The GREAT War                         1914 - 1918

Adlington, Anderton and Heath Charnock remember.

Christmas 1914 passed as normally as possible, with patriotic overtones even in the institutions.

Chorley Guardian and Leyland Hundred Advertiser 2 January 1915



At the Isolation Hospital, Heath Charnock, Christmas was celebrated in a comfortable manner, and everything was made as homely as possible.  Evergreens were hung in the wards and corridors and in the Children’s Department was a large Christmas tree decorated with fancy articles.  The children who numbered about 17 had turkey and plum pudding for dinner and afterwards played games, and toys were given them to play with.  The phthisis patients numbered 23 and they were suitably provided for and entertained.


On account of the war the celebration of Christmas at the Rawcliffe Hospital was of a quieter, though no less pleasant nature than in previous years.  The wards were appropriately bedecked with the colours of the Allies, whilst the patients had their usual Christmas dinner and had their friends to tea.  A short concert programme was submitted in the afternoon, and the wounded Belgian soldiers in the institution thoroughly enjoyed their first experience of a real English Christmas.  A number of presents were generously given for the patients, whilst there was a Christmas tree for the children.


The inmates of the Chorley Union Workhouse spent a happy time during the Christmas festivities.  The interior of the building was decorated by the officials with evergreens and the colours of the Allies.  On Christmas Day there were special rations for dinner and tea, whilst various gifts of apples, oranges, grapes, toys, greeting cards, tea, sugar, sweets, tobacco, fruit and snuff were distributed.  A Christmas tree for the children afforded added pleasure.  In the evening an excellent concert programme, embracing vocal, violin, banjo and pianoforte music, was given as usual by Mr Holden’s party of Chorley which consisted of the following:  Messrs P. Jones, T. Yardley, A. Harrison, A. Bennett and H. Harrison; Masters H. Cottam and Greenhalgh and Misses A. Greenhalgh, E. Cottam, N. Calvey, E. Greenhalgh, M. Allan and Walsh.  The concluding item on the programme was the National Anthems of the Allies recited by Miss Greenhalgh and sung by the whole company.  The gathering was presided over by the Chairman of the Board of Guardians (Mr W.W. Burwell) and Mr T. Mayor, also a member of the Board, was present.  A vote of thanks was passed to the artistes for their commendable kindness, whilst the Chairman made congratulatory reference to the manner in which the officials had arranged the festivities.  The piano for the concert was kindly lent by Mr A. Leach, whilst another was generously provided for the festivities by Messrs T. Brindle & Son.  On Boxing Day several members of St Peter’s Church choir gave an enjoyable concert in the hospital at the institution.  Everything passed off very successfully and the inmates enjoyed a very pleasant Christmas.

The first Adlington men to be taken prisoner, Edward Fairclough, an eighteen-year-old regular soldier, and reservist Robert Bolton were reported captured at La Bassee and Mons. Private Fairclough was captured on December 22nd, and remained incarcerated in the dreadful conditions of Wittenberg Camp for the rest of the war. His younger brother, Walter, would be killed in action in May 1918.

Chorley Guardian and Leyland Hundred Advertiser 27 February 1915


In the list of the Loyal North Lancashires reported as missing appear the names of two Adlington men - Privates E. Fairclough and R. Bolton.  The former was in the army when war was declared, and the latter, who was a reservist, was called up shortly after the outbreak of hostilities.  For some time past the relatives had been unable to obtain any information as to their whereabouts, and they are believed to be prisoners. The former used to live on Chorley-road and his sister is still a resident in that neighbourhood. Bolton’s wife also lives on Chorley-road.  

Chorley Guardian and Leyland Hundred Advertiser 3 April 1915


Private Edward Fairclough, of Adlington, who is 18 years of age, was posted as missing in the engagement of December 22nd, after being in the trenches 14 weeks.  It is thought that he is a prisoner of war.  He joined the L.N.Lancashire Regiment about 10 months before the war, and later was sent to Aldershot, and from there to France.  Private Fairclough, who was formerly in the employ of Mr Henry Seddon, has a brother and two sisters living in Adlington.