The unveiling of Lathom & Burscough's War Memorial 1922.
Junction Lane is to the left of the photos. Taken from the Stanley Institute.
The whole memorial was constructed in grey Cornish granite from the famous quarries near St. Stithians. The contract for the memorial was carried out by Messers. James Whittle, contractor, of Ormskirk. The granite steps and cross were supplied by Mr. Samuel Welsby, sculptor, of Liverpool and Widnes, and the architect in charge of the work was Mr. C. Brighouse of Ormskirk.
Edward Bridge M.M., B.E.M.
Edward Bridge, was born in Burscough c1893. He lived at 11 Moss Lane. He served in WW1 and during that conflict he was badly injured. He received the Military Medal for attacking and wiping out a German machine gun post in France. Due to his injuries he was bed-ridden thereafter. Between the wars he built radio receivers to occupy his time and listened to shipping at Liverpool. During WW2 he started to receive coded messages, and informed the police. It turned out they were German spies in Liverpool reporting on shipping movements. A car used to arrive every morning at the house on Moss Lane from the War Office to collect the messages, which were then taken to Bletchley Park to be decoded. For this he received the British Empire Medal, so he was decorated in both wars.
He died 14th October 1942 and is buried in St John's Parish Churchyard.
He was mentioned in the Ormskirk Advertiser 2nd October 1916.
MILITARY MEDAL FOR BURSCOUGH SERGEANT
News has been received that Sgt. Edward Bridge, son of Mrs Jane Bridge, Moss Lane, Burscough, attached to the King's Liverpool Regiment, has been awarded the Military Medal. The words of the report are as follows:-
“The Major-General _______ Division, has received a report of the gallant conduct of Sgt. E. Bridge, of the King’s Liverpool Regt., on the 7th Oct. last, in bombing a machine gun out of action, and he wishes to congratulate him on his fine behaviour”.
The report is signed by the Brigadier-General.
BLETCHLEY PARK: ROLL OF HONOUR
Mr Edward Bridge.
Service: RSS Civilian.
Summary of service: Radio Security Service. Voluntary Interceptor, Burscough, Lancashire.
Awarded B.E.M. in 1942 for his RSS work, and received a letter of congratulation from the Prime Minister.
(Photo and information courtesy - Trevor Bridge)
The first Burscough man, if not one of the first men to die in the Great War was Robert Ashton, K 16724, Stoker 1st Class, HMS Amphion RNVR (Mersey).
Killed in Action 6th August 1914. Aged 21. Son of Thomas and Ann Ashton of Burscough.
Robert Ashton had about three years in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. He was also six months in Devonport Barracks and then went on to the Amphion, where he served about fifteen months. Robert Ashton made excellent progress in the Royal Navy, and was rapidly promoted to a 1st Class stoker. A Native of Burscough, he was formerly in the employment of Mr Young, baker of Duke Street, Southport.
Private Henry Ashcroft 56662, 20th Kings Liverpool Regt. (4th City Pals).
Killed in action 31st July 1917. Aged 19. This was the first day of the 3rd Battle of Ypres.
Has no grave, named on Menin Gate, Ypres.
Son of James and Elizabeth Ashcroft, and worked with his father as a boatman.
(Photo courtesy - Ste Howard).
Private Thomas Fletcher 5th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. (Pictured here with Ada Lily Fletcher (left) and Gladys Fletcher).
Died as a POW, 1st November 1918. Age 30.
Buried at Berlin South Western Cemetery.
Born & lived in Lathom. Son of Henry and Sarah Fletcher of Glovers Bridge, Lathom. He was the second son, his younger brother William fell while serving with the Kings Regiment.
(Photos courtesy - Claire Williams).
Corporal William Fletcher 49397, 4th Battalion Kings (Liverpool) Regiment.
Killed in action 3rd February 1917. Age 24.
Buried at Peronne Communal Cemetery, France.
Born & lived in Lathom. Son Henry & Sarah Fletcher of Glovers Bridge, Lathom. He was the fourth son, his brother Thomas (second son) serving in the 5th Warwickshire Regiment, died as a POW. Pre war, he worked for Lord Derby. He then went to work for Lord Lathom and it was he that encouraged his territorial interest.
(Photos courtesy - Claire Williams).
Leslie Frank Jupp was born October 1899 in Edmonton, Middlesex. When he moved to Burscough is not known for certain, but just prior to WW1 is the best estimate. In 1926 he lived in Mart Lane and he married Catherine Parr (born 1903). Later they lived in School Lane.
Leslie not only served in WW1 for which he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, but also involved in a 'campaign' with the British Army in the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920 (also known as the 1920 Iraqi Revolt) with the RAOC for which he was awarded the General Service Medal with Iraq clasp.
If that was not enough, in 1939 Leslie re-joined the Army and served with the REME and was part of British Expeditionary Force in 1939/40 (which means he would have been involved in the evacuation at Dunkirk). He served throughout the Second World War for which he was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the Defence Medal and the War Medal 1939-1945.
He was discharged from the Army in 1951. He then went on to serve at Deysbrook Barracks. On the 30th April 1965 Leslie Frank Jupp was awarded the Imperial Service Medal. He died in October 1992, age 93.
(Photos/medals courtesy - Jill Serjeant. Additional family information courtesy - Carol Gilbody).
Sergeant Pilot Robert Short Timewell (Roy) was well known in Burscough. He had joined the Territorial Army before the war and served in France initially, being evacuated at Dunkirk. He then volunteered for duty with the Commandos, but transferred to the RAF in 1941. In October 1942 he was flying with 539 Squadron based at RAF Acklington and equipped with Hurricane Mk IIc aircraft.
Apparently a week before the incident he had written to his parents (the then landlord & landlady of The Royal Coaching House) to let everyone know he would be flying over Burscough the following Sunday, 4th October 1942. He took off from RAF Acklington at 3.25pm in a Hurricane Mk IIc (BN.205) and many residents turned out to watch as he gave an impressive low-level aerobatic display for several minutes. Witnesses (My dad and his mate) recalled that the aircraft was very low while trying to perform a manoeuvre. What followed deeply shocked everyone, as the plane disappeared from the view of those on the main street, behind some buildings, it lost height rapidly and ploughed straight into the field behind the local football ground, exploding as it came to rest. The resulting fire then caused bullets to start exploding and people ran for cover. My Dads friend (approx age 12 at the time), Brian Swift received a serious eye injury.
Sgt. Pilot Timewell was buried with full military honours at St. John the Baptist Church Burscough the following week and comments in the local paper referring to the "painful sensation created in Burscough" and the "sympathetic gathering" of residents, reflect local feelings. As usual no actual details of the incident were published due to wartime censorship and the site was quickly and thoroughly cleared - leaving few clues as to the manner of this airman's tragic death. He died age 24.
(Photos courtesy - Nancy Wells).
Private John Edward Walker, 36710, 10th Bn. The Loyal North Lancashire Regt. Died of Wounds 13th September 1918.
Son of Stanley Walker, Rose Villas, Burscough. Pre war worked at Tarlesclough Farm for his grandfather. Commemorated on Vis en Artois Memorial (Panel 7), he was known to be in a German hospital wounded, then had his leg amputated. Yet he has no known grave!
(Photo courtesy - Jean Holroyd).
Charles Henry Birch, REME.
Charles joined up in 1939, he was rescued from Dunkirk, and then went right through the war via Africa, Sicily, Italy and other countries.
Sergeant Ronald Desmond Stack (back left) - 2206324 - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Ronald Stack lived at Square Lane, Burscough and he was a mid upper gunner in 101 Squadron (Lancasters) and part of a crew of 8 aboard ME616 (SR-B). On the night of 30th June 1944, Pilot Officer Rippon took off from Ludford Magna (Lincs.) at 22.15 on a raid on the marshalling yards at Vierzon (south of Orleans) in support of invasion forces in Normandy. Probably on the return journey in the early hours of 1st July 1944, the aircraft was brought down at Chateaudun killing all the crew.
They are all buried together at Chateaudun Eastern Communal Cemetery.
101 Squadron was a specialist outfit as each Lancaster carried and extra crew member (hence 8) a specialist to operate the ABC aerial radio jamming system (Code name Airborne Cigar).
Ronald Stack is remembered on the Lathom and Burscough War Memorial.
(Thanks to Alan James Barrow for his help in the research work).
Private George Hunter, 58026,126th Coy Machine Gun Corps. (Formerly 6704 Royal Flying Corps).
Killed In Action 3rd August 1917. Aged 33 Buried New Irish Farm Cemetery, nr Ypres.
His wife was Edith Hannah Hunter, 30 Mill Street, Ormskirk. His parents were James and Ellen Hunter, Burscough Bridge.
(Photos courtesy - Vernon and Helen Rawsthorne).
Gunner John Hunter, 313601, 136th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.
Killed In Action assisting another wounded soldier, 15th May 1918. Aged 36. Buried in Brandenhoek New Military Cemetery No. 3, Vlamertinghe, Nr Ypres.
Husband of Ceclia Hunter, Mill Lane, Burscough. Son of James & Ellen Hunter.
(Photos courtesy - Vernon and Helen Rawsthorne).
Corporal Sidney Porter, 1432 5th Manchesters ‘Wigan Miners’ Bn TF.
Discharged unfit from wounds in September 1916 after serving in Egypt, Gallipoli & Mesopotamia.
Died 18th October 1918. Aged 28.
Son of Sidney & Elizabeth Porter, 66 Liverpool Road, Burscough and Brother of George Porter.
Buried Christ Church, Newburgh. Commemorated on Newburgh War Memorial and the Lathom & Burscough War Memorial.
(Photos courtesy - Brian Porter).
John Martland wearing his Royal Flying Corps uniform, WW1.
John lived in Red Cat Lane.
The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was the air arm of the British Army before and during the First World War, until it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service on 1st April 1918, to form the Royal Air Force.
(Photo courtesy - Joyce Hampson).
Danny Hunter served from July 1940 - December 1945 during WW2.
Whilst serving with 144th Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (he was the driver of a Sherman Tank), he told me that one day during heavy fighting their Sherman tank had a German Tiger tank in its sights...... the call from the tank Commander of.... AIM... FIRE........ MISFIRE..... was repeated three times (broken firing pin) and by this time the German Tiger tank had them in its sights!
All Danny can remember is.... Whoooosh..... direct hit, and he was blown from the Sherman tank, the two other men in his tank were Killed. On that day the 144th were almost wiped out and he was one of the few survivors!
Ronnie Walton, Royal Army Service Corps (RASC). Ronnie sent this photo back home to his wife, with the message, 'lots of love, Ron xx.'
During his service, and as part of the Royal Army Service Corps he was evacuated from Dunkirk, went through the North African Campaign with the Desert Rats, (he even serviced Montgomery's staff car) and then on to Italy. On V.E. day Ronnie was on the Italy/Austria border.
(Photos courtesy - Andrew Walton).
Alan Pealing was born in Ormskirk in 1924. He joined the RAF as a Cadet and after training in England and Canada he graduated as a Navigator in Bomber Command. During WW2 he made several sorties over Germany and luckily he was not shot down, although many of his friends were not so lucky. He was eventually promoted to Warrant Officer. Alan passed away in 2015.
(Photos courtesy - Mike Pealing).
William (Bill) Jenkinson RAF, WW2.
Bill worked at Pippin Farm, Burscough prior to joining the RAF. He originally lived at Burscough Street, Ormskirk. In 1942 he joined the RAF and was a rear gunner in Wellington and Sterling bombers (mainly over Norway). After the war he worked for Ribble buses as a conductor, driver and later on as an inspector.
(Photo / info courtesy - John Gorst).
Eric Alfred Dean was the Son of Joseph & Minnie Constance Dean. They lived near the railway crossing adjacent to Daisy Lane & Meadow Lane in Lathom. My father (William Dawson) as a young boy knew him well. He told me his family was very poor, as were many people back in the 1940s. He can remember Eric with old shoes full of holes stuffed with cardboard. Eric worked at Burscough Hall farm which used to be next to St. Johns RC Church, Chapel Lane. It was from this employment that Eric enlisted in 1943 to serve his country, joining the RAF, attaining the rank of Sgt (Air Gunner). My dad then aged 13/14 took over Eric's old job and it was some months later while working at the farm my dad recalls the day Eric came back to visit, but this time not in his old shoes, but a proud young man in a very smart RAF uniform!
On 29th December 1943, Vickers Wellington X3883 of 20 Operational Training Unit (OTU) took off from its base at RAF Seighford, Staffordshire on a Bullseye Exercise. This exercise involved cooperation between the OTU and ground defences. A crew would be given a course to follow to a target city in Britain and an aiming point to photograph. The ground defences had to locate the bomber and illuminate it with searchlights. While on the flight, the aircraft's starboard engine failed. This left the crew with two options: to make an emergency landing - they were very close to the Relief Landing Grounds at RAF Tatenhill and RAF Hoar Cross - or to bale out. The pilot did neither, but made the fatal mistake of attempting to restart the failed engine which caught fire causing the aircraft to go out of control and crash at 21.40 hours near Hoar Cross. Out of the six man crew only Sgt F. Collet survived, his five crewmates were killed. Sgt. T.B. Joyce, Sgt. J. Whitehead, P/O J.W. Lorrimore, Sgt. H.W. Miller and Sgt. E. A. Dean.
Eric was 19 / 20 years old when he died and is buried at Stafford Cemetry.
Prior to 2004 the name of Sgt Eric Alfred Dean did not figure on the Lathom & Burscough War Memorial in Burscough. The reason it appears now is due to my father (William Dawson). Late in 2003 my father contacted Richard Houghton (renowned local military historian) to ask had he heard of Eric Dean, whom he had not. Richard said, ‘as the commonwealth war graves commission is not searchable by residence or birthplace then unless a name is proposed there is no way of knowing that anyone is missing from any memorial with a WW2 association. I was asked did I think it would be possible to have his name commemorated at Burscough. I was intrigued by this request, we discussed the said Sgt in detail. Sure enough he was from Lathom and missing. I recall asking William, how did he know of this serviceman’ his reply was “because he was my pal.”
It was late 2011 when we eventually found out what happened to Eric and where he was buried, after alot of research work, so a visit was arranged for springtime and on Saturday 31st March 2012, 69 years after Eric died my father got to visit his ‘pals’ grave for the very first time and lay some flowers. Sadly this story has one final sad twist. Soon after arriving home later that day my father suddenly became ill and in the early hours of the following morning my father William Dawson (aged 83) passed away.
He never forgot his boyhood pal indeed it is a simple fact that the name Eric Dean is on the Burscough and Lathom War Memorial, is due to him.
(I would like to thank Alan James Barrow for his help researching Vickers Wellington X3883).