Tatham Great War History Event

Colin Burford is Chairman of the Friends of St. James the Less Church in Lower Tatham, Lancashire. Knowing my interests, he asked me whether I would help to plan a family history event at the church. I suggested that we focus on the Great War, as then I would be able to use my collection of artefacts and documents and employ my specialist knowledge in helping people to build their family trees using Great War sources. He agreed and then we asked Mike Winstanley of the Tatham History Society to come on board. Over the following months, the three of us met several times to plan the event, making sure to discuss such vital matters as whether the trench cake was likely to poison anybody and lead to expensive litigation which neither society could afford.

The event occurred on the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day 2018 (whilst the Irish team were soundly beating England at Twickenham and winning the Grand Slam in the process).  The church’s north aisle was given over to display tables and a refreshment stand, while the nave was reserved as an auditorium for the talks given by me, Mike Winstanley and John Wilson. I spoke about the military experiences of some of the men who appear on the parish roll of honour; Mike spoke about the nurses, medics and other volunteers and their families while John analysed the experiences of the men recorded on the Tatham Fells Roll of Honour. Every pew seemed to be occupied and people appeared to be genuinely interested in the content of each talk. During preceding and subsequent discussions, many topics were investigated and questions about research procedures for Great War ancestry answered. For my part, it was one of the most enjoyable history events in which I have ever taken part. I wish to thank Colin and Mike for their expertise and enthusiasm and all the volunteers who got the church ready,  served the refreshments and were generally enthusiastic and welcoming to all the visitors. I also thank my friends Frank Sherratt and Terry Lambert who assisted me with my display and, in Terry’s case, added to the exhibition’s diversity by bringing some of the priceless memorabilia associated with her Great Uncle Edward who served and died with the American Army on the Western Front in 1918. Continue reading

Battle of Givenchy Centenary Tour: Saturday 7th – Wednesday 11th April 2018

‘… the atmosphere that was created was very moving’ – comment by a year 9 pupil after a trip to the Somme, July 2016

55 Rose


The Hundredth Anniversary of the first day of the Battle of Givenchy – when the 55th (West Lancashire) Division fought off a massive German attack – will occur on 9th April 2018. It will be a good moment to visit the ground upon which so many soldiers from the North-West of England fought and are commemorated.


We will explore the landscape by either minibus or small coach (depending upon numbers) and on foot, taking in remnants of the battlefield and the many associated memorials and cemeteries. Real soldiers’ stories will be woven into our visits, giving many opportunities for discussion, reflection and commemoration.

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Introduction to the Blog

This website is designed to tell you about the services I am offering as a self-employed historian with the business name North West History. Each one of my services is explained on a separate page, access to which is gained via the links on the menu at the top of the screen. This, the blog part of the website, will contain posts which talk about some of my activities, keeping you up to date with developments and demonstrating the sort of things I can do for you. Continue reading