Blackburn’s Roll of Honour containing the names of 3,117 men and women who died in service during World War 1 was initially unveiled and printed in 1929. More information and a copy of the original list can be viewed by selecting the following link. 1929 Roll of Honour. The list had been compiled by the Borough Librarian, Mr Ashton, and his staff from newspaper cuttings pasted onto card throughout the duration of the conflict. This card index still exists and is held in the Community History section of Blackburn Central Library.
Alan Barry’s List
During 2014, Alan Barry very kindly allowed Blackburn Library to copy the research he and his son, Alan Howard Barry, had compiled. Over a period of four years, during the 1990s, Alan and his son spent hours revisiting the library index, checking the newspapers and visiting Churches, places of work and other organisations in order to photograph and index names held on various memorials. Their list was an endeavour of great magnitude and was the first major update and revision to Blackburn’s Roll of Honour. The “Barry” list discovered more names for inclusion on the Roll of Honour and it would appear that the number of men who died from Blackburn and surrounding areas is much nearer to four thousand.
Transcription’s of the “Barry List”
Ray Smith, Chairman of Blackburn Local History Society, and Brian and Marilyne Houghton rose to the challenge and spent many hours transcribing and checking the “Barry list”. They were both able to use online resources which were not readily available when Alan and his son were undertaking their research. Ray and Brian also liaised and cross-checked with each other and shared their results with the Library. Maurice Ffelan from The Friends of Blackburn Old Cemetery supported this work by supplying information regarding soldiers interred in Blackburn Old Cemetery.
In order to create the revised Roll of Honour for Cotton Town, a small and highly dedicated team of library volunteers led by Stephen Smith and including Janet Burke and Norah Proos used the following resources:
· The library card index file and the printed Roll of Honour
· List compiled by Alan Barry and Alan Howard Barry
· Ray Smith’s transcript of the “Barry List”
· Brian & Marilyne Houghton’s transcript of the “Barry List”
· Commonwealth War Graves Commission
· Ancestry & Find My Past (1911 Census, Medal Index cards, Soldiers that Died, Pension Records, Soldiers’ Effects)
· War memorial information from Churches and other sources.
Currently, images of the soldiers taken from the original library card index file, have been added up to “Letter T”; work continues in order to complete the task prior to Easter 2018. Amendments and revision work will continue to be undertaken. Additional information and suggestions regarding inclusions and unintentional omissions would be most welcome.
The format for each soldier’s entry is:
- Image (if available)
- Surname, Forename
- Rank, Regimental Numer, Regiment and Battalion
- Date of Death, Age (if known)
Criteria for inclusion
Men or women have been included on the Roll of Honour if they were born, lived or worked in Blackburn including those who enlisted overseas in countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
One point worthy of mention is that if a soldier was included on the printed 1929 Roll of Honour then their name will be listed on the digital Roll of Honour even if there is no additional information available to confirm an obvious link to the town.
Other localities and villages provided names which required consideration. Men from the following areas have generally been included if they met the above criteria for inclusion:
Those men with strong associations to Tockholes and Yate & Pickup Bank have generally not been included because they are likely to be listed on the Darwen Roll of Honour although there may be a few exceptions!
Enlistment is a somewhat more intangible filter but has been considered. Men who enlisted in Blackburn have been included on the list if they meet the basic criteria of having been born, lived or worked in the town. Sometimes it has not been possible to prove a connection to the town, therefore, it is intended to provide an “Addenda” section at some stage in the near future in order to publish the names of men who may not be entirely fit the criteria for inclusion for whatever reason, or, about whom it would be useful to discover more information.
With grateful thanks to the following for their exhaustive research, utmost dedication and commitment to recording and remembering those men and women from Blackburn who “made the supreme sacrifice”.
Alan Howard Barry
Brian and Marilyne Houghton
Grateful thanks also for help and assistance provided by:
Maurice Ffelan (Friends of Blackburn Old Cemetery)
Tony Foster (Friends of Darwen Cemetery)
Pauline Hall (Catholic Churches)
Adrian Schofield (Holy Trinity)
Sandy Woods (Immanuel)
Ruth Bell (St James’, Lower Darwen)
Judith Jacklin (St Stephen’s, Tockholes)
Shirley Penman (Clitheroe and Blackburn)
Darwen Roll of Honour
The Roll of Honour for Darwen has been published on Cotton Town for several years Darwen Roll of Honour; this work was undertaken by Graham Groom but was not complete. Tony Foster has now completely revised and updated Darwen's Roll of Honour and has kindly allowed Cotton Town to publish the results of his endeavours.
If you have any additional information regarding entries on the Roll of Honour please use the Feedback Form on Cotton Town or email: