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Two more Commonwealth Graves are placed in the Cemetery

The Friends of Darwen Cemetery are pleased to report that two Darwen WW1 casualties have finally been recognised by the CWGC when the headstones for Squire Haworth and John Farnhill were installed in the cemetery on Wednesday, 15th December 2021.

Squire Haworth Grave in Section B

Squire Haworth (25) joined the East Lancashire regiment 1st April 1915 and two months later in was in the trenches on the Western Front. It was during the Second Battle of Ypres. He developed diabetes and he was returned to England in February 1916 and was discharged medically unfit for the army the following month. In June 1916 he succumbed to the effect of his diseases. At the end of the war his family received his war medals – the Victory & British War Medals; 1914-15 Star. He is remembered for the war memorial in the Central United Reformed Church.

John Farnhill Grave in Section 5

John Farnhill (39) saw action with the East Lancashire Regiment in the South African War. On the outbreak of WW1 he enlisted and saw action in France from march 1915 but was discharged from the army, medically unfit, in June 1916. By the end of November 1917, he felt fit enough and re-joined the army and again saw action in France until be contracted tuberculosis and was discharged on 1st October 1918 and died two months later. He was awarded the Victory & British War Medals; 1914-15 Star; Silver War Badge. John is remembered in St Joseph’s war memorial.

A big thanks to Tony Foster for all his hard work in researching the two soldiers and communication with the CWGC “ In from the cold “ to achieve the erection of the CWGC headstones.

FODC December 2021

Whitehall Cubs and Beavers Donation

A donation of £45.00 has been given to FODC from Whitehall Cubs and Beavers after the Cubs and Beavers raised the money starring in a Nativity Play on the 6th December.

Whitehall Scout Group at this years Remembrance Day service

Thank you to all the leaders, Cubs, Beavers and Parents for raising the Money.

FODC December 2021

Remembrance Day Services 2021

Friday 12th November 2021 Service

Well Done to all who attended the FODC children’s poppy service in DARWEN Western Cemetery. Thank you to Terry Young for his ministry. To Richard’s Westheads daughter for helping with dedication of the bench in her dad’s honour marking his dedication to the cemetery & remembering his comrades by placing crosses on the graves – a tradition he has pasted onto FODC. Thank u to the students from DACA, DVHS,DAES their readings during the service. All the imaginative remembrance tributes on behalf of their schools. Finally thank to trustees of FOFC for organising a wonderful service once again.

On a very wet service, John East opened the service and conducted by Rev Terry Young
Richard Westhead’s daughter says a few words on behalf of the family
Richard Westhead bench which was dedicated on the Friday service

some of the poppies laid on the Friday

Sunday 14th November 2021 Service

On the Sunday Service many of the local residents and Scout Groups attended, it was a beautiful morning unlike the rain during the Friday Service.

John East opened the service and Rev John Terry conducted Service again with Whitehall Beavers looking on

FODC November 2021

Find a Grave Day 27th November 2021

On Saturday 27th November we are holding our 3rd Find a Grave event, we will be based at the Whitehall Park Hut which is based in the Rose Garden within the Park, we start at 10.30 am until 1pm for further information see the image below.

Are you looking to get a new skill and help FODC in the Cemetery?

Grave Maintenance Scheme (Western Cemetery)

The Friends of Darwen Cemetery started the Grave Maintenance Scheme (GMS) back in 2013 and have refurbished nearly 50 graves over the years in the Western Cemetery.

If you would like to see more information click on the link below.

Grave Maintenance Scheme

Sections in the Cemetery we are currently working on

The Friends of Darwen Cemetery over the last few years have worked on various sections in the cemetery to improve the look of the graves and the surrounding areas.
The current sections we are working on are:-
Section 2, Section A, Section K and Section 5A

Sections of the Cemetery the Friends of Darwen Cemetery are working on.

If you would like more information on the work we are carrying out in these sections please email us at contact@darwencemetery.org.uk

FODC June 2021

We have some exciting news

After years of searching by Alan Walton we finally now have a photograph of the chapel that stood on the mound at the top of the cemetery.

We now have photos of all three chapels. it’s taken quite some time but we knew it had to be out their somewhere. photo taken in July of 1959. And found in the CWGC archives.

Non Conformist Chapel
Non Conformist Chapel (zoomed in)

We thank The Commonwealth War Graves Commission for allowing us to use this photo.

Well done Alan !!!

FODC April 2021

Working Parties start again from Saturday 20th March 2021

FODC trustees have decided that the Saturday working parties are to restart again from Saturday 20th March 2021.

The working parties will be held with social distancing measures in place as our main responsibility is the health and safety of all that attends. FODC March 2021

Click here to see the Working Party Dates FODC Working Party Dates

To see what has been going on in the Cemetery click onto the 2020 News button above.

Brief History of the Cemetery

The Local Board of Health formed a Burial Board in 1858 to provide a public burial ground. Up to then the only burial grounds were the graveyards of the various places of worship. The long use of these graveyards, their limited area, and the growth of the town made it difficult to find space for new graves.

The Burial Board acquired land at Whitehall on the west of the Bolton road. The area was drained, fenced, and laid out into sections for Church of England, Nonconformist and Roman Catholic burials. 

Mortuary Chapels were erected and the cemetery opened in June 1861. In 1876 further land was obtained, the combined area being about 20 acres. The western cemetery is really two cemeteries – the Old to the south and the New to the north.  

Towards the end of the Second World War it was becoming obvious that a further burial ground was necessary and land was acquired on the opposite side of the main road. This became known, rather confusingly, as the New Cemetery and then as the Eastern Cemetery. Work was under way by 1945 and the land was consecrated within a year or so. The area was extended in the late 1970s.

Photograph of the two lodges at the entrance to the Western Cemetery.
 Note the large Iron Gates which stood between the two Lodges, in between the two Lodges you can see the Church of England Chapel

A closer photograph of the Church of England Chapel that once stood in the Cemetery

This photograph shows the Roman Catholic Chapel that once stood in the Cemetery.

If you would like to see more history on the Cemetery click on the Research tab.

If you would like to see history of the Friends of Darwen Cemetery click on the FODC Timeline tab.

FODC Working Party Dates

The working parties will be held with social distancing measures in place as our main responsibility is the health and safety of all that attends.

Our First Working Party for 2022 will be held on :-

Saturday 8th January 2022

Between 10am and 1pm in the Western Cemetery

Then on

Saturday 22nd January 2022

Saturday 5th February 2022

Saturday 19th February 2022

Saturday 5th March 2022

Saturday 19th March 2022

Saturday 2nd April 2022

Saturday 16th April 2022

Saturday 30th April 2022

Saturday 14th May 2022

Saturday 28th May 2022

Saturday 11th June 2022

Saturday 25th June 2022

Saturday 9th July 2022

Saturday 23rd July 2022

Saturday 6th August 2022

Saturday 20th August 2022

Saturday 3rd September 2022

Saturday 17th September 2022

Saturday 1st October 2022

Saturday 15th October 2022

Saturday 29th October 2022

Saturday 12th November 2022

Saturday 26th November 2022

Saturday 10th December 2022

Contact Us

We have a new catch all email address


Chairman: Tony Foster

Secretary: Peter van Dijk

Treasurer: Diane Walsh

Post: Friends of Darwen CemeteryC/O Unit 2A, Hall Moss Business ParkBolton Road, Bull Hill, Darwen, 
Lancashire BB3 2TT 

To report any Anti Social Behavior in the Cemetery please contact Blackburn with Darwen Council
 Tel: 01254 585083


Contact the Lancashire Police control room if you see anything actually occurring. (01254 51212) 
If it is to report something that has already happened contact the Local Neighborhood Police Officer.

Stray Dogs in the Cemetery Contact Blackburn with Darwen Dog Warden on 01254 585397 Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm Saturday 9am -12noon. Take picture if possible – or description of animal and where it was last seen and at what time.  Description – wearing a Collar – rough age – breed – distinctive marks. Emergency number ring local police station 01254 701777 or 0845 1253545 not 999,  and leave details. (especially Sat pm and Sunday).