LETTER: New names added to Brierfield war memorial

The work on the new surround for the war memorial in Brierfield is now completed and the area looks very smart, as indeed it should.

Four new names have now been added covering the two world wars and one from the Boer War. The whole project has been supported by the town council and the War Memorials Trust, who kindly donated £2,500 towards the improvements and changes.

Private J.W. Slater of the Border Regiment is listed as being born in Brierfield and married here. He was killed in action at Spion Kop, South Africa, in one of the very bitter events in the Boer War.

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Milton Graham was born in Padiham in 1880 and in 1911 came with his family to live with his parents in Bank Street, Brierfield.

Milton served as a sergeant in the 6th Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and was killed in 1915 during the Galipolli campaign at Chunuk Biar when the battalion was nearly wiped out to a man. He has no known grave but his name appears on the Helles memorial. At some stage, Milton was probably a regular soldier, because his wife and daughter were actually born in India.

Also from the First World War, Patrick Tarmey. He was in the Royal Engineers and died December 2nd, 1916.

He is listed as born in Brierfield by the regiment’s list, but in Nelson or Barrowford in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission list. However, his name was on the roll of honour at Trinity Church, Brierfield, so on to the memorial he now goes.

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He has two known relatives - Mrs Jean Thomas, from Colne, who will be joining the Brierfield Remembrance Service this year, and Army Captain Martin Thwaites, who has informed us due to operational duties he will not be able to attend.

The Second World War brings us a very different entry for the memorial - Brigadier Mrs Mary Climpson, of the Salvation Army.

Mary was killed on June 14th, 1940, on the front line in France. This must have been around the time the French and British were initially being forced back towards Dunkirk. It was a very dangerous and savage time.

She may even have elected to stay and help the regiments who were detailed to stay and fight to the bitter end so the many could get away. We don’t actually know, but we do know she was helping do her bit on the front line and the town council thinks that entitles Mrs Clinton a place of honour and remembrance. She was married to a Captain Climpson, one time CO of the Brierfield Salvation Army.

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So this year the Remembrance service and memorial rededication will be carried out at the request of the town council and the Royal British Legion by Captain Janice Lahouel, of the Salvation Army in Nelson, as a tribute to Mary Climpson and the other three new names to be added to the town’s roll of honour.

Everyone who wants to see this little piece of history will be most welcome. The service on Sunday, November 14th, will commence at the memorial at 10-40 a.m.


Welfare Officer, Nelson & District RBL

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