Hunt to find families of ‘forgotten’ First World War heroes

War memorial in Simonstone
War memorial in Simonstone
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Three “forgotten” Great War heroes whose names are missing from a village war memorial could finally be honoured nearly 100 years on.

Historians discovered the names of three Simonstone soldiers killed in the First World War were not etched on the memorial at St Peter’s Church.

Researchers found East Lancs Regiment Pt. Gilbert Yates, who died from wounds in 1915; weaver L/Cpl Robert James Breckell, killed serving for the Canadian Saskatchewan Regiment in 1916 and cotton mill owner Ernest Thistlethwaite, of the Household Cavalry, who died of wounds in 1917 in Etaples.

But their names are missing from the memorial which marks the lives of 36 soldiers from Read and Simonstone killed in the conflict.

A bid to track down their families is being made by Simonstone Parish Council which hopes to add the names for the 100th anniversary of the war.

Parish Coun. David Peat said: “They are local men who gave their lives for their country. It would be great to commemorate these soldiers.”

Contact Roger Hirst on 01200 428742.