Centenary event held at historic Lancaster field

Miss Whalley's Field in Lancaster.
Miss Whalley's Field in Lancaster.

A group set up to protect green space in Lancaster will come together to commemorate a key figure who died in the war 100 years ago.

The Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field will hold a centenary event at the field on Derwent Road on December 3 to mark 100 years since the death of Julian Whalley in World War One.

Capt. Julian Lawson-Whalley. Picture by King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.

Capt. Julian Lawson-Whalley. Picture by King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.

The group is a small, voluntary group of locals whose aim is to protect, maintain and enhance a community field in the Freehold/Ridge area of Lancaster.

The field was left in trust to the children of Lancaster in the will of Miss Geraldine Whalley in memory of her late father, Colonel Joseph Lawson-Whalley and brother, Captain Julian Whalley.

Julian died in World War I at the battle of Cambrai in Northern France.

He was a 2nd Lieutenant, 4th Militia Battalion, in the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment of 1903.

According to the Kings Own Museum:

“Julian resigned and travelled in America and Canada and enlisted at Lancaster in 1915 in the University and Public Schools Brigade.

“Wounded and missing at Cambrai, whilst in command of his battalion, Julian died aged 33 on December 1, 1917 of his wounds in a German Field Hospital.

“He is buried in Caudry British Cemetery in France.

“Julian was unmarried, a keen golfer, member of Lancaster and Morecambe Golf Clubs and President of Lancashire Golf Union in 1911.”

The group is appealing to the public to find a way to take a pebble from the field to lay on his grave in France.

The event will be attended by the Mayor of Lancaster, Roger Mace, Lancaster MP Cat Smith, Fields in Trust, school children and Miss Whalley’s 90-year-old great niece.

Schoolchildren will also read ‘The Fallen’ by local poet Lawrence Binyon.

The Mayor will unveil a memorial stone with plaques mounted on an installed boulder.

One plaque will mark the ‘gift’ of the field and another is being donated by Fields in Trust, a British charity which protects parks and green spaces.

The group is also installing a bench with a time capsule (filled with items from local school children) buried beneath it.

As a charity, The Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field, rely on donations to enable them to carry out work and hold events.

Over the years they have been awarded funding from community awards including Lancashire Environmental Fund, Lancaster Green Spaces and Yorkshire and Furness Building Societies.