Great Britain declared war on Germany at 11 o’clock on Tuesday night the 4th August. Within hours of the declaration the control of the railways had been taken over by the Government in order to facilitate troop movements, stores and food supplies. Here at home it was a time when mothers and sisters, stood side by side with the wives and children on the railway platforms of Bacup, Stacksteads and Waterfoot. Waving off their menfolk as they left for a war described as one like no other, one that would end all wars, and one that would be over by Christmas. The nurses of the Bacup St. John’s ambulance brigade worked tirelessly to care and comfort the wounded soldiers who came to recover at the hospitals of Fern Hill and Acre Mill, Stacksteads. For many others their roles in the community and family life changed unrecognisably when the women took on the jobs once done by the menfolk.
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