A Richer Dust

Recently, one of our volunteers, Pat Hastings, along with Brendan Hurley, have created a booklet as a tribute to the twenty-five men of Broughton who gave their lives in World War 1.

This is a wonderful addition to the many works around remembrance, and will serve as an excellent memorial to those remembered on the Broughton Memorial.

Congratulations to Pat and Brendan. Their work is available at the Harris, or by request.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Beyond the War Memorial

Beyond the War Memorial

Life, Work and Study in Preston during the First World War



Harris Library, Preston

Saturday 19th November, 2016, 11am – 3pm


Out of the fear and horror of war, could there be opportunity and improvement? This exhibition looks at the role of the Harris Institute during the First World War and the lives and experiences of some of its students.


The exhibition is based on a joint project between UCLan and Preston Remembers, supported by the AHRC through the University of Hertfordshire’s Everyday Lives in War First World War Engagement Centre.





Wednesday, November 16, 2016




Walk, sit, drift and meander from the Harris to the Cenotaph to experience this new sonic art work. Take part by collecting headphones from the Harris Library.

Homing is based on the original letters of Preston soldiers serving in the front line trenches of World War 1, from the archives of Lancashire Infantry Museum. Follow @homingpreston for daily quotes from the soldiers’ writings.

The letters demonstrate the attempts of soldiers and their loved ones to keep in touch despite the war. The distance was not only physical; the longer the war continued, the greater the distance in life experience between soldiers and those at home. Each letter represents an attempt to bridge that gap and, as much as is said, more is left unsaid or is unsayable.

Homing uses sound to make connections at a distance; between presence and absence, people and place, displacement and home.

The experience begins at at the Harris’ Roll of Honour and moves out onto Preston’s Flag Market and the Cenotaph.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Beyond the War Memorial

Beyond the War Memorial:

Life, Work and Study in Preston during the First World War



The Preston Remembers project, with its teams of volunteers, have made a huge contribution to our understanding of Preston’s war memorials and the lives and service of some of the people who are recorded on them. We now want to look for some different stories of the First World War and how it affected those who lived, worked and studied in the town.

A collaborative project between Preston Remembers and UCLan historians is now focussing on the people who attended the Harris Institute, the main provider of higher and technical education in Preston and district, and forerunner of the university. These students lived in the same streets, sometimes came from the same families, as the fallen, yet their experiences of the war are likely to have been quite different.

The UCLan archives hold a splendid resource, the Harris Institute Class Registers, which provide details of the names, ages, addresses and occupations of the students who attended, as well as the courses studied. This information for the war years has now been transcribed into a database that can be researched by volunteers. The main focus of the project will be to research this database, to understand better the changes to education as it was affected by the war, and to find out more about the people who attended.

Those who have previously worked on the memorials may find evidence of brothers, sons and increasingly sisters and daughters of those who fought and died. Many students may also have served and come home again. New researchers may discover an aspect of the war not usually represented in the centenary commemorations.

We hope that the project can reveal evidence of the impact of the war on education, work, service and opportunity. Were there new opportunities for study? Who took advantage of the changing situation? How did they use the new education acquired? We also hope that new stories and perspectives of the town at war can complement that discovered by the memorial research.

Over the coming months, there will be a series of study sessions to introduce volunteers to this source. Local and family history research can then help to fill in some of backstories of the students. As novel or interesting results and case studies come to light, these will be posted on the website. A showcase event will be held in the Autumn to highlight some of the key findings

If you are interested in contributing to this project, please contact Oliver Wilkinson on:


The project is funded through the University of Hertfordshire First World War Engagement Centre:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Events in 2016

There will be some events involving veterans and the First World War around Preston over 2016. We know of the following:

18th June – Preston Military Show, Fulwood Barracks

25th June – Armed Forces Day, Flag Market (NAAFI tea room)

3 July – Somme Centenary Service – Blackburn Cathedral

23rd July – Preston Pals Centenary Service – Railway Station

15th August – VJ Day Service, Fulwood Barracks

9th November – Preston Pals Service, Railway Station

Friday, June 3, 2016

National Memorial Arboretum

On Friday 20th May 2016, Preston Remembers visited the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. It is a living and lasting memorial.

Since planting began in 1997, the National Memorial Arboretum has been a special place honouring those who have served, and continue to serve, our nation in many different ways. Our staff and volunteers look forward to welcoming you.

It’s not a cemetery. It’s a place of life, represented by the 30,000 trees planted here, where older and younger generations alike can wander and wonder.

Covering 150 acres, the Arboretum has something for everyone. For some it’s a wonderful place to stroll and enjoy the trees; for others it’s a peaceful and beautiful place to remember loved ones, particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The trees and the more than 300 dedicated memorials on our site make the Arboretum a living tribute that will forever acknowledge the personal sacrifices made by the Armed Forces and civil services of this country.

Importantly, the focus isn’t totally military. There is a large area devoted to Police who have fallen while on duty, as well as other areas devoted to the Fire and Rescue and Ambulance services. National charities representing those who have died in particular circumstances, including children, are also to be found in the Arboretum grounds.

Its fair to say that the volunteers had a great time, especially after getting the handy land-train around the site! Of particular interest was the newly-dedicated Duke Of Lancaster’s Regiment Memorial, a giant Lion of England on a stone plinth. It was opened by their Colonel-In-Chief, HM Queen Elizabeth II, on May 17th, just three days before!

A brilliant trip, and we all heartily recommend anyone to visit!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Armed Forces Day – NAAFI tea party

On 25th June 2016, there will be a NAAFI-inspired tea room operating out of the old Post Office Buildings on Birley Street, Preston from 11.30-3.30pm.

There will be swing dancing, a sing-a-long, and a photo-booth to accompany a great array of sandwiches, pies, scones, cakes and fancies.

Tickets are limited, but are available at

The proceeds will be donated to the Poppy Factory, Dig In and Brick, Armed Forces Group and the Lancashire Infantry Museum.

For more information about the event please contact Rebecca Steel at the University of Central Lancashire on 01772 893662 or email


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

New Harris Museum Opening Times

The Harris Museum has conducted a review of it’s opening times, and will now be open on the following:

Opening times summary

Monday                   10~5 (museum to open at 11am)

Tuesday                  10~5

Wednesday              10~8

Thursday                 10~5

Friday                     10~5

Saturday                 10~5

Sunday                   11~4


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Letters from Preston soldiers on the Front are the basis for new sonic art work

From Saturday 21 May at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery.

  • Saturday 21st May 11am – 4pm. Meet the artists and experience the work.
  • Wednesday 25 May 5 – 6.30pm.Launch event. Meet the artists, hear more about the project and experience the work. Refreshments available


Homing is a new sound art work created by artists Jen Southern and Sam Thulin with the Media Innovation Studio at the University of Central Lancashire; a special commission for the WW1 centenary commemorations. Homing uses sound to make connections at a distance; between presence and absence, people and place, displacement and home.


The work is based on the original letters of Preston soldiers serving in the front line trenches of World War 1, taken from the archives of Lancashire Infantry Museum. The letters are testament to the attempts of soldiers and their loved ones to keep in touch despite the distances and atrocities of the war. The distance was not only physical; the longer the war continued the greater the distance in life experience between soldiers and those at home. Each letter represents an attempt to bridge that gap and, as much as is said, more is left unsaid or is unsayable.


The experience, which is accessed through headphones, begins at the Roll of Honour in the Harris Museum & Art Gallery and moves out onto the Flag Market and the Cenotaph. At the Roll of Honour, a sound composition from the cemeteries at the Somme can be heard, with all the sensory qualities of the local conditions; wind, rain, whistling, stonework. Out on the Flag Market, these sounds give way to fragments of stories from the men in the trenches; a stilted marriage proposal, an enquiry about health, a thank you for kippers sent through the post, a description of daily conditions and accounts of the terrible realities of the conflict.


Approaching the Cenotaph, the soldiers’ words are disrupted by ever intensifying GPS interference. This distant, targeting technology of modern day warfare, creates a sonic fog through which individual voices can no longer be heard, reflecting the difficulty of communication through the constant battle between signal and noise.


Homing contrasts the modes of communication used in WW1 and contemporary war. Voices from the harrowing fight on the front collide with the current technology that emphasises accuracy, immediacy and removal of the body from warfare, but that cannot know the context on the ground.


Walk, sit, drift and meander to experience this new sonic art work. Photographs, drawings and letters belonging to the soldiers can also be seen in the first floor cabinets of the Harris Museum.


Homing is a special commission by In Certain Places and Preston Remembers, developed with the support of the Lancashire Infantry Museum, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts and the Centre for Mobilities Research at the University of Lancaster.


Follow @homingpreston for daily quotes from the soldiers’ writings



For further information please contact  or 01772 893204.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Liverpool Visit 2015

On the 9th of December we took a group of our fantastic volunteers for a day out to Liverpool. The trip was inspired be the installation of the Weeping Window at St Georges Hall, part of 14-18 Now creative programme. We also celebrated the hard work of the volunteers with a Christmas lunch, followed by a guided tour around the Liverpool Museum.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Preston Remembers City Tours Launch

On Saturday the 7th of November we launched our new free WW1 Preston city tours. We got a great turn out to see theatre company, Theatre in the Quarter, perform live musical street theatre that introduced our three characters to the people of Preston. In the audience we had family members from all the characters featured, traveling from all around the country to the event, some coming from as far away as New York.

You can now take one of our city tours by booking onto a free guided tour or downloading a self guided tour here . You can also pick up a printed version of the guided tour at the Harris Museum, Lancashire Infantry Museum or Museum of Lancashire.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

City Tours Launch

On Saturday 7th November 2015 Preston Remembers programme of city tours will be launching with a piece of thought provoking and powerful street theatre.

The piece will introduce three Preston people who experienced World War 1 in very different ways.

Joseph Garstang – a market gardener, personal trainer and conscientious objector, who said; “I’m not training these lads up to be cannon fodder.” Imprisoned and force fed 38 times, he stuck to his principles, but finished the war a broken man.

John Gregson – born on the same streets as Joseph, he was orphaned at an early age and went on to join the army before the war. One of the first to be called up when the war started, he was killed in the trenches in June 1915, leaving behind a wife and three children.

Beatrice Blackhurst – a mother and campaigner who was part of the committee that set up the Preston Station Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Free Buffet. An advocate for children’s and women’s rights, she passionately worked for what she believed in throughout her life.

Be one of the first to take a guided tour on the 14th and 15th of Nov by booking on here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

St Mary’s Men

On Tuesday That’s Lancashire visited the St Marys men project at Museum of Lancashire to film a piece about the volunteer research project , based on the WW1 war memorial in Lancashire Conservation Studios. This has been a fantastic project involving 17 volunteers. The footage includes interviews from David Casserly the project co-ordinator, volunteer researchers Alan Woods and Charlie Hooper and descendent of one of the soldiers, Cliff Gregson. Cliff hadn’t known that there was a memorial including his grandfather, John Gregson’s name until he heard about the project, so it was wonderful that we were able let him know that his grandfather hadn’t been missed or forgotten.

You can see the film here



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Preston Remembers Films

On the 1st of October we launched a film that documents the first half of the Preston Remembers project. The film made by Triptych Arts tells the story of the project so far. To see the film you can link through to see the film here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Trench art visit

Local group Dig-In , who offer support to the military community, have recently been working with stone sculptor Thompson Dagnall to learn stone masonry skills. Using stone salvaged from the recently demolished Whittingham Hospital, the group have been learning new skills to create works of art around their community garden in Ashton Park. Inspired by the notion of trench art and crafts that soldiers use when on the front line, the group wanted to explore the possibilities of this art form. Last week members from the group visited the Lancashire Infantry Museum to see first hand examples of trench art that was created in WW1.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

WW1 knitting day

In July the Harris were lucky enough to host a WW1 knitting workshop with nationally renowned knitter Susan Crawford. As part of the Style and Substance programme of events Susan worked with a group of knitters to explore patterns from the WW1 era. The picture shows Susan with her husband who is wearing a cardigan made by Susan in the style of his great uncle’s, Herbert Ogden, worn in WW1. The pattern is from a Red Cross book sent out during WW1.




Thursday, July 30, 2015

Joseph Garstang, a conscientious objector, whose story will be told in the tours

Volunteer Tour Guides Needed!

We are looking for new volunteers to join us on the Preston Remembers team to be tour guides, telling three fascinating stories of life in Preston during the First World War.

If you have an understanding and enthusiasm for local and First World War history, excellent communication skills and a good memory for facts, figures and events, we would love to hear from you.

Full training will be provided in how to lead a guided tour.

Please contact Claire Selby, Volunteer Coordinator, on or 01772 906880 for more information and to apply.

Volunteer Role Description – Tour Guides


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The 11th Hour

We would like to commission an artist to develop a project that will engage with local military families based at Preston barracks. This project has been inspired by a painting in the Harris collection by artist Percy Day called The Eleventh Hour, the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month, 1919 seen on the left.

A full artist brief can be downloaded below:

Artists brief


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Roll of Honour Film

As part of the Preston Remembers project we have been working with the BFI to digitise the lost films of Preston film maker Will Onda. You can now see some of his powerful Roll of Honour films on the BFI player. The BFI tell us about the film:

“This film represents the 6th, 7th and 5th series (in that order) and was produced by local filmmaker Will Onda in Preston. Although the film appears simple – a rostrum shot compilation of still photographs – its effects are complex. The progression of individual images has a distressing immediacy. The photographs are largely studio portraits or shots in uniform with a few images of groups at the Front or in transit bases such as Cairo. Information is limited to the soldier’s name, rank and sometimes his regiment or special position – a chaplain, a bugler – and a statement if he was killed missing or wounded. There are the occasional brothers pictured together, and some battles are mentioned by name, including Ypres, Festubert and the Dardanelles.”

You can view the film here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Day Out to London

On a beautiful sunny day in April, we took the Preston Remembers volunteers on a day trip to London to see the recently renovated Imperial War Museum. As well as getting a chance to look round the new galleries, especially those relating to the First World War, we also had a chance to speak to the team behind Lives of the First World War and the War Memorials Archive, a vital part of the work the volunteers are doing.

As some of our volunteers said,

“Exceedingly enjoyable. Good to meet our ‘bosses’ and mentors and what a wonderful place to visit.  Adds to the overall knowledge base and why we are doing it.”

“Amazed to find that there are only 2 paid staff responsible for updating “Lives” and learned a lot from the discussion.  A good opportunity also to get further acquainted with fellow volunteers”

“Many thanks for organising and supervising us on the trip to London – really enjoyed it!”

Volunteers are a really crucial part of Preston Remembers. We are looking to recruit more volunteers for new opportunities in the near future.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Does your family have a story to tell?

Following on from the success of the family history roadshows last year, in partnership with LCC, we are now holding Family History Surgeries on the last Wednesday of every month. Taking place in the Harris Community History Gallery from 2.00 – 3.30, the sessions will help you find out information about your Preston relatives role in WW1.

We are interested in any photographs, medals, postcards or general family history records that you might have. We are particularly keen to find out information on the names that are listed on the Harris Roll of Honour.

We have had some amazing stories recorded so far, please add your families’ stories to our collection and record them permanently for future generations.

The images opposite have all been brought in by relatives to earlier road shows.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

War Memorial Conservation Grants

Broughton Memorial has recently been awarded a small grant through the new Preston Remembers War Memorial Conservation Grants Scheme to help them undertake the extensive restoration they have carried out on their memorial.

The northbound memorial was rededicated in Nov 2014 and work continues on the southbound memorial. Alongside the conservation work they are researching the names of the men listed there. If you have any information, please contact

If you are interested in applying for funding through the grants scheme to conserve your local WW1 memorial, more information can be at the bottom of this page.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Visit to Bury Fusilier Museum

At the end of February we took a group of our wonderful volunteers on a day trip to Bury Fusilier Museum. The day started with a handling session delivered by the education officer looking at some of the WW1 objects in their collections, including a sweetheart cushion and a fascinating diary written by an officer. We were then led on a tour of the museum which gave us a detailed understanding of the Fusilier history. The day ended with a planning session where we discussed the next steps for the Memorial Challenge and other possible future opportunities.

Volunteers are a crucial part of Preston Remembers and undertake a huge amount of research. We are looking to recruit more volunteers for new opportunities in the near future.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tell us their stories… Remember their lives … (2)

The last of three roadshows was held at Sharoe Green Library on Friday 21st November, encouraging people to come forward with their stories and memorabilia relating to their Preston relatives from the First World War. We made some wonderful discoveries, including some amazing trench art, items made whilst in a Prisoner of War camp, poignant letters, and a highly unusual medal. Look out on our Stories page for more details of these soon….

All the items and stories we record are being added to the Imperial War Museum’s ground breaking website Lives of the First World War which is hoping to capture and remember the details of the 8 million people who contributed to the war. Why not see if you can find your relative on there and add your stories and memorabilia to remember them?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tell us their stories… remember their lives….

The first of three community roadshows was held at the Harris library, museum and art gallery on 11th November. Many people came forward to share and record their memorabilia and stories relating to their relatives from the First World War. Amazing photographs and items were revealed including original dog tags belonging to those who had served from Preston.

Two further roadshows are being held on:

Saturday 15th November 10.30am – 3pm at the Museum of Lancashire

Friday 21st November 10.30am – 3pm at Sharoe Green Library

For more details contact Claire Selby on or 01772 906880

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Crocheted poppies pay tribute to the fallen

Local craft group, The Crafty Project has installed over 600 crocheted and knitted poppies on the stairway of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, as a tribute to those who gave their lives in the First World War.

Group member, Deborah Simpson had the idea to crochet poppies as part of the commemorations for Remembrance in November. Deborah had a personal connection to the First World War. Her great grandfather, John Stirzaker, is named on the Harris Roll of Honour. He died on the 13th May 1915, aged 34 leaving behind a wife and 5 young daughters.

The group enthusiastically responded to this idea and created hundreds of poppies to commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. They have been installed on the stairway of the Harris, close to the Preston Roll of Honour which commemorates almost 2000 men.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Preston Goes to War

From the echo of rousing recruitment speeches to the footsteps of soldiers marching off to war, to tanks rolling into town for the war effort, Preston’s Flag Market played a key role in World War 1. As part of Heritage Open Weekend, Preston Remembers marked the beginning of this incredible history 100 years on.

– The Lancashire Hussars and their horses arrived to explain their uniform and the role they played during WW1.

– There was a “Walk and Talk” tour to find out about the city’s connections with the war with Emma Heslewood, Curator of History at the Harris and John Garlington, local historian.

Storyteller, Richard O’Neill was in the Harris Children’s Library. His stories took his audience back to 1914 when children had to say goodbye as their fathers, brothers and uncles  were recruited in the services; children got the chance to make a dolly peg toy, as those children would have done 100 years ago.

– Leyland Band’s 10 piece ensemble, one of the finest brass ensembles in the world, played evoking the farewell bands of the era through music that a generation marched to war to.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Preston Memorial Challenge

As we mark the centenary of the First World War, people are remembering the losses suffered in their families and communities. War memorials are a moving tribute to this loss. They link the past to the present, enabling people to remember the sacrifice of those who fought and died.

In Preston, there are over 100 war memorials to the First World War in all shapes, sizes and venues. Each is unique and represents that community’s chosen method of remembrance. Each deserves to be cherished and preserved.

The Preston Remembers Memorial Challenge is bringing together local communities, families and volunteers to care for this vital part of our heritage.

You can help us to do this…

With the help of our Challenge Volunteers, we can share the great work that has already been done, help you find out more and ensure the memorials and the stories they hold are preserved for ever.

We also have a small amount of funding to put towards the care and maintenance of those memorials most in need.

To find out more about the project, how to get involved or how to apply for funding contact Claire Selby at or 01772 906880

Friday, September 12, 2014

Image through Blog Preston

Parade for the Great War Sikhs

On the 24th August, members of Preston’s Sikh community paraded through the city centre in remembrance of those who fought in the First World War.

Hundreds marched through the streets, making their way from the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Singh Sabha on Bow Lane to the Flag Market.

Preston Remembers contributed with an information stand, with activities for all the family.






Monday, August 25, 2014

The rededication ceremony on 13th June 2014

Rededication of Preston War Memorial

Preston Remembers began with the restoration of the Preston War Memorial, including a new dedication to those people of Preston who had given their lives in conflict since 1945.

On the 13th June 2014, a rededication ceremony was held, led by the Right Worshipful Mayor of Preston, Councillor Nicholas Pomfret.

In front of the War Memorial stood the Ceremonial drums of the 4th Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. Following a procession of a Civic Regalia and the arrival of the Colour Party and Guards from the 2nd Battalion with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, led by the band of King’s Division, the Right Worshipful Mayor of Preston, Councillor Nicholas Pomfret, introduced the ceremony.

The Vicar of Preston, Father Timothy  Lipscombe, gave the blessing which was followed by the Rededication of the Memorial by the Mayor of Preston and a verse by John Bailey, Taking A Stand, was read by Lord Shuttleworth KCVO, Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire.
A short while was taken for the laying of wreaths which was succeeded by the National Anthem and then the Colour Party and Guards marched off Market Square.

Preston can be proud of all those who have fallen in conflict, and indeed it is. With the newly rededicated War Memorial, there is now a place for people, young and old, to go to and remember and pay respect to all of those who we will never forget.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Volunteers training session

Cenotaph Challenge Launch

The Cenotaph Challenge officially launched for volunteers, custodians and interested bodies at two events in Dec 2013 at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery.

The Cenotaph Challenge is a Preston Remembers project that is looking to map, audit, undertake maintenance work and do research on the names listed on Preston’s memorials.

The events were advertised as drop in sessions for people who wanted to get involved in the project and meet other like-minded people. People who attended had interests varying from military research and photography to restoration and fund raising. There was representation from community groups including the sea cadets and guides, interested members of the public and people who have already done extensive work on their local memorial.

The events resulted in the recruitment of our first 25 volunteers have undertaken training in Jan and Feb 2014.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Caption here

Projections of RoH forms

Cenotaph Projections

During November 2013, Preston Remembers commissioned artist Andy McKeown to shed new light onto the recently restored Preston Cenotaph. Designed to make the link between the Cenotaph structure and the men listed on the Roll of Honour housed in the Harris Museum, the artwork took the form of a series of light projections around the Cenotaph.

Drawing from the collections of the Harris Museum and Lancashire Infantry Museum, the work highlighted some of the stories of the men who lost their lives in World War 1.  Alongside the projections were sound recordings that volunteers had voiced from the comments that families made on the original roll of honour submission forms.

Over 200 people visited the work on the evening of the 23rd November, and the moving content was received very positively by the audience.

You can watch a video of the event below.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Conference session at UCLAN

Conference session at UCLAN

Lancashire and the First World War conference

In November 2013 Preston Remembers in partnership with UCLAN hosted the conference ‘Finding Identities: Lancashire and the First World War’.

Taking place over two days the conference featured keynote speaker Andy Robert Shaw, and featured over 15 other speakers. Looking to explore different themes from memorialisation and remembering to the home front and recruitment, the conference sought to investigate the impact of the war in Lancashire.

The delegates were also taken on a trip to the newly restored Preston Cenotaph, and listened to a talk on its history and restoration from architect Charlie MacKeith.

Read more about the conference

Friday, November 8, 2013