Sunday 11th November 10.30am Remembrance Service Lostock Green Methodist Church Laying of Wreaths 11.30am
Most people zoom past Lostock Green village as they drive along the busy A556 Northwich By-Pass and probably don’t give it a second glance or are not even aware of the existence of this small but vibrant community split by the By-Pass with 150 or so houses, a few farms, a playing field and a Methodist Church.
On Sunday 11th November, at 11.30am, after the Remembrance Day Service, the villagers of Lostock Green will be remembering again the Lost Boys of Lostock Green at the War Memorial outside the Lostock Green Methodist Church.
Wreaths will be laid to commemorate and honour the sacrifice made 100 years ago in the First World War by many local lads, whose names are carved on the Lostock Green War Memorial – William Hesketh, Henry Gleave, William Goodier, Peter Goodier, George Snelson, Thomas Snelson and Thomas Wrench. And also Hubert Bell who died on 8th June 1945 in Germany a month after the Second World War had ended in Europe.
Lostock Green author John Knowles has recorded the exploits of lads from Lostock Green and Lostock Gralam who died in the Great War of 1914 – 1918 in his book The Lost Boys of Lostock. Here’s an extract:
Today the most prominent building in The Green is the Methodist Chapel built in 1878 by the Hesketh family, prominent local millers. Outside is a small memorial bearing the names of just one Second World War casualty, Hubert Bell, and seven men who attended the Chapel before losing their lives in WW1. Of the seven three lived in the hamlet John Gleave and the Goodier brothers, William and Peter.
In 1905 the Gleave family moved in to a cottage No 42 Lostock Green and quickly settled into the small community of no more than thirty homesteads, mainly farms and their dependent cottages. John the eldest boy, was given the job of leader of the one mile trek along Birches Lane into Station Road to the Lostock Gralam schools.
Inevitably waiting for the Gleave troupe was Billy Goodier, John’s newly-found pal, with a clutch of younger Goodiers in his charge. The journey back to The Green sometimes dragged as the younger elements were tired and also wished either to do their almost ritualistic long-jumping over the Wade Brook or to investigate the apple trees in a quiet corner of Springbank Farm. A quick reminder from John, almost imperceptibly the leader of the combined family force, of the proximity of the legendary giant, candle-bedecked pig of Lostock Hollows usually brought a fresh sense of purpose to the juvenile crocodile!
All three lads went on to serve in the British Army but did not survive the First World War.
In 1915 Billy Goodier was knocked down by a motor lorry in France whilst on duty on the road and fatally injured. John Gleaves was seriously wounded in the trenches near Ypres in February 1917 and died on 6th March 1917. Peter Goodier received a fatal bullet wound on 1st September 1918. He is remembered on the Vis-en-Artois memorial along with the names of nearly 10,000 other Commonwealth Soldiers who died in the last three months of the War and have no known grave.’
Members of Lostock Green Methodist Church and Lostock Green’s Tuesday Art Group have created a poppy display in the Lostock Green Methodist Chuch for the 11th November Remembrance Sunday Service at 10.30am. Local minister Rev James Patron Bell will lead this small community in remembering the eight people named on the Lostock Green War Memorial and others who have fought in past and present wars.
Following the service at 11.30am there will be the formal Laying of Wreaths at the War Memorial outside the Methodist Church by Lostock Green villagers, Mrs Susan Batters the Chair of Lach Dennis and Lostock Green Parish Council Chair and members of Lostock Green Methodist Church.
All are welcomed to join in this commeration and then afterwards share coffee and cakes in the Village Rooms in the Methodist Church, when you can pick up a free copy of the book: The Lost Boys of Lostock, kindly donated by the author and local resident – John Knowles.
Article by Ros Todhunter