Bacup has had its share of war veterans even so far back as the  battle of Waterloo. In June 1859 the 4th company of the 1st Battalion  of the Lancashire Rifle Volunteers was formed by Robert Munn later  to be Captain Munntheir headquarters was at the Commercial Inn at  Stacksteads. Rumours were rife at this time of an invasion of England  by France and Tennyson's well-known song "Riflemen form" aroused  the military ardour of men across the country including the  Rossendale Valley. During the Zulu war of 1879 it was reported in the  Bacup Times that a former landlord of the Commercial Inn at  Stacksteads called by his friend's Boots this well-liked popular man  had joined the brave ranks of the 24th Foot Regiment and had fallen  for his country at Rorkes Drift, Isandhlwana.   For over six months the locals believed William had found a soldier’s grave. Then another report  appeared in the August edition stating that far from being killed he was actually alive and well and  living in the Irish barracks in Mullingar.   August 4th 1914, saw Britain declare war on Germany Britain had 247,432  regular troops on 7th August 1914, Lord Kitchener, the war minister,  immediately began a recruiting campaign by calling for men aged  between 19 and 30 to join the British Army. Bacup like many other small  towns and villages rallied to the call never-failing over the following four  and half years in duty or patriotism. And at home, the nurses of the St  Johns ambulance worked tirelessly to care and comfort the wounded  soldiers who came to recover at Fernhill Military Hospital.   Shortly after 11.30 on September 3rd 1939 the words   This Country Is At War With Germany were heard by men women and  children and once again our menfolk went off to war. This being the  speech the nation heard shortly after 11.20 am on the morning of the 3r  Blackout orders came in and one of the first signs that Bacup was at war was painters began  painting Kerbstones so that they may show through the darkness that the blackout would cause.  At 9-10pm on the 14th May 1940 an appeal was made to British subjects aged 17-65 to register  at Police Stations to form a Local Defence Volunteer Force ( later to be known as the Home  Guard ) within a few days 132 people had registered at Bacup Central Police Station many more  having been thanked but politely refused due to them being too old or too young.  Bacup Home Guard was based in Holmes Mill the home guard used reject bullets to practice with  given to them by the munitions workers of Lumb Hall Engineering  who were also based in Holmes Mill. Each division of the Home  Guard was responsible for guarding the roads into Bacup. A division guarded Newkin and Weir B company was responsible for  Sharneyford, C company Britannia and D company Stacksteads.   The Government had little in the way of equipment for these new  service corps and with this in mind, another appeal was made on  the 15th June asking for any persons to surrender shot-guns and  such to their local Police Stations. Only one was surrendered to  Bacup Central Police Station.  During the war, people were encouraged to buy War Savings Certificates to raise money for the  war effort. War Weapons Week in December of 1941  raised £242.000.Warships Week in 1942  raised £136,000. Wings for Victory Week 5th June -12th June 1943 raised £220.340.£120.000  being the cost of Three Lancaster Bombers.    Salute the Soldier week raised £206,350. Warship week resulted in the adoption of H.M.S  Amaranthus, a Flower Class Corvette one of 300 built for medium distance convoy escorts. Built  by Flemming and Ferguson in 1940. She was sold in 1946 and crapped in Hong Kong in 1956.  Bacup had the distinction of being one of the first towns in East  Lancashire to start recruiting for a local unit of the Air Training  Corps.The Mayor Alderman Thomas  Coates received the first  recruits in the Electricity boards showrooms. The first to enrol  being 18-year-old John Dobson, a slipper worker.     Collection Depots set up to collect in all aluminium new or old to  be sent for making planes were set up in Bacup and  Stacksteads. Bacup's collection point was the shop on the  corner of St James Square and  Market Street which had been  previously occupied by Greenhalgh Grocery and in Stacksteads  the Newchurch road shop formerly owned by T.A.Wood and Sons Plumbers.   Housewives were encouraged to use less paper to light their fires with so as to make more paper  available for pulping whilst the lattice girder bridge that had spanned  Burnley Road was  demolished and used as scrap for the war effort.
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