The Village and World War I

To note the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War 1, St. James held a commemorative remembrance service and held an exhibition of memorabilia of that date. (See the photo album WW1 Exhibition)

Germany declared war on France and invaded Belgium on 3 August 1914 and when the country ignored Britain’s ultimatum to withdraw by the end of the following day, the British Government declared war. 

The war ended on is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. While this official date to mark the end of the war reflects the ceasefire on the Western Front, hostilities continued in other areas..

At the start of the war Westhead was a small rural village with outlying farms and cottages. 

Westhead Village Street Scene

But, despite this, when Lord Kitchener called ...

Your Country needs Youmore than 100 young men served in the armed forces. 

Of the 100, 16 never returned and others returned injured and unable to continue with normal life. 

The First World War hit all levels of society - high and low - sometimes with catastrophic effect.  For example: 

  • As an example, the Alty family of Wigan Road lost three brothers.  See more --> 
  • Lord Lathom of Lathom Park was involved (see his letter front page and back page) and Lathom Park itself was taken over as a remount depot for horses.  Those, like John Dutton,  that worked at Lathom Park found themselves militarised overnight. 
  • Some, such as Joseph Rimmer, found themselves in another theatre of war in the middle east.  He, fortunately, came back safely from the war. While in Egypt, at one point, Joseph Rimmer and his colleagues were entertained by a concert party.  To begin with these concert parties were not supported by the government, but some went ahead anyway.  (more -->)

At the end of the war, the government supported grieving families in visiting the battle fields and miilitary cemetaries to see the grave of the loved one.  (more -->)

World War 1 had a significant impact on society in all sorts of ways and, not least, in poetry that was birthed by the horrors of the battlefield, such as "In Flanders Fields".