Remembrance Service 2020 & Family united with War Grave

The Friends of Darwen Cemetery last Friday marked the now Annual Children’s Yearly Remembrance Service in the Western Cemetery by putting out flags and crosses on over 100 Commonwealth War Graves, the crosses are normally put on the graves by the children following the service, but this year it was not possible due to the current Covid 19 pandemic, a representative laid a wreath at the Memorial Wall in the Cemetery after simple prayers led by Rev. David Bacon.

Only three Trustees attended this years service, Diane, Paul and John.

The FODC Wreath laid during the service.

If you would like to see the service click on the you tube video below, the video was taken by Rev David Bacon.

A very different service to our usual Remembrance Service this year, Rev. David Bacon.

Over the last few months historian Tony Foster, Chair of FODC has been researching soldiers who are buried in Darwen Cemetery but are not recognised as having a war grave.   After researching, the graves of Squire Howarth in an unmarked grave and John Farnhill, who died aged 39, were located and marked and added to the list of war graves in the cemetery and the grave details given to the family.

Wynn Godwin and Kevin Shaw, John Farnhill Grandchildren

Wynn Godwin and her brother Kevin Shaw grandchildren of John Farnhill were tending his grave as the flags and crosses were being placed by trustees of Friends of Darwen Cemetery and they were able to lay the flag for the first time on their grandfathers’ grave.

Wynn said, “Without Tony Fosters work our family would not know where our grandad was buried. We are so grateful to the FODC who place flags and poppies each year.”

Diane Davies, FODC Trustee, who runs the Adopt a War Grave scheme said, “The tradition of laying crosses on the war graves was started over 50 years ago by Pte Richard Westhead an East Lancashire regiment veteran, who sadly passed earlier this year.

Peter Westhead being interviewed by Naomi Cornwell for BBC North West back in 2018 when we unveiled our World War One Memorial.

He quietly, for over forty years following the service in the town, visited the cemetery and placed handmade crosses on the graves of his fallen comrades prior to FODC being formed.

”Tony Foster, Chair of FODC said, “This year as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has formally recognised two casualties from WW1, Private Squire Haworth

The unmarked Grave of Private Squire Haworth grave in Section B

and Driver John Farnhill. We must never forget their sac

FODC November 2020