The Story of some of Pendle’s lost heroes have been brought back to life in an eagerly awaited book produced by the Earby and District Local History Society.

It is entitled, “Our Finest Crop” and is by local author Steve Marshall after funding was secured from a number of sources.

Here Stephen, who served in the army, describes what is within the pages, complete with poems, and the response the concept, telling the human story, received from businesses.

AS a nation, we rightly place great emphasis on Remembrance Sunday to honour our fallen.

But how many of us can name any of our heroes other than our own family members?

Our Finest Crop was researched and written as a tribute not only to those man from our area who lost their lives in the Great War but also to all those men and women who have experienced the horrors of battle.

The book tells the human story of those local casualties that are listed on the Earby war memorial, lads not just from Earby but from further afield such as Blackburn, Skipton even Cornwall, and many places in between.

Most people believe that the names on a town’s war memorial indicate the men that died from that town alone.

This is not the case as names were nominated; a man could live in Colne be engaged to a girl in Earby and she could nominate his name or a man could work and lodge in Earby and be nominated by his workmates or landlord and have his name added but also his parents in, say, Burnley could nominate him for the Burnley War Memorial.

Many names were duplicated across the country and some men can have their names listed as many as six or seven times.

The book is an attempt to make people more aware of the men who gave their lives.

We as a nation have a traditional generalistic approach to Remembrance Sunday. We go, we stand sombre, give thanks and we go home but do we know those men, can we recognise their picture and do we know anything more about them other than that they died.

I wrote the book because I felt it was an important story to tell about our town and our boys, my hope is to help others understand how just one small town was affected.

It has taken over one hundred years for Earby’s population to recover, it changed the demographics of the town, its economy, its industry and it altered its growth.

The war changed how men saw themselves in the bigger picture and the saying “All gave some, Some gave all” resonated.

Men wanted more from life after the war and women could do more as had been proved.

It spurred men into unions for better working conditions and women into the suffragette movement, all wanted a better life and all deserved a better life.

As a veteran of the forces, I understand the sacrifices and the situations they find themselves in and the thought processes that get them through those situations, thoughts of home and loved ones of their brothers and sisters in arms their support and welfare.

We have a moral duty not just to remember these great men but to know them, especially the men from our communities who with their last breath they breathed the freedom we have today into our lives.

The title came from the concept that in a time when we “harvested” young men to fight for us these few were our finest crop.

Hopefully, the book will do all that and bring about a greater awareness of why we congregate every November the 11th.

Bob Abel of the History Society added: “We have had a fantastic response from local businesses and organisations and some personal donations.

“We are indebted to the following for sponsorship which has enabled us to sell the book at a reasonable price -; St James Place Wealth Management in association with Eccles / Greenwood Partnership; Earby Town Council; The Coniston Estate Country Hotel and Spa; and Earby Community Association.

Although the Covid 19 virus curtailed our official launch we hope to be able to hold an evening’s entertainment in the future with a talk by the Author with a Q&A session and poetry readings from the book.”

Steve served in the army as a professional soldier.

His collection of poetry entitled “Songs from the FEOBA - Forward Edge Of The Battle Area” is interspersed throughout the book giving a poignant insight to what our young men and women deal with in those far-flung postings.

Copies can be obtained from the Society at a cost of £10 plus £4 post and packaging if you require but local deliveries can be made cash on delivery.

You can also order your copy by contacting a number of ways including email to:, by ringing 01282 812599 or via private messages to our Facebook page or private message to the author, Steve Marshall, on Facebook.