Plans to mark First World War anniversary

Burnley Council receives funding for First World War project
Burnley Council receives funding for First World War project

A First World War project has been granted substantial funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Burnley Council has received £33,200 from the HLF to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

The project, entitled “Little Children Weak”, will take place between 2014 and 2018 and include a range of commemorative activities in Burnley and Padiham to mark the local impact of the conflict.

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 Towneley Park and Hall.

Other aspects of the project include:

l 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.

l 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.

l The restoration of a memorial banner which has been at Towneley since 1921.

l The production of a new roll of honour

l Short plays by Burnley Youth Theatre

l A series of guided historic walks and talks around the town

l Interviewing descendants of local war veterans

l 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.

“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 £45m. 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 Burnley and Padiham who were affected during the conflict.” 

l For more information on the project visit or find the project on Facebook at “Little Children Weak – Burnley in the Great War”. To volunteer, or to share your story, please email Mike at