                                                              FODC August 2012

FODC win the Darwen Asda Community Life
Over the last few month shoppers at Asda Darwen having been voting for various local charities using a token system.

 You shop then you drop your token in your chosen charity. We gained more votes and in doing so earned 100 donation from the Asda Community Fund.
Many thanks to Darwen shoppers for voting for The Friends of Darwen

Picture L to R Kirsty Entwistle (Community Coordinator), 
John East, Chair FODC & Stephanie Davies, Manager of the Darwen Asda Store.

                                                       FODC August 2012

Pat on the Back for Diane


Congratulations from all at the FODC to Diane Davieis who was awarded a "Pat on the Back Award" from Leader of BwD Council Leader Kate Holhern at a recent presentation event at Scholars Restaurant in Blackburn. 

Diane was nominated for her dedication and voluntary work developing the Friends " Adopt A War Grave" Scheme.

                                                               FODC June 2012

5th_newsletter_sumer_2012_page_1Our next FODC News Bulletin is now available.

In our Summer 2012 edition we have articles on the Opening of the Nature Garden, Dates for your diary, Darwen's link to Anne Frank, an invite to our Strawberry Tea and How we went Batty for the second time.

Click on the image to open.


                                                                                FODC June 2012


Heritage Open Days
Darwen Western Cemetery

Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th
11.00am - 4.00pm
  • Family History Help Desk
  • FODC Information and Display
  • Guided Walks

Click on the image to enlarge or to print.

                                                                                          FODC August 2012

whitehall_in_bloom_posterWhitehall in Bloom

Click on the image to read or print off the poster.

John East June 2012

Cemetery gates wrecked

W_Park_2_(1)An enormous Beech tree, at least 50ft tall, uprooted from the north side of the park over the Jubilee weekend and crashed on to the top gates of the old cemetery, demolishing one post and badly wrecking another. 

Branches were broken off another Beech tree in the cemetery as it came down. 

The fallen tree is about 50-60ins diameter and completely blocked the bridle path and the top-of-Lark-Street entrance to the cemetery. 
Harold Heys, who took the picture (above), said he hoped the Council would quickly re-erect the elegant gates which have been there for over 100 years once they have shifted the tree. 

Luckily no one was walking past but it does draw attention to other old trees in the old cemetery and the town's parks.

Council workmen were quickly on the scene the day after the Jubilee weekend and chopped up the tree to allow access.

                                                                FODC June 2012 

Birds in Darwen Old Cemetery, Bridleway and Whitehall Park May 2012

Blackbird, Black cap, Blue tit, Coal tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Crow, Dunnock.

Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Greenfinch,


Grey Wagtail, House Martin, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Lesser black-backed and black headed gulls (overhead), Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Meadow Pipit,


Mistle Thrush,
Nuthatch, Robin, Skylark, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk (overhead), Swallow, Swift (overhead), Treecreeper, Willow Warbler,
Wood pigeon, and Wren

Compiled by Mavis Smith on three visits on 3rd, 11th and 18th May 2012 in the afternoon

                                                          FODC May 2012

Opening of the Nature Garden

Over 60 people attended the official opening of the FODC Award for All Nature Garden on Saturday 28th April 2012.

The BwD Mayor Coun. Karimah Foster unvieed the boulder plaque and commented on the the exhaustive work of the FODC volunteers.


The sun shone and everyone enjoyed the occasion. Several guests attended including the new head teacher of Darwen Vale High School, Mrs. Fiona Jack attended and was amazed at the progress and commitment of the residents.


Later in the afternoon, FODC Rosemary Jackson and Chairman John East escorted Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry around the cemetery to show off the work of the volunteers.


John East said, "The opening went very well and we congratulate all the FODC for making such a difference to the cemetery. We have reached another milestone of development and look forward to further challenges and partnerships."

Photos courtesy of Roy Cox
                                                       FODC April 2012
Thank you to Gordon Gillett for sign writing the Planter.

Darwen's Link to Anne Frankrudolf_and_piano

It started with a book I was reading. In it was a photograph of an elderly man playing the piano and the caption said, "Grandfather Rudolf at the piano in a pub in Darwin (sic), Lancashire 1943".

The book was, 'The Promise' by Eva Schloss and Barbara Powers. The book tells Eva's story and how she survived Auschwitz. Along with another book, Eva's Story by Eva Schloss and Evelyn Kent I have been able to piece Rudolf's story together and along the way discovered a link to Anne Frank.

For the full story click on the below link


Family Graves In Darwen Western Cemetery

One of the aims of the Friends of Darwen Cemetery is to raise funds to get the toppled headstones in the cemetery re-erected. In this time of cuts this is proving to be a difficult task so it is really good that some people are having their own family graves re-fixed by local stonemasons who are willing to help with this work

One example is the fixing of the toppled cross in Section 2 of the Rev. Phillip Graham who built St John's Church in Darwen by a relative who lives down south. We have also been able to help a 90 year old gentleman to get his parents grave refixed and the lettering repainted.


Teresa Taylor from Samlesbury has contacted us with photographs of her family's grave in Section 5. Her great grandfather was James Brown who lived in Darwen and worshipped at St Joseph's Church.
He was a stonemason who worked all over the world, including St Cecilia's Church in New York. He returned to Darwen where he died from a lung disease probably brought on from the stone dust.

The family grave has been fixed by
Brent Stevensons Memorials Ltd
, Blackburn and James Stevenson has done an excellent job.

Visitors to the cemetery researching their Family History often find their family from the Victorian and early 20th Century have been buried in unmarked or common graves. Some families have either purchased a new headstones listing their relatives or purchased a wedge in the Ashes Memorial Garden listing their family.

If you would like information about stonemasons in the area you can find approved stonemasons on the National Association of Memorial Mason website (www.namm.org.uk)

                                                                FODC April 2012

Stand out in Darwen hits the Cemetery

daca_3"DACA volunteering students arrived on time at the end of the last two days of the school term to support the FODC in clearing the path gutters of weeds and moss.

Around 15 came well equipped and motivated with FODC trustee and Humanities teacher
Adam Turner. 

In two days they completed the task and now we await some good weather to re set the curb stones. 

FODC works manager Mick
Walsh and Vice Chairman, Pat O'Reilly supervised and helped with the work.

Chairman, John East who was also on hand said, "Adam and myself are highly pleased with the two day volunteering work completed and the Y8 and sixth form students proved themselves - I am highly delighted they completed their set objective and they have make a big different to the Ashes section of the cemetery. 

Just goes to prove that young people when motivated can prove themselves worthy in a climate when young people in generally get a bad press - well done DACA students."
The Students have been asked to present the two day volunteering project at the FODC AGM on Wed. 25th April 2012 at 7pm

                                                           FODC April 2012

Dead Art Competition 2012

After a successful year in 2011 for the MAB photo competition, it now returns for the third time but with an exciting new twist!

Like previously, entrants will need to submit 2 images, with the theme Dead Art? Then and Now promoting the beauty of stone memorials throughout the ages, but this time those short listed will be uploaded on to the upcoming MAB website www.rememberforever.org.uk for the public to vote for the ultimate winner and runner up!

StoneGuard Memorial Insurance are kindly sponsoring the competition for the third time, with the prize of 1000 for the winner.

You have until Monday 2nd July midnight to enter, you do not need to be a professional photographer to apply and good luck!

Email your entries to mab@oneismore.com

For TERMS AND CONDITIONS click on the below link.


                                                                   FODC April 2012

FODC Strawberry Tea

strawberry_teaOn Sunday June 10th 2012 from 1pm FODC are holding a Strawberry Tea and Scavenger Hunt.

We are meeting at Whitehall Community Building on
Whitehall Road, Darwen (BB3 2LH)

Turn at the side of entrance of Whitehall Park into Queens Road which leads up the side of the Park and into Whitehall Road.

Adults 2.50, Children 1.00 and 6.00 for Families.

(click on image to print out the
PDF poster)

The Scavenger Hunt will take part in the Cemetery, we advise everybody to wear sensible footware.


                                                          FODC May / June 2012

Our Second Batwalk.

On Saturday 12th May we are hosting are second Bat Walk in the Cemetery.

Our previous Bat Walk held last September was very popular with over 60 adults and children.

We will
Meet at the Whitehall Community Building on

Whitehall Road, Darwen (BB3 2LH)

Turn at the side of entrance of Whitehall Park into Queens Road which leads up the side of the Park and leads in to Whitehall Road.

To print out or enlarge the poster click on the image

We meet at 8.00pm for a short talk before a walk in the Western Cemetery, the Walk is being led once again by the East Lancs Bat Group

Please note that the ground in the cemetery is very uneven so please
wear sensible footwear and take care. You may wish to bring a torch
Children should be accompanied by an adult

For further information please contact Rosemary on 01254 708828 or rosemaryjackson@darwencemetery.org.uk

                                                           FODC April 2012

FODC Awarded a "Your Call" Certificate

27 groups were awarded a "Your Call" certificate presented by BwD Councillor Leader Kate Hollern at King George's Hall at the end of March. 
Mik Walsh, Sarah Ismail and Saboordeeb Ismail received the award of behalf of FODC.
On Saturday the certificate was also presented to FODC members during a working party.

                                                                       FODC March 2012

Do you have any Old Photographs of Darwen Cemetery?

Darwen Cemetery Lodges around 1890

Friends member Alan came across this picture of the cemetery gate houses taken 1890/1893...
Notice no rhoddis.. graves can be clearly seen from the cobbled main road.

Photo donated by Alan Walton March 2012

Do you want to buy a copy of our previous Cemetery Walks?


2011 Walk
Halloween Walk 


2011 Walk                                                     2010 Walk 
     " Lets take a walk"                        "If only these stones could speak"

You can buy these Booklets for just 2.00 plus postage and packaging each or from Claire's Creatures (next to the Cemetery Hotel)
Cemetery Road, Darwen.


Click on the above Link to visit Claire's Creatures Website

                                                                 FODC March 2012

Our New FODC Leaflet


If you would like to read or print out the leaflet click on the image

                                                FODC March 2012


Our next FODC News Bulletin is now available.

In our Spring 2012 edition we have articles on the Opening of the Nature Garden, Dates for your diary, The War Memorial found in the Cemetery, the grave that has been brought back to it's best, our Australian Soldier and Anzac Day.

Click on the image to open.

                                                                       FODC March 2012

Bird & Bat Boxes

bird_boxes_2In late February Members of FODC, Patrick & Paul with help from Liam put up over 40 Bird and Bat Boxes in the Western Cemetery, the Boxes were made from kits and put together by Local Primary Schools and Whitehall Scout Group, 16 of the Bird Boxes were made by the Cubs and formed part of the DIY Badge they were trying to acheive. 

Thank you to Lancashire Wildlife Trust for making the kits for FODC.


                                                             FODC March 2012

Holes Finally Filled


During February many of the large pot holes, mainly in the New Part of the Western Cemetery, have been filled by Blackburn with Darwen Council making the roads much safer.

                                                                  FODC March 2012

Our Australian soldier and Anzac Day 25th April

The Australians commemorate their war dead on two days throughout the A_E_WARD_2year. Like us they have a Remembrance Day on November 11 and last year I was privileged to attend the ceremony in Sydney at the Anzac Memorial. 

The remembrance poppies in Australia are quite different to the ones we have in the UK. We were able to throw one of our British poppies into the memorial in remembrance of the Australian soldier, A E Ward, who has a Commonwealth War Grave in Darwen Cemetery.

While in Australia we had a trip to Canberra and visited the Australian War Memorial which is also a museum (www.awm.gov.au) where there is a wall of all Australians who have died in conflict around the world. 

We located the name of A E Ward and placed a poppy by his name.

Australia and New Zealand also celebrate Anzac (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) Day. In Australia it is their most important national day and a public holiday. It was started to commemorate the WW1 battle at Gallipoli in Turkey but now is for all Australians who have died in other military operations. 

The day starts with a Dawn Service as there was a dawn landing at Gallipoli and there are marches by the Armed forces, Veterans and other uniformed organisations. Wreaths are placed on memorials and people wear sprigs of rosemary in their lapel.

Since the Friends of Darwen Cemetery started the

 Adopt a War Grave scheme in 2010, our Australian soldier's grave has been tidied up ready to place poppies and rosemary on his grave on Anzac Day. 

A E Ward (known as Ernest), who had been fighting in France, came on leave to visit relatives the Leach family in Darwen. 

Sadly he caught the Spanish flu here and died and was buried with full military honours. 

Although we have researched his life, so far we have been unable to find out how he was related to the Leach family.


You can read his story click on the below link.
Alfred Ward


                                                   Rosemary Jackson March 2012

Redearth Road Methodist Chapel

Did you attend Redearth Rd Methodist Chapel and remember this War Memorial?

The WWI war memorial has been found in the Western Cemetery but only Part of it has survived. 

Despite many of the names being incomplete
Tony Foster has recovered all of them on the stone. 

However we are certain that a third column of names is still missing, they all attended Redearth Road Chapel.

The names are:
Thomas Ainsworth, Nicholas V Bennetts, Joseph R Briggs,

Ralph Briggs, John C Brindle, Hubert Bury, Wallace Duckworth, Harry Eccles,

Edward Harwood, Samuel Harwood, William Henry Harwood,

Hubert Haworth, Benjamin Jackson, Hubert Ashton Jepson, Samuel Jepson, Harold Kay, William Thomas Kirkham, John Richard Lomax, John Neville, John Scully, Ralph Shorrock.

We have been informed that someone saw the memorial between the two lodges in the 1980's and at that time it was intact. He has informed us that one of the missing names was that of his uncle "James Irving WHALLEY".

The Friends are interested in restoring the stone but would like to include all the names still missing.

Can you help?

Contact Tony Foster at


                                                                FODC March 2012

Look how the Cemetery looked back in 1963


How things have change in just under 50 years!

Photos donated by Alan Walton March 2012

Back to its best


The once-elegant marble memorial stone to the Rev. Philip Graham, first vicar of St John's, is now back to its white, shining best after a generous gesture from one of his relatives, Alistair Graham who lives in Kelvedon, near Colchester. The Rev. Graham was his great, great grandfather. Mr Graham saw an article by Harold Heys and Bill Taylor on the cemetery web site last summer and contacted Rosemary Jackson. Harold gave him a rough idea of what the cost might be and put him on to Brent Stevenson and the result is a wonderful addition to the north west edge of the cemetery. Friends' chairman John East has telephoned Mr Graham to thank him for his gesture.

To see the Story of Rev. Philip Graham click on the link below

Rev Philip Graham

                                       Harold Heys March 2012

The History of Darwen Cemetery
FODC Committee Member Tony Foster is giving another talk on the History of Darwen Cemetery.
Tony gave a talk previously on the History of the Cemetery at one of our FODC Open Evenings last year and everybody present on the night thought it was very interesting.

If you missed Tonys talk last year or you wish to see an extended version of it.

The first talk, to the Blackburn Branch of the Lancashire Family History Society will be held on 5th April 2012 at 7.30pm, at Ewood Working Men's Club, Bolton Road, Ewoowalk_6d, Blackburn. The meeting is open to non-members and is free of charge.
The second, to the Darwen Local History Society on 16th April at 7.30pm at Bridge Street Sports & Scocial Club (formaly the ICI Social Club), Bridge Street, Darwen. The Society make a small charge for non-members.

                                                               FODC February 2012

highfield_guidesHighfield Guides
Gail, Val and Lynn from Highfield Guides have recently been tidying up the war grave of H Entwistle which is in Section 1A just at the side of Lark Street drive.

If you want to read more about H. Entwistle click on the link below

H Entwistle Document

If you would like to read more about other War graves in the Cemetery
click on the link below

War Graves Page

                                                          FODC February 2012

Art Competition

The competition has been organised by the Friends of Darwen Library and is to encourage children and parents into Darwen Library and discover the world of books and to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee.

To print off a copy of the poster
click on the image. 

FODC February 2012

Our Second set of 5 Plinth Wedges have been placed in our Ashes Memorial Garden.

Since we opened the Ashes Memorial garden, only 6 months ago, we have already filled a full block of 5 Plinth Wedges, last week Brent Stevenson Memorials have built the base for a second block of 5 Plinth Wedges in the Garden.



If you would like more information on purchasing one of the Plinth Wedges or a Bench Plaque click on the link below

Ashes Memorial

                                                FODC February 2012

Our very own Little Mermaid

Kath sizes up the Boulder that we plan to use in the Nature Garden.

                                            FODC January 2012

Our Nature Garden is looking good





                                                          FODC January 2012

2012 Working Party Dates have been announced

Our First Woking Party of 2012.
The Bacon Butties went down very well!



                                                            FODC January 2012

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