The Legacy of War: The War Memorials of St Johns Church

image058Set in the heart of the town, the Civic and Parish Church of the Borough of Blackpool, dedicated to St John the Evangelist holds one of the largest collections of War Memorials in Lancashire. They range from the large to the small from both local people and Units to those to the ‘foreign’ units who trained here during World War II. Each of them bearing not just the names of those who perished in service of their Country, but demonstrating the honour with all of them are remembered. Many folk passing through the church will ignore or simply not see them. This booklet hopes to draw attention to these hallowed artefacts.

First, we might define exactly what a war memorial is:
A memorial is “a sign of remembrance; preserving or intended to preserve the memory of a person or thing”

The War Memorials Archive defines them as:
We consider a war memorial to be any tangible object which has been erected or dedicated to commemorate war, conflict, victory or peacekeeping. This includes memorials to those killed in, who served in or were affected by war or conflict; or who died as a result of accident or disease whilst engaged in military service.

The War Memorials Trust provide the following:
Any physical object created, erected or installed to commemorate those involved in or affected by a conflict or war should be considered a war memorial. Memorials to civilians and animals should be included.

It’s important to identify what might be classed as a ‘War Memorial’. The classification is a widely encompassing one, in addition to what we traditionally accept as being ‘traditional’. Indeed, when the definitions refer to ‘Any … object’, it really means ‘any object, that commemorates those who died as a result of service or those who served. The Imperial War Museum provides a further comprehensive definition.

What follows is an account of those memorials to be found in the Church. An appendix is added to list the names given on each memorial, where there are names. The memorials are recorded here in no particular order. The names and details are generally transcribed as written, with the errors they contain. The ‘WMA Ref:’ refers to the ‘War Memorial Archive’ Reference Number and the ‘WMO Ref:’ refers to the War Memorials Online Reference Number.

Link to the Inventory of St Johns’ War Memorials and Names Lists

Mike Coyle
Sept/Oct 2014

Acknowledgements
All those named and referred to on the Memorials at St John’s
The Office staff of St Johns

References and Sources of further information
History of the church

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