'Last Soldier Standing' memorial unveiled on poignant day for historic Burnley club

(Left to right) Graham Vernon, Lord Shuttleworth, Mayor of Burnley Anne Kelly and her consort, John Kelly, and Sgt Geoff Baines
(Left to right) Graham Vernon, Lord Shuttleworth, Mayor of Burnley Anne Kelly and her consort, John Kelly, and Sgt Geoff Baines

A special ceremony has been held to remember the members of Burnley Boys and Girls’ Club who lost their lives in the First World War.

Lord Shuttleworth, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, unveiled a memorial sculpture ‘Last Soldier Standing’ which is sited in a special Memorial Garden at the club’s Barden Lane headquarters.

The Last Soldier Standing sculpture

The Last Soldier Standing sculpture

The poignant event, held last Friday, was also attended by the Mayor of Burnley Coun. Anne Kelly, the leader of Burnley Council, Coun,. Charlie Briggs, trustees and volunteers, veterans from the Duke of Lancaster and the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment and members of the Royal British Legion.

The monument was unveiled to the playing of The Last Post by Sgt Geoff Baines of the band of the Lancashire Fusiliers.

‘Last Soldier Standing’ remembers the 124 who died together on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in July, 1916, and was designed by artist Rick Goodwin.

Club member and one of the event’s organisers, Rian Caulfied aged 14, said: “I can’t imagine what was going through the boys’ minds as they were getting ready to leave the trenches to fight for king and country. I wonder how many lads of my age would do the same today.”

As well as watching the unveiling, guests were able to explore a special exhibition of club memorabilia to mark the 120th anniversary of a club that is a real institution in the town.