The stunning South Ribble War Memorial is a recent but now familiar sight to commuters queuing on the busy roundabout where Lostock Lane meets Watkin Lane, near Bamber Bridge. Behind it lies the Peace Garden, which is designed to look like a World War One trench, complete with sandbags lining the top. Nearby is a willow statue of a soldier resting on a crate. Both are situated in the newly created St Catherine’s Park. To visit the site, there is a free car park on Todd Lane South.
The memorial is a huge sheet of prerusted steel alloy almost forty feet tall. It features a cut out silhouette of a soldier with his head bowed, a giant poppy and the single word ‘Remember’. It was designed by South Ribble Borough Council regeneration officers and built by the Lancashire company DP Structures of Nelson. On the side facing into the Peace Garden is a list of the 686 men from South Ribble who lost their lives in the First World War. The list was compiled by local historian, Charlie O’ Donnell, who took 18 months looking through archives to find them all.
The project was a joint collaboration between St Catherine’s Hospice, the borough council and Preston and Longridge Rotary clubs. This year in Longridge there is a big community project to involve primary age children in a whole series of commemoration events culminating in a large scale performance of the drama ‘Armistice’.
To learn more about this Longridge project (which includes reminiscences from relatives about their ancestors who fought in the war) see our page on Lancashirepast.com here
To find out more about the history of St Catherine’s Park and Hall see our page here
Only a few minutes walk away from the Peace Garden is a replica of a World War I Inglis Bridge see here
BELOW: The Peace Garden, which has been made to resemble a World War One trench top.
BELOW: A willow statue of a soldier resting on a crate