Remembrance Day: 100 years of the Birchcliffe War Memorial

100 years ago our war memorial was unveiled, commemorating the 27 young men from the Birchcliffe Chapel congregation who were killed in the Great War. The memorial was unveiled in a ceremony described in the Todmorden and District News as "intensely impressive," and attended by a large crowd of the friends and family of the fallen soldiers. 


The picture above shows the crowd gathered to watch the ceremony, filling the front garden of the chapel and spilling out into the road. Below you can see a postcard produced on the day the memorial was unveiled. As you can see, a variety of flowers and palm leaves had been laid on the memorial – the tradition of laying poppy wreaths on war memorials was started two years later in 1924 by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII).


The message on the memorial reads "To the memory of the men from this church who gave their lives for us in the Great War, 1914-1919. They laid their richest gift – their lives – on the altar of sacrifice. Let their names be remembered."

Their names were:

Harold V. Baldwin

James William Barker

George Booth

Arthur Cockcroft

Charles Cotton

John Crowther

Harry Dewhirst

Prince Farrar

Walter Greenhalgh

Clarence Greenwood

Herbert Greenwood

Wilfred Greenwood

Harry Haigh

Fred Haigh

Edgar Helliwell

Alpha Jackson

Willie Lord

William Schofield

Fred Southwell

Willie Southwell

David A. Stansfield

William Stell

Edgar Sutcliffe

Harold Sutcliffe

Harold Tetlaw

John William Thomas

William Albert Thomas