In the heart of the picturesque village of Samlesbury, Lancashire, stands a brick bungalow style building that serves as both a testament to courage and a symbol of remembrance. The Samlesbury War Memorial Hall was opened to serve the local community in the autumn of 1923 and to be a lasting tribute to commemorate the valiant local soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice during the harrowing years of World Wars I and II. You can read each individual soldier’s story in the book below
On June 21st 1919, a special meeting was held at the Five Barred Gate to discuss the possibility of erecting ‘A Public War Memorial Hall’ in memory of those who died in the Great War.
Resolution from Samlesbury Parish Council Minutes 19th November 1919
“That this great meeting of the inhabitants, and ex-servicemen of Samlesbury warmly supports the work of the Village Clubs Association, and urges on the people of this district the necessity for establishing without delay a club and the building of a War Memorial Hall, where there will be no class distinction but where all can meet for common recreation, improvement and social intercourse, and to be managed by the people themselves.
It is further agreed that the Canvass which has already begun should be proceeded, with renewed vigour.”
Col. Petre of Warwickshire generously gave 6,080 square yards of land for the purpose and it was unanimously agreed “to give the people the opportunity to so effectively and usefully commemorate the names of the soldiers and sailors who have suffered so much for their country and people” (Until the early 19th Century a group of thatched cottages named Yew Trees stood on this site)
Thirteen people were elected to serve alongside the Parish Councillors, to look into raising funds. In July, the Peace Celebrations were suspended, in view of the effort being made to build the Hall. The cost was £1140 plus the conveyancing at £11 12s. 10d.
The Parish Council met at the Memorial Hall Annexe but it was not formally opened until 24th November 1923 by Mrs. Baxter, of Stanley Grange. Her gift of a bronze memorial plaque was unveiled by thirteen year old John Mason, the little boy in the front of the newspaper clipping to the left, whose father died in action in France.
Trees, shrubs, lawns and gates were gradually established and a Recreation Grounds Committee set up.
The Hall is now run by Managing Trustees and ownership was vested in the Parish Council. This was changed in 2007, and the deeds are now vested with the Official Custodianship of the Charity Commission.
The strong. brick exterior still in use after over 100 years stands as a metaphor for the resilience of the community it represents.
Stepping into the hall’s meeting rooms, you instantly notice that the walls are covered with black and white photos and text, depicting the faces of our local heroes and scenes of wartime sacrifice alongside carefully researched information about each of the soldiers mentioned on the brass memorial plaque.
You can read about each soldier’s story by clicking on our book here…..
The main hall in the later extension at the rear is both expansive and inviting. It serves as a sanctuary for celebrations and communal gatherings of all kinds. . Natural light shines through large windows, casting bright light upon the polished floors.
At the side of the hall in the open meadow surrounded by trees, a carved metal memorial wall stands proudly, fronted by a rose bed with each rose dedicated to a local soldier who bravely answered the call of duty but paid the ultimate price. It is intended to be a constant reminder of their selflessness and sacrifice.
The community hall in Samlesbury, Lancashire, stands as a beacon of remembrance, a space for celebration, and a testament to the enduring spirit of a community that will forever honour its valiant sons.