RELATIVES of fallen soldiers, friends and local residents gathered at West Craven churches to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War I.

Around 100 people attended a midday service at St Mary-le-Ghyll Church in Barnoldswick on Monday.

One of those was 100-year-old Winifred Fairchild of Barnoldswick, who regularly Sunday services at the Barlick church.

Mrs Fairchild also lit candles to remember her two uncles, Thomas and Walter Horsfield, who were among the 12 Barnoldswick men who died when the HMHS Rohilla ran aground off the coast of Whitby in October 1914.

A display commemorating those men was part of World War I exhibition that was on display in the church.

"To have living relatives of these soldiers made it a very moving day," said Ghyll Church vicar, the Rev Diane Weaver.

"A lot of locals from the town came to catch up and reminisce, but there were people came from as far away as Southport and Preston."

In addition to viewing the exhibition, people visited the graves of many of the fallen soldiers buried the churchyard and Ghyll Cemetery.

Peter Thompson, a member of the Barnoldswick War Memorial group who much provided information for the World War I exhibition, said: "It was a good day that was well attended. I met a lot of old schoolmates and old friends.

"The exhibition was well presented and everyone enjoyed it," he added. "It was a privilege for me to be able to help the church."

In Earby, Churches Together organised a commemorative evening service held at All Saints Parish Church, which was attended by more than40 people.

During the day, All Saints gave visitors a chance to light a candle to reflect on the loss of fallen soldiers during the First World War.

Churchwarden Vera Cocker also said there was a display at the back of the church of 169 white crosses, one for each soldier from the Earby area who was killed in the Great War and is commemorated on the war memorial at Sough Park.

"It was a very, very moving day and the service was awe-inspiring," said Mrs Cocker.