War Graves

Great Marsden, Nelson

Historical Information

During the two world wars, the United Kingdom became an island fortress used for training troops and launching land, sea and air operations around the globe. There are more than 170,000 Commonwealth war graves in the United Kingdom, many being those of servicemen and women killed on active service, or who later succumbed to wounds. Others died in training accidents, or because of sickness or disease. The graves, many of them privately owned and marked by private memorials, will be found in more than 12,000 cemeteries and churchyards. Nelson Cemetery contains 38 First World War burials and 20 from the Second World War. In addition, a single special memorial commemorates 30 casualties buried in Great Marsden (St John) Churchyard where their graves could no longer be maintained and the original headstone of one casualty buried in Brierfield (Providence) Old Congregational Chapelyard has been re-erected in this cemetery. In all, there are now 66 First World War casualties commemorated in Nelson Cemetery and 23 from the Second World War.

National Lottery support for The Friends of St John’s Churchyard to mark the First World War Centenary
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The Friends of St John’s Churchyard have received a National Lottery grant of £8300 to research Nelson’s First World War Heritage as recorded in St John’s Churchyard. Awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s First World War then and now programme, the project will focus on generating a database of the casualties, researching and documenting their lives within the local community and creating a permanent memorial to these local men in the form of a Garden enhanced by information boards.

To mark the Centenary of the First World War, the project will enable people in Nelson and surrounding areas to come together to preserve the stories and heritage of the local people who lived and died during the First World War. Volunteers will acquire new skills through completing guided research; media requests will enable the public to share family items such as photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and photos of keepsakes, as well as family tales passed down to help them build a clear picture of what life was really like.
The information will be accessible to all through a newly created website. Events and exhibitions will publicise and share our findings and at the same time commemorate the lives of ordinary men from our community who died as a result of the First World War.

There are over 100 local men buried or commemorated in the churchyard at St John’s; until now there has been no permanent memorial recognising all of them. In this Centenary year it is fitting that we acknowledge and remember their huge sacrifice and discover and share as much as we can about their lives and also those of their families left behind.
GREAT MARSDEN (ST. JOHN) CHURCHYARD - List of World War 1 casualties
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A charity set up in 2005 to restore and improve St. John's churchyard, Nelson, Lancashire

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Churchyard Location

St John with St Philip Church
Barkerhouse Road
Nelson, Lancashire

© 2018 Friends of St John's