Welcome to the Website of the Friends of Darwen Cemetery.

Registered Charity Number 1142815 

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Facebook

Look for the Friends of Darwen Cemetery and request to become a member of the Facebook Group.

Click on the Facebook Logo

What a good day for our latest Find A Grave Day  

We held our latest Find a Grave Day on Saturday June 2024, we found over 25 graves for 8 groups looking for graves in the Cemetery, luckily the weather was fine after days of rain on the lead up to the day.

Thank you to everybody involved in making the day a great success.

FODC June 2024

Some of the Graves Completed During June 2024 Grave Maintenance Scheme Working Party

Thank you to everybody who helped on Saturday and thanks to Jill & Peter for the Cakes,

Photographs by Paul and Jenny

FODC June 2024

Our Latest Bat Walk

On Friday 10th May 2024 we held our latest Bat Walk in the Cemetery, we started in the Rose Garden in the park and when dusk fell we moved on in to the Cemetery.
We had around  50 people attend the event including about 12 children who stayed up late. 
We saw common and soprano pipistrelle bats and heard them on the detectors.
We also got traces on Peter’s echo meter ( a more high tech device) for Noctule bats and Natterer’s bats.
Peter gave a talk before the walk which was very informative and well received. 
Peter giving a talk before the walk which was very informative
Peter lent out 7 detectors, which we gave to children.
Jill explaining what everybody should see
Walking in to the Cemetery
Looking out for the bats

Thank you to Jill, Peter and Liz for all their help organising the event.

We made nearly £64
A very successful event. 

FODC May 2024

Footage of our Working Party on the 30th March 2024

Click on the link below to see the video


Thank you to Mellisa Dabrowski for the filming of the video.

For other videos or you tube clips click on the link below


FODC April 2024

Planned Events for 2024

To open up the 2024 FODC events click on the link below.

Click here to 2024 events

We need you!!

To open up the we need you click on the link below.

we need you 2024

Have a look in the 2022 News for news


2023 Remembrance Services 2023

On the Friday 10th November we were very lucky to have a beautiful day and the sun was shining down on our Schools Remembrance Day Service

This year we  hosted 13 of the Secondary and Primary Schools from in and around Darwen with over 140 School Children and Teachers attending.  

Our Service was conducted by Rev. Terry Young and the service was opened by the FODC Chairman Tony Foster.

Some of the school children have their photographs taken before the service

The bagpipes were played by Gordon Smith

Tony Foster opening the service

Rev Terry Young conducted the service

Pupils from the 3 secondary schools read the lesson.

The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Coun Parwaiz Akhtar and Sir Jake Berry MP for Rossendale and Darwen lay their wreaths 

Followed by pupils of the local Schools

On our Sunday 12th November Service which is held for the public and Scout Groups, how different the weather can be from the Friday to the Sunday, the Sunday Service was very cold and very wet, however we still managed to attract over 120 visitors to the service.

John East conducted the service

Representatives from the 3 Scout Groups read the lesson

At 11 O’clock the flags were lowered.

Then after the two minuets silence the Scout Groups lay their wreaths.

Thank you to all the FODC Members who made this all possible and to Glenda for being our contact for the Schools.

FODC November 2023

Stolen QR Code

A couple of weeks ago someone decided they liked our recently installed QR Codes so much they borrowed one.

When viewed with a smart phone the code takes you to pages on our website about the specific place you’re looking at.

This is designed to be educational and to share some history of Darwen Cemetery.

The Codes were created with help from WEC in Darwen. We really hope the QR code proved useful but we’d now like it back please so others can share the experience and history of the Cemetery.

If anyone knows where the missing QR code is please let us know.

Thank You

FODC August 2023


Story of Roger Orrell, one of our War Graves in the Cemetery 


Newspaper photograph of Roger Orrell of the Royal Irish Regiment who died in 1915 after a long fight to survive his injuries in Darwen Lancashire

Click here for the full story

FODC July 2023

Our 5th Find a Grave Day Event

On Saturday 24th June 2023 we held our latest Find a Grave Day event, luckily the weather was good and parts of the Cemetery the grass had been cut making it easier in those sections to find the graves.

On the day we had mange to find 22 graves in the Western Cemetery.

Photo by Corinne Firth-Surkitt
No description available.
Photo by Corinne Firth-Surkitt
No description available.
Photo by Alan Walton

Thank you to everybody who took part in the event.

We plan to hold another Find a Grave Day event later on in the year, date to be confirmed.

FODC June 2023

Some Photographs of our Latest Grave Maintenance Day

On Saturday 10th June we had our latest Grave Maintenance Day 

We tended to the 35 graves currently in the Scheme on a very hot sunny Saturday which was hard work for those Hay Fever sufferers.

Also made harder was the length of grass at the moment in the Cemetery.

Here are some before and after photographs of graves that were completed on the day.

Behind here is a grave somewhere
After we finally got through
The completed grave

Other graves completed

After completing the two graves next to each other

Thank you to everybody who took part.

FODC June 2023

Our New QR Codes start appearing in the Cemetery

During April we have started to place QR Codes throughout the Cemetery.

These QR codes will guide visitors to pages on our website to quickly look at the information on their smart phones.

These include the WW1 Memorial Wall

QR codes – World War 1 Memorial Wall

Our Nature Garden

QR codes – Nature Garden

Our Ashes Memorial Garden

QR codes – Ashes & Memorial Garden

The Cross of Sacrifice

QR Codes – Cross of Sacrifice

The row of Commonwealth War Graves 

QR Codes – Military Section

Our Chapel Sites

QR Codes – Cemetery Chapels

We intend to place more of these QR Codes on other positions in the Cemetery in the future.

A big thank you to Graham for his hard work driving the project forward and Jill and Paul for putting the pieces together for the website.

We would like to put a big shout out to WEC who made the QR codes for FODC for free of charge.

Have a look for them in the Cemetery, scan the QR Codes to read the stories for yourselves.  

FODC April 2023

The return of our two granite maps

The maps of the cemetery are now back in place, and now show the location of the memorial wall.

Thank you for Brent Stevenson Memorials for updating the maps

Photos taken from FODC Facebook Page

Photographed by Alan Walton

                                                                                                                           FODC March 2023

Winter in the Cemetery


Photos taken by Alan Walton and Graham Ardis

                                                                                                             FODC December 2022


Remembrance Services 2022

Friday 11th November 2022 Service

Our Friday School Service held for the Local Schools were visited by 14 Local Schools and 1 Nursery, we had 81 students with ages ranging from 3 months old up to 17 year old, together with 24 staff.

Gordon Smith playing the bagpipes on the site of the Nonconformist Chapel then made his way down to the WW1 memorial Wall.

Tony Foster (FODC Chairman) Opened up the Service

Rev. Terry Young conducted the Service

A big thank you to Stuart Speakman for playing the Bugle for the Reveille/Rouse before and after the 2 minute’s Silence.

The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen joined us and chatted to some of the FODC Trustees and some of the School Children.

Some of the Wreaths laid by the Schools and Darwen District Scouts.

FODC would like to thank Terry, Gordon and Stuart for making the event special and to all the schools and nursery for attending the service.

We would also like to thank Sammy from Blackburn With Darwen Council for making paths to all the War Graves this year it was very much appreciated and to all the FODC Members for the hard work leading up to and during the services.

Sunday 13th November 2022 Service

The Sunday Service was blessed with sunshine, the Sunday Service is for the Public and the local Scout Groups.


We had over 70 members of the Public attend this year.

Tony Foster once again opened the Service and John East conducted the Service.

Thank you to both Whitehall Scout Group and St Josephs Scout Group for attending the Service.

                                                                                                                 FODC November 2022



Once again we will be holding two Remembrance Services  in the Cemetery this November.

The first service will be on Friday 11th November 2022 and will take place at the WW1 Memorial Wall in the Western Cemetery at 10.30 am for a 10.45 am start.

This service is our School Service where we have 12 schools attend this service and following the service the children go out into the Cemetery to place poppies on all the Commonwealth Graves in the Western and Eastern Cemeteries.


The second service will be on Sunday 13th November 2022 and will take place at the WW1 Memorial Wall in the Western Cemetery at 10.30 am for a 10.45 am start.

This service is our Public Service and is open to everybody, this service is attended by a number of the local Scout Groups 

We look forward to seeing you!                                                          FODC October 2022




The Friends of Darwen Cemetery hope to start work on repairing headstone shortly. We would like to identify people who still tend a grave here and would be grateful if you could let us have your current contact details.

Please telephone the Cemetery Office on  01254 202021 and give them your details.

Headstones were repaired on Section C in 2011, Section B in 2012 and Section D1 in 2014 with funds raised by the Friends of Darwen Cemetery. Funds are now available to work on Section G

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or supporter of the Friends of Darwen Cemetery, visit our website at


Or you can email


FODC May 2022


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

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.

The above photograph is one that has taken years to find, this is the Non Conformist Chapel which once stood on the large mound in the centre of the old Cemetery,  a big thank you to Alan Walton and the Commonwealth War Commission for the photograph 

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 Next Working Party will be held on :-

Saturday 6th July 2024

Between 10am and 1pm in the Western Cemetery

Then on :-

Saturday 20th July 2024

Saturday 3rd August 2024

Saturday 17th August 2024

Saturday 31st August 2024

Saturday 14th September 2024

Saturday 28th September 2024

Saturday 12th October 2024

Saturday 26th October 2024

Saturday 9th November 2024

Saturday 23rd November 2024

Saturday 7th December 2024 




Contact Us & Donations

Our Email Address is 


Chairman: Tony Foster

Secretary: Glenda Brindle

Treasurer: Diane Walsh

Post: Friends of Darwen Cemetery C/O Unit 2A, Hall Moss Business Park, Bolton 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).

To Donate

By Cheque

Please make Cheques payable to the Friends of Darwen Cemetery 

Post to,  Friends of Darwen Cemetery C/O Unit 2A, Hall Moss Business Park, Bolton Road, Bull Hill, Darwen, 
Lancashire BB3 2TT

Payment Direct in to our Bank Account

Account : Friends of Darwen Cemetery

Bank : Nat West

Sort Code : 01 02 57

Account No : 24568155