Lest We Forget

Then & Now Stories

A Heritage Lottery funded project
to commemorate the centenary of WWI

All good stories need a beginning, a middle and an end...

This one began with stories that were already recorded but largely forgotten: the stories of the WW1 soldiers listed on the Kirkby Lonsdale war memorial, researched and collated by local historian Sydney Richardson.

At it's middle are the stories you told us: familial stories passed down through the generations, cherished and embellished. Stories shared through schools workshops, in village halls and over cups of tea; written down, or recorded by local film-maker John Hamlett.

It ended in November 2014 with a specially commissioned play, written and compiled by local playwright Louise Gallagher, performed by local actors and featuring local stories.

Project Director Jayne Davies has been working in schools and the community to collect stories about WW1 and bring this performance to life. She would like to thank all those who have contributed and helped make this project a success including:  
  Leck St Peter's (Mrs Wheatley's class)
St Mary's School (Mr Laybourn's class)
Arkholme School (Mr Bonwick's class)
QES Archive Group (Mrs Holman)
QES Youth Theatre (Miss Shepherd)
  Abbeyfield, Kirkby Lonsdale
Casterton WI
Meet to Eat in Kirkby Lonsdale
Audrey Phillips
George Harrison

Sydney Richardson's Research
A complete record of the servicemen of Kirkby Lonsdale who died in the First World War. It is compiled from scans of Sydney's original research (and so in this 15mb compressed version the text can appear blurry) but thanks to optical character recognition it is searchable, and text can be selected and copied. Lest We Forget PDF



Jonty Wilson's Story
Audrey Phillips tells the story of her farther Jonty Wilson's experience of the Great War. Jonty was Kirkby Lonsdale's blacksmith and the town's most famous sons b.1893.

The video is hosted on YouTube and can be found using the shortcut:


Three Harrisons' Stories
George Harrison tells the story of his father's experience of the Great War, together with the role of his grandfather in the territorials pre WWI, and himself as a merchantman in WWII. The Harrison family have always been part of Kirkby Lonsdale life.

The video is hosted on YouTube and can be found using the shortcut:


Then & Now in Schools
Children from three local village primary schools share stories of ancestors and relatives who have served in the Great War and other more recent conflicts.

The video is hosted on YouTube and can be found using the shortcut:

Then & Now Stories - the performance
Throughout September and October 2014 a group came together at St Mary's Parish Church to develop and rehearse Louise Gallagher's script; a dramatic retelling of stories collected from Sydney Richardson's research and the people of Kirkby Lonsdale. The performance directed by Jayne Davies, and live musical accompaniment directed by Revd Richard Snow, was staged on the nights of 6th, 7th and 8th November to full audiences.

Then and Now Script Writer's Statement