Farington’s Great War heroes remembered in new book

Joan Langford from Farington with her war book 'Lest We Forget'
Joan Langford from Farington with her war book 'Lest We Forget'

The men of Farington who died during the First World War are being remembered in a special book written by a local historian.

Joan Langford has written a number of books about the village’s rich history, from the cotton mills to the families who ran the small shops.

So she thought it would only be fitting to take a look back and commemorate the men of Farington who fought in the Great War, as the 100th anniversary of the start of the war approaches in August.

Joan, 74, of Stanifield Lane, said: “I looked through the census and war records to start with, and went on to war memorials, maps and letters.

“I came across the last letter sent home from one of the soldiers who fell, so that’s in the book, and I did some door-knocking and spoke to some relatives of servicemen as well.

“One thing leads to another when you do this type of thing, and I’m sure there’s more stories out there, but there are some really interesting tales already.”

‘Lest we forget’ is Joan’s eighth book, and although she doesn’t have any plans to write more, she says she feels ‘lost’ when she doesn’t have any research to do.

In fact, she hadn’t even planned to write this latest book, but when Farington councillor Mike Otter managed get some funding together for the project, she was soon persuaded.

“I was thinking about what we could do to commemorate the men of Farington who fell,” she said. “I started the research for a garden project which is planned for Farington Park to mark the centenary of the First World War, which Farington Parish Council is working on.

“Then Mike mentioned about doing another book.

“There was a lot of pressure with this one really, because I was working to a tight deadline.

“I only started it last year but I wanted to get it done by spring.

“Usually I take about two years to write a book, but this was different.

“I’ve really enjoyed it though, and I’ve met some really interesting people.”

She admits to sitting up until 2am on some occasions to get parts of the book finished, but says the job was worth it in the end.

The book, of which there have been 300 copies printed, also includes stories which connect Farington to other areas, such as the soldiers and sailors’ tea rooms in Preston Railway Station, which were thought up by the lady of Farington Lodge, Mrs Beatrice Todd.

‘Lest we forget’ costs £8 and is available from Great Grandfather’s Books in Towngate, the Delta Wool Shop on Stanifield Lane, and Coppers Tea Rooms on Golden Hill.