War memorial is rededicated

Members of the community support the heritage weekend at Lowton St Lukes, which also saw the war memorial re-dedicated
Members of the community support the heritage weekend at Lowton St Lukes, which also saw the war memorial re-dedicated

A war memorial has been rededicated at a borough parish church as part of the centenary commemorations for the end of the First World War.

Campaigners at Lowton St Luke’s unveiled the fruits of their labours during a heritage weekend at the Slag Lane landmark.

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Earlier this year the Grants for War Memorials Scheme, an initiative backed by Historic England and the Wolfson Foundation, awarded £13,170 for the Lowton war memorial to be overhauled.

Work has focused on not only repointing the memorial but weatherproofing and stabilising the edifice, which bears the names of more than 40 locals who made the supreme sacrifice during the conflict, as well as cleaning up associated plaques.

Additional funding for the revamp has also been provided from Wigan Council’s Brighter Borough Fund.

A special re-dedication service is set to take place at St Luke’s this Sunday, to celebrate the completion of the project, which has been supported by the church’s parochial council and The Time Team group in Lowton.

Ann Glacki, one of the organisers, said that the war memorial work was not the only highlight planned for the heritage weekend.

She added: “We have found a lot of very old documents, including the consecration deeds from 1733 and some music books from the 1790s.”

Two of the music books bear the names of 18th century churchgoers Hannah Livesey and John Waterworth and the historians have been exploring whether these two figures are the ancestors of any present-day members of the congregation.

In a similar manner, the researchers have been attempting to piece together some of the histories behind those featured on the memorial.

An appeal was issued, when the grant was originally confirmed last May, for any of the soldiers’ descendants to come forward, or to discover if any related memorabilia or old pictures could be unearthed.

Frances Moreton, director of the War Memorials Trust, added: “War memorials are a tangible connection to our shared past, creating a link between the fallen and today.

“The centenary of World War I is a wonderful opportunity for local communities across the country to protect and conserve their war memorials.”