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Yorkshire Regiment to be granted freedom of Barnoldswick
11:00am Monday 19th August 2013 in News
Members of the Yorkshire Regiment will be granted an honourary Freedom of the Town award when Barnoldswick’s war memorial is re-dedicated on September 8.
Barnoldswick Town Council has unanimously agreed to grant the honour because more than one third of the 317 names listed on the memorial were servicemen who died serving under Yorkshire-based regiments during the First and Second World Wars.
Coun Ken Hartley, chairman of Barnoldswick Town Council, said: “Our decision was based on historical statistics. Out of the 317 names on the newly re-furbished memorial, 123 names are associated with the Yorkshire Regiment. Thirty-seven come from the Duke of Lancaster Regiment.
“It’s not an attempt to restart a War of the Roses,” he said. “At the times those lives were lost, Barnoldswick was part of the West Riding of Yorkshire and was a primary recruiting ground for the 6th Battalion of Yorkshire’s Duke of Wellington Regiment.”
Although Coun Hartley said he had not received any complaints about the decision, he has been asked to attend a meeting with the secretary of the Lancashire Regiment and the deputy chief executive of Pendle Council to explain why they had not been involved in the discussions.
Peter Thompson, a member of Barnoldswick’s war memorial group, said members of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, which currently has the Freedom of Pendle, had a cadet force in the town who will be taking part in the rededication ceremony by mounting the Colour Guard for the Royal British Legion.
Both Coun Hartley and Mr Thompson were keen to stress that rededication ceremony was a time to remember those who died, including 46 new names that had been added to the war memorial.
“This is not the time for cross border rivalries or political objections,” said Mr Thompson. “We have worked with all parties and beliefs to make this event special and successful.
“In World War One, about one third of the male population of Barnoldswick were eligible for service. One third of these did not return home – a heavy price for a small town.”
Coun Hartley added: “There would not have been a single family in the town who were not affected by this. We’re recognising the cost in human terms of these two world wars.”
He also issued an invitation to families of soldiers whose names are on the memorial to attend the rededication on September 8.
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