Burnley Civic Trust Heritage Image Collection


An article published in the September 1st, 1937 edition of the Burnley Express

Over 260 of Burnley's old soldiers paraded to the Rosegrove Cemetery last Sunday (Aug 1937) morning and there, gathered around a memorial which has recently been rediscovered, joined in a service of remembrance of 183 Burnley men, members of the 1st Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment who died in Lucknow in the early part of the nineties, victims of a cholera epidemic.

The cost of the memorial, which is in the form of a tall stone cross, was borne by each surviving member of the regiment subscribing one day's pay. When it was unveiled no one can say - cemetery records and other records are silent - but there it stands, very near the original entrance to the cemetery.


The regimental badge is carved on the cross, and on the plinth runs the inscription, "To the memory of three officers and 180 NCOs and men of the 1st East Lancashire Regiment who died at Lucknow from October 31st, 1891 to October 24th 1896. Erected by their comrades."

For forty years at least the memorial must have stood there, but with the passing of time it became neglected and forgotten. The 'soldiers' memorial' it was simply known as to a few people, but to most of them it was "just another memorial stone."

It is only quite recently that the existence of the war memorial was brought to the notice of Mr. L Walker, secretary of the Burnley branch of the East Lancashire Regimental Association.
He communicated with Lt Col. HT McMullen, MC officer commanding the first battalion East Lancashire Regiment, drawing his attention to the fact that the stone was in a neglected condition. Lt Col. McMullen's reply was to send a cheque to cover the cost of renovating the stone, and this work has been carried out.

Unfortunately, owing to Army manoeuvres he was unable to attend last Sunday's ceremony, but the regiment was represented by Capt. FW Beer and Lt WH Lambert, from the Preston depot. The parade fell in at the East Lancashire Club, Sandygate, and included, in addition to members of the Burnley branch, members from Blackburn and Preston along with Old Comrades' Association, the Old Contemptibles, the Honours Holders' Association, the South African War Veterans' Association and also representatives of many other military and semi-military bodies. The organisation was capably carried out by Mr. L Walker, and Mr. R Jepson, president of the Burnley branch of the association, acted as chief marshal.

A survivor of the cholera epidemic who was on parade with members of the Blackburn branch, was Mr John Kelpin who is 64 and had seen two years' service with the regiment when the plague began to decimate its ranks. "I was one of the fortunate ones," he told the Burnley Express reporter. "It was a terrible time for us all. The outbreak was long and severe. We thought it was never going to end."

The parade from Sandygate to the Cemetery by way of Trafalgar-street, Accrington-road and Rossendale-road was led by the Burnley Lane Temperance Band, and the service at the memorial was conducted by the Rev. BE Hughes, chaplain of the Burnley Branch, and Vicar of Holy Trinity which is the garrison church.

In a brief address Mr. Hughes said that the memorial recalled the Army in India of the days of Rudyard Kipling. They kept in mind that day the memories of those who died. There was nothing glorious about their deaths, nothing wonderful, nothing to stir the hearts and minds of men. They just died. They did not die fighting, yet it was not an easy thing to face death under the circumstances in which those men faced death. To realise the horror of it they had only to recall the days of 1918 when the black flu swept through the country and carried away hundreds and thousands of people. Capt. Beer placed a wreath on the memorial on behalf of the Regimental Association and Capt. JH Brotherton placed a second one on behalf of the United Council of ex-Service men. The Last Post and the Reveille were sounded and playing of the National Anthem brought the interesting ceremony to a close.


The East Lancashire Regiment.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

The 1st Battalion was formed from the 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot (raised in 1702) and the 2nd Battalion from the 59th (2nd Nottinghamshire) Regiment of Foot (raised 1755) and the regiment was renamed the East Lancashire Regiment in July 1881.[2]

The 1st Battalion served in India 1881-1897

In 1958 the regiment was amalgamated with the South Lancashire Regiment to form the Lancashire Regiment.

East Lancashire Regiment - a Private in Full Dress Uniform pre 1914.


South Lancashire Regiment

The Regiment was formed in Nova' Scotia in 1717, under the command of the Governor of the Colony. It was known as the 40th Regiment of Foot and soon won four battle honours fighting the French in America and the West Indies. Companies of the Regiment were present with Wolfe at the taking of Quebec, and the Regiment took part in the surrender of Montreal, whereby Canada became a British Colony. Later they gained high praise for their conduct during the American War of Independence.

In 1801, when companies of the Regiment were sent to Egypt, as part of the British Expeditionary Force to fight Napoleon's army, they so distinguished themselves that they gained the privilege of wearing the Sphinx emblem superscribed "Egypt".
After a short campaign in South America, where they earned the battle honour 'Mounte Videa", the Regiment took part in Wellington's campaign against Napoleon, winning thirteen new battle honours.
After Waterloo the Regiment saw service in India and New Zealand,

In 1881 the 40th Foot was amalgamated with 82nd Foot, which had been raised almost a hundred years previously, and was known as the Prince of Wales's Volunteers. The two regiments became the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the South Lancashire Regiment. The 1st Battalion distinguished itself in the South African War especially at Pieters Hill and in the relief of Ladysmith, and from, there went to India where they added two new battle honours to their Colours. The 2nd Battalion fought in France for the whole period of the First World War. Between wars the Regiment served in Ireland, Germany? Palestine, Egypt and India. During the Second World war the 1st Battalion fought at Dunkirk and later in the Normandy landings while the 2nd Battalion went to Madagascar and from there to India and Burma.

In 1948 the two regular battalions were amalgamated to form the 1st Battalion? which since then has seen service in Trieste, Sudan, the Canal Zone and Germany.

On 1 July 1958 the regiment was amalgamated with the East Lancashire Regiment to form the Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Volunteers) which was later amalgamated with the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) to form the Queen's Lancashire Regiment, which was later merged with the King's Regiment (Liverpool and Manchester), the King's Own Royal Border Regiment to form the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (King's, Lancashire and Border) in July 2006


Duke of Lancaster's Regiment

All emblems and the photocard of a Private in uniform are courtesy of Wikipedia