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2015 Remembarace Services

Friday Service

"Who says we forget the sacrifice of of men and woman who died in conflict
areas of the world?     


Well over 100 children and student attended the Friday service of
remembrance at Darwen cemetery organised by the friends.


A fitting tribute to the 90 plus who died in both world wars and other
conflicts - each year are remembered.


After the service of remembrance  the young people from over 12 local
schools placed crosses on each grave all if which are adopted by local
groups and individuals.


Sunday Service

On Sunday again a remembrance service attended by members of the
community and local scout groups were silent as they remembered
the 1300 casualties from Darwen who died and especially those who are
buried in Darwen Cemetry


We can assure our community that remembering the deaths of local
residents will not be forgotten and the FODC are proud to support the
memory of such brave men and women.


                                                      FODC November 2015
                                                       (Friday Service Photos by Roy Cox
                                                 Sunday Service Photos by Diane Davies)

Remembrance Day Services 2015


Once again we will be holding two Remembrance Day services this year.


Friday 6th November 2015

As usual our First service will be held on
Friday 6th November, this Service is held on
the Friday to allow the Local Schools to
attend, we will meet at 10.30 for a 10.45

Following the Service the children attending
will go into the Cemetery and place Poppies
on the 98 Commonwealth War Graves in the Cemetery. 

This is a very well attended and moving
service with all the children attending from
the majority of the Primary and Secondary Schools in Darwen! 

Everyone Welcome.


Sunday 8th November 2015

Our Second Sevice will be held on
Sunday 9th November at 10.30 for
a 10.45 Service.

Flag Break at 11 O'clock

In the past this Service has been attended by Local Scout and
Guide Groups and is a very popular Service.

This Service has a more formal feel 
with all the Flags being lowered at 
11 O'clock  

Attended by many Local Residents.

Everyone Welcome.

                                                     FODC October 2015

FODC Membership Form

If you wish to become a member of the Friends of Darwen Cemetery please
click on the image.

Print out the sheet and post it to the address at the bottom

150_ashes_garden_mon Ashes Garden Link

For information on the terms and conditions
on laying ashes in the Garden or purchasing
a Cremation Bench Plate or Cremation Wedge

Click on the below link

Ashes Garden

What the Papers Say

Darwen to delve into its history with 20 locations hosting
events for heritage festival

(22nd July 2015)

Concern over Darwen Cemetery
(24th June 2015)

These friends are an asset
(26th May 2015)

Plans for Commonwealth War stone to mark soldier's resting

(6th May 2015)

Town fights for cash to fund Darwen war memorial
(14th April 2015)

Darwen Cemetery's water crisis sparks anger

(9th April 2015)

Click on the below link to keep up to date with articles about
FODC / Darwen Cemetery in the Press.

In the Press

heritage_open_day_logo_2015FODC Heritage Open Day 

On Sunday 13th September 2015 FODC had it's Heritage Open Day,
with a exhibition and refreshments at the Whitehall Community Building.

John opens the Heritage Open Day

ver 50 local residents attended the Heritage walk at Darwen Western Cemetery -
part of national heritage open days.

Tony & Harold introduce everybody to the Cemetery Walk.

FODC members and local historians Tony Foster and Harold Heys gave a
walk round the Cemetery giving details of local associations
with The Gallipoli campaign during WW1. 

Tony & Harold guides everybody up the hill passing the Ashton Memorial

The FODC also presented their plan for the Heritage lottery structure and
heritage programme about to be submitted.

Tony in full flow!

                                                    FODC October 2015
                                                     (Photos by Roy Cox)


DARWEN_MEN_AT_GALLIPOLI_WALK_2015Darwen Men at Gallipoli

 A Walk around Darwen Cemetery Booklet for sale


If you missed our latest walk in Darwen
Cemetery The booklet can be obtained from
the Friends of Darwen Cemetery.

If Collected 2.00 
or by post UK 3.00 (inclusive of postage); 
Overseas 5.00 (inclusive of postage).


Payment via cheque made payable to Friends
of Darwen Cemetery together with your Name
and Address and sent it to:



C/O Unit 2a

Hall Moss Trading Estate

Bolton Road, Bull Hill

Darwen BB3 2TT


or pay by Paypal 

Click on the below link

 Donate Page

If you wish to see other Walk Booklets for sale click the below link.

Walk Booklets

                                 FODC September 2015

Heritage Open Day 2015

Sunday 13th September 

Free Bus

heritage_open_day_2015_darwen_busFor the Heritage Open Day event this year
we will have a Free Bus on the day, starting
from the Darwen / Blackburn Boundary (Oakdale) to Darwen Cemetery via the Town Centre, the bus will be the Darwen Transport Museum Trust's Darwen Corporation
Leyland Titan double decker bus.

The bus leaves the boundary at 1pm and
will stop at all the bus stops along the main
road, the bus will finish at the Whitehall
Community Building on Whitehall Road (next
to Whitehall Park) and will return to the
Boundary from here at 4pm. 


Friends of Darwen Cemetery are holding a Heritage Open Day on Sunday 13th September 2015 between 1pm - 4pm 

  at the 
Whitehall Community Building,

Whitehall Road, Darwen BB3 2LH

    Our Exhibition will show the work of the
Friends of Darwen Cemetery in the Cemetery
and our plans for the Cemetery in the future, refreshments will be available

Cemetery Walk 

Between 2pm and 3pm we will be holding one of our very popular walks
around the Western Cemetery
(Bolton Road, Darwen BB3 2LZ) led by
Tony Foster, our walk this year will be about the

Darwen Men at Gallipoli


We start the walk from the Cross of Sacrifice at 2pm.

As usual a Booklet for the walk will be available to buy on the day.

Everybody welcome!


                                                        FODC August 2015

Lark Street Gates Cheque Presentation

A big thank you to Crown Paints and the community awards scheme for
a cheque for 2,000.00 used towards the renovation of the Lark Street
Gates entrance to Darwen's Western Cemetery, also a big thank you to
Brent Stevenson for the repairing the stonework. Mark Ainsworth Blacksmith
for restoring the gates and Ian Payne for the sandblasting and painting. 

A special thanks to the Jill for her successful bid and the rest of the FODC
team who made this restoration possible. 

Well done one and all.

The total cost of the restoration was 3,589.00 the rest of the money raised
was from the FODC funds.

                                                                      FODC August 2015
                                                        (Photo by Roy Cox)

Lark Street Gates 


The gates at the Lark Street entrance of the western cemetery have
been lovingly restored by local craftsmen. 

The total cost of the restoration was 3,589 funded by a grant from the
Darwen Crown Awards and FODC Club funds.

The works required to bring the gates back to their former glory
included,repairs to the supporting pillars, carried out by Brent Stevenson Memorials,expert metal fabrication by Stan Ainsworth & Co Ltd, blast cleaning
and painting by Paynes Transport Ltd.

                                                                        FODC July 2015
                                                           (Photos by Roy Cox)

The Grass in our Ashes Garden is like the pitch at Lords Cricket Ground.

At our last Working Party on the 27th June, Peter mowed the grass in our
Ashes Garden based in the Western Cemetery. 
Well done Peter what an excellent job!! 
They will have you mowing Lords cricket ground at this rate


                                                                           FODC July 2015 
                                                      (Photos by Diane Davies)

Our Next Open Meeting and AGM

To all members and friends


The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Darwen Cemetery will be held
at 7pm on Wednesday 29th April at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy.


Please come to listen to what the Friends have achieved during 2014 and to
hear about plans for 2015. 

This is your opportunity to ask questions and make your own suggestions
about what the management committee should be planning for the future.


The Treasurer will present the financial report for 2014.


There will also be an election of trustees. 
Ten current trustees are willing to stand again - they are John East (chair),
Steve Davies (president), Peter van Dijk (secretary) Diane Walsh (treasurer), Diane Davies, Mick Walsh, Jill Marr, Paul Dargan, Tony Foster and Colin Briggs. 
According to our constitution, we are allowed up to twelve trustees. If any member wishes to nominate anyone else, please let me know.

There will also be a talk by Laurie Manton, the Graveyard Detective. 
He is a cemetery enthusiast, who has explored many cemeteries in Lancashire
and elsewhere. He is currently working with Radio Lancashire, bringing
cemeteries to a wider audience. Darwen Cemetery was visited by Laurie and
Radio Lancashire in January.


I hope to see you there.


Peter van Dijk


Friends of Darwen Cemetery


                                                            FODC April 2015

Our Official Launch


Steve speaking to Radio Lancashire                                                    
bid_launch_3Steve with one of our Plaques.

On Wednesday 15th April FODC held
it's official launch of the bid for Lottery cash to commemorate the contribution
of Darwen's soldiers of the First World
War at Darwen Library.

Members of FODC at the launch.                                                 

The exhibition shows the blueprint for our grave trail and the plans for the 
mock trench on the site of the Non Conformist Chapel in the Western
Cemetery, we would also like your to know your thoughts on our ambitious
plans and have facilities for you to have your say during the exhibition period.

The exhibition was opened by our FODC president, Colonel Steve Davies and
will run for a month.

Steve who was born in Darwen and later became commanding officer of
1st Battalion, The Queen's Lancashire Regiment, wants as many townspeople
as possible to attend the exhibition to boost our chances of winning 100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the project.

Our scheme's centrepiece will be a large granite mock trench, complete
with firing step which can be used as a bench for quiet reflection, overlooking
the town.

The sides of the mock trench will have granite plaques to commemorate
individual soldiers. Schools and community groups will use the mock trench as
an outdoor activity and learning space.


Images of our Plans.

                                                                      FODC April 2015

Damaged Grave

broken_head_1Some damage has been caused at the
cemetery this week. A grave with a statue
of a boy incorporated into the headstone has
been damaged, on purpose or accidental we do
not know.
The head has been repaired in the past, but it
was found Thursday morning lying on the grave. Such a shame!
The statue is in memory of a 5 year old boy,
sad times.
Brent Stevenson Memorials have agreed to re
fix the head for free of charge.

Photos courtesy of  Alan Walton, from the Friends of Darwen Cemetery
Facebook Page

                                                                  FODC April 2015

Appeal for Relatives - Gunner S.Taylor

The following message appeared on the Commonwealth War Graves
Commissions website on 17 March 2015 

We wish to make contact with any family members of 

TAYLOR, S, Gunner (Signaller), Royal Garrison Artillery 
died 1st November 1918.

Click on the following link http://tinyurl.com/ntckl4y
When you have entered the website click on the link click here to view a
list of the war graves in question, Samuel Taylor appears on the forth page. 

If you are a member of Samuel Taylor please can you contact the
Commonwealth War Grave Commission at

We would also like hear from anyone related to Samuel Taylor.
FODC can be contacted at


Samuel Taylor

His name appears on the Redearth War Memorial that the Friends
recently restored and the following is taken from the Darwen News
9th November 1918:


Gunner S. Taylor.


It is unofficially reported at his home, that Gunner Samuel Taylor, of the
Royal Garrison Artillery, died from pneumonia on the 1st inst, following an
attack of influenza which he contracted about a fortnight ago.  Deceased
soldier, who was 21 years of age, joined the Forces on the 19th of May, 1916,
and since then had been doing garrison duty in this country, where he died. 
In civil life he was employed at Messrs. Carus Mill, Hoddlesden, as a clerk
and attended the Redearth Road Primitive Methodist Church.  He is a son of
Mr. and Mrs. Roger Taylor, of 173, Marsh House Lane, and his only brother
is serving with the Motor Transport at Harrogate.



 Samuel was born on May 7 1897 at 5 Grimshaw Street, Darwen the son of Roger Taylor and Mary Jane Cooper. Two day after his birth his mother passed away following a complication of child
birth. With five young children to care for his
father remarried later the same year to Betty Whewell. Roger's children were:


William Thomas born 1885 
(may have married Annie Fish in 1910)

Mary Jane born 1888

Florrie born 1893

Maud Victoria born 1895

Samuel born 1897

Alice born 1900

                                                                  FODC April 2015

Our Lone Soldier


Anyone who walks through the Cemetery will
know of our lone Soldier in Section D, this is
the lone Commonwealth War Grave in the old 
part of the Cemetery, we already know that
the grave is not actually on its own as the
whole of Section D is filled with common graves with no Headstones, however whilst
Tony Foster was gathering information on the
War Graves from WW1 Tony has found out
that our Lone Soldier is not on its own in its 
own grave.

Peter Farley, age 23 , buried 4th December
1916, died at War Hospital, Warren Road, Guildford.  .
Also buried in the same grave are:-

Isabella Reed, aged 55, buried 20 Sep 1915 1 Finch St ,Darwen
James Appleton, aged 14 son of John Appleton, buried 16th September 1915, 3,Noble St, Darwen.
Francis Riley, aged 8 mths son of Arthur Riley , buried 7th September 1915, 34,Peel St, Darwen
Bridget Cleary, aged 60, widow, buried 1st September 1915, Extreme Street Darwen
Mary Roberts, aged 5 mths daughter of John Roberts, buried 29th December
1900, 44,Railway Road ,Darwen.

All are buried in Section D Grave No 697. None of them related.

                                                                          FODC April 2015


Harold comes to the Rescue with help from the Fire Brigade

Photographed are Gary and Steve from Darwen Fire Station  with Cemetery Worker Billy Briggs

Harold Heys, local resident and Friend of Darwen Cemetery came to the
rescue after visitors to the Eastern Cemetery had been left without water
for two months after a pipe was broken. 

The water butt was installed on the central island and the Friends of Darwen Cemetery have received many thanks from visitors for Harold's initiative

Thank you to Gibson's Ironmongery who supplied the water butt and accessories at a discount price and to Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service who came to the rescue and filled up the water butt.


                                                         FODC April 2015

knight_grave_8th_april_2015_2Adopted Grave of J.D.Knight

Janet Toth who adopted the Commonwealth War Grave of J.D.Knight has given the grave
a Spring Clean over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Sapper Knight served with the Royal
Engineers during the 1st World War and died
on the 12th September 1918 aged 33.
The grave is in Section 4B in the Western Cemetery looks great in the Easter sunshine!

Thank you Janet for all your hard work on the grave. 

If you would like to see more information on the other War Graves in
Darwen Cemetery, please click on the below link to our War Graves Page

War Graves

                                                                   FODC April 2015

The Rhododendrons Get A Trim!


Our working party on Saturday 23rd
February was taken up trimming back the
very large Rhododendrons behind the two Lodges in the Western Cemetery

Photos courtesy of  Alan Walton, from the Friends of Darwen Cemetery Facebook Page

Diane don't jump it's a long way down!                                               

FODC February 2015

Our First Working Party 2015

The Snow, Ice and freezing temperatures did not stop our volunteers from attending our first working party of 2015 held on the 24th January, work was carried out on a number of trees that had fallen down since our last working party before Christmas.

  FODC January 2015
                                                                  Photo by Harold Heys

Radio Lancashire Visits Darwen Cemetery

Each Wednesday during January Radio Lancashire will be visiting interesting cemeteries in North East Lancashire. 

The series started on Wednesday 8th January with a visit to Darwen.

The programmed featured Tony Foster taking about the first burial and the cause of death, Martha Jane Bury (the White Lady) and the Lucas father
and son both buried in a WW1 war grave.

Harold Heys explains about the three boys who lost their lives in a snow
storm in Darwen Moors as well as Edward Deakin Ashton who lost his life
within the opening 10 minutes of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916.

Billy Briggs explains the technical nature of grave digging by hand.

The programme can be listen via the i-player at


The programme commenced at 9am but the item on the cemetery did not
start until about 11.05 so you will need to scroll through the first 2 hours.

We hope you find it informative

                                                        FODC January 2015

Bold Venture Scouts visit Darwen Cemetery

Last year the Scouts from Bold Venture Scout Group visited the Western Cemetery to visit a number of the Graves in the Cemetery.

Colin explains to the Scouts about the
Commonwealth War graves in the Cemetery, Colin is
one of the Friends of Darwen Cemetery Trustees as
well as being a Scout Leader for Bold Venture.

Colin shows the scouts the grave of Fr  Desiderius Vandenweghe


The Scouts Salute the fallen.

Colin shows the scouts the grave of Fr  Desiderius Vandenweghe

If you like to know more about
the grave of Fr Desiderius Vandenweghe
click on the link below.

Fr Desiderius V
Photos courtsey of Bold Venture Scout Group
                                   FODC January 2015

Help Needed


Cemetery Burial Registers: Volunteers required to transcribe these registers.

This can be undertaken from home from images the FODC 
can supply on CD.

Guidelines on how to complete the work will be supplied.

      For information contact Tony Foster -        

   Sample of the Burial Register        RegisterAgreement
               (downloadable PDF File)               (downloadable PDF File)

                                                                              (October 2010)

Have a look in the Archives Page for more FODC stories

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