Call to restore grave of Burnley First World War hero

Fallen soldier statue in Burnley Cemetery.'Photo Ben Parsons
Fallen soldier statue in Burnley Cemetery.'Photo Ben Parsons

Calls have been made to restore the grave of a Burnley war hero ahead of commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

Craig Simpson hopes the stone statue of soldier Private James Booth can be repaired before the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War.

Craig, of Stephenson Drive, says the monument in Burnley Cemetery has fallen into disrepair – with chunks of masonry missing.

But he hopes the private grave can be restored to its former glory before the town commemorates its war dead for the milestone anniversary later this year.

Craig said: “It is a bit of a local landmark and anybody going in to the cemetery can find their way round by where the soldier is.

“There is some amazing stonemasonry there.

“The soldier statue needs a bit of TLC because this year we commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War. It is a piece of local history and it should be preserved.”

The statue commemorates the death of Private Booth of the 8th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment.

Private Booth was killed in action in France on 26th September 1917.

However, the bayonet is missing from the statue along with chunks of stone from the hands and ear.

Craig said: “It would be really great to bring it back to its former glory.

“I thought there must surely be some stone masons or local businesses that want to help.

“It would be a nice gesture.”

A Burnley Council spokesman said: “We’re currently looking at all the war memorials in the borough, including this statue, ahead of this year’s centenary and will carry out work as appropriate. However, given the age of this statue it is in good condition.”