We must never forget our war dead

I was honoured to take part in a service of rededication and remembrance that saw the award of the Honorary Freedom of Barnoldswick to the 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.

Wednesday, 18th September 2013, 6:01 pm
Parade makes its way through the town for the rededication of Barnoldswick War Memorial. Photo Ben Parsons

The service saw the names of 46 war heroes added to the town’s war memorial and serving soldiers given the freedom of the town.

The memorial also now pays tribute to the 12 from Barnoldswick who lost their lives when the HMHS Rohilla sank off Whitby in October, 1914.

I felt privileged to be one of those to lay a wreath at the war memorial, alongside Lt Col Iain Hallam, Commanding Officer of the Yorkshire Regiment, Mayor of Pendle Coun. Smith Benson and Barnoldswick Town Council chairman Coun. Ken Hartley.

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All those involved in arranging the event should feel very proud of the fitting and moving event the organised.

It was a great occasion and follows the rededication of Earby war memorial in Sough Park in June, funded by the Commonwealth War Graves Trust.

I was also in attendance in 2009 when the new Nelson war memorial was unveiled inscribed with the names of all those from the town who have given their lives for the country.

These efforts bode well ahead of next year when we mark 100 years since the First World War.

To mark the centenary, the Heritage Lottery has made available a fund for community projects to help us all learn more about the war.

We must never forget the ultimate sacrifice made by so many of our soldiers, including most recently Lance Corporal Jordan Bancroft and Lance Corporal Michael Foley.

The rededication of our war memorials gives us all a chance to allow our thoughts to be with those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.