Longridge head teacher's campaign to honour everyone from the town that died during the First World War

Businesses and community organisations are being encouraged to house one of 93 silhouettes honouring the men of a Lancashire town that died during the First World War.

Friday, 1st June 2018, 3:33 pm
Updated Monday, 4th June 2018, 3:47 pm
Nazreen Ali and Gail Maudsley of Vincents Solicitors, Longridge, with their 'ghost soldier'. Photo: Martin Bostock.
Nazreen Ali and Gail Maudsley of Vincents Solicitors, Longridge, with their 'ghost soldier'. Photo: Martin Bostock.

The man behind the project is Simon Wallis, head teacher at Barnacre Road Primary School in Longridge, who wants business throughout the town to take in the ‘ghost soldiers’, each onerepresenting a Longridge man that died in the war.

The first one has already found a home in Lancashire law firm Vincents Solicitors,who are housing one in their Longridge branch as well as organising events throughout the summer and seconding a member of staff to co-ordinate promotional activities.

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Nazreen Ali and Gail Maudsley of Vincents Solicitors, Longridge. Photo: Martin Bostock.

Mr Wallis said: “This extra pair of hands from Vincents is enormously generous and will make a real difference in helping us stage an event which the children will remember for the rest of their lives, and which we hope will make the town proud.

"The wartime generation have all but gone now, and this centenary really feels like the last chance to commemorate the sacrifices they made for all of us.”

Gail Maudsley from Vincents said: “This is such a fantastic project, bringing to life an incredibly important part of our history, about which fewer people know as time passes.

“I am delighted to be joining the project team to help bring other local businesses on board.”

Poppies which have already been collected at Barnacre Road Primary. Pictured are pupils Barney Winder, Issac Billington, Joshua Birch, Imogen Strickland, Beth Maddock and Shannon Ball with headteacher Simon Wallis.

Simon Wallis is directing the ambitious Longridge Cluster Schools Armistice Commemoration, bringing together 15 schools and more than 700 pupils with the aim to bring together young people within the wider Lancashire community to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Mr Wallis said: “The response from the children and their families has been incredible.

“We’ve had all sorts of artefacts and stories brought into school, and the pupils are all working incredibly hard to pull together everything needed to put on this huge show in November.”

Alison Bunn, Area Manager for The Royal British Legion in Greater Manchester and Lancashire, said: “Longridge’s community is really embracing the spirit of this centenary year.

"Their plans are a fantastic way to make the First World War relevant to today’s generation.

"We hope it will show them the importance of Remembrance and give them a chance to say ‘thank you’ to those who paved the way for their future.”

Simon is behind the school’s gala performance set for Preston’s Guild Hall on Armistice Day (November 11), where 19,240 hand-crafted poppies will be displayed – the number of men killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 – while schoolchildren remember the Centenary through art, music, and storytelling.

To donate to the Commemoration project visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/longridgearmistic