Burnley Council win for WW1 project

15 January 2014

Burnley Council has received £33,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War.

The project, entitled ‘Little Children Weak’*, will take place between 2014 – 2018 and include a range of commemorative activities in Burnley and Padiham.

From June, over 4,000 small wooden crosses will be laid in Towneley Park, Burnley and Memorial Park, Padiham. They represent the 4,212 local men and one local woman who lost their lives during the conflict. Each cross will bear a soldiers name.

The ambitious project will work closely with local schools, residents and volunteers to ensure that their legacy will live on long into the future.

From February onwards, various commemorative planting displays, including one in the shape of the East Lancashire regimental badge, will be created in and around Townley Park and Hall.  

Other aspects of the project include:

  • Two exhibitions at Towneley Hall: one telling ‘100 Stories’ will take place in the summer and the other, based around local ‘war memorials will be in November.
  • To coincide with the exhibition there will be a book and DVD of ‘100 stories’ These will feature the stories of local people about their wartime experiences and information from local historians and experts. A children’s book will be published in the same style.  
  • The restoration of a memorial banner which has been at Towneley since 1921.
  • The production of a new roll of honour
  • Short plays by Burnley Youth Theatre
  • A series of guided historic walks and talks around the town
  • Interviewing descendants of local war veterans
  • A procession through Towneley Park on Monday August 4th to coincide with the time that the outbreak of war was announced.

Mike Townend, Senior Curator and Project Manager for ‘Little Children Weak’, said:

“We’re delighted to have secured this funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund so that we can commemorate the fallen of Burnley in this way. The project will bring together all of the community, and we hope that as many people as possible will come forward and volunteer to help in whatever way they can, be it helping with planting, helping to lay crosses or being involved in the procession in August.

“We’d also love to hear any unusual or quirky war-time stories that people may have of their relatives. We’ll be hosting a series of ‘Descendants Days’ and hope that people will come forward and share these with us.”

Sara Hilton, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “The impact of the First World War was far-reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. We have already invested more than £45 million in commemorative projects, including local community projects like this one, which will enable people to explore and record their local wartime history and commemorate the thousands of people from Burnely and Padiham who were affected during the conflict.” 

For more information on the project visit www.burnley.gov.uk/ww1 or find the project on Facebook at Little Children Weak – Burnley and the First World War

Twitter: @burnley_ww1

To volunteer, or to share your story, please email Mike at [email protected].



Notes to Editors

*We were but little children weak

but now we are mighty strong

So wrote Gunner Bertie Purvey whilst convalescing from wounds (received at ‘Plug Street’) at Huntroyde military hospital, Padiham, in 1917. Bertie was not local but his is one story which could be replicated by many who served from Burnley and Padiham.

Photo: Amy Foster child fundraiser (Hieland Lassie) with Sgt Alfred Faraday, St James Street, Burnley, 1916

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 36,000 projects with more than £5.9bn across the UK.  www.hlf.org.uk.


To editors and journalists

For any further information, please contact:

 Amy [email protected]

Tel: 01282 477198

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