AN exhibition to commemorate the sacrifices made by Horwich men in World War One is set to open this month.

The display has been created by the Horwich Heritage Society to coincide with the commemoration of the war which started on August 3, 1914.

The opening will represent a poignant moment for the people of Horwich, as it will pay tribute to the men from the town who gave their lives during the conflict.

Of the more than 2,000 men who went off to fight, 420 never returned home.

The Horwich Heritage team wants to honour those men as well as those who did return, but were left either physically or mentally scarred from their experiences.

The local community also suffered because of the war — with the pain of bereavement and losses of employment caused by industrial cutbacks causing many to apply to the Distress Relief Fund.

Horwich Heritage Chairman, Stuart Whittle said: “Such a major subject of loss and hardship is difficult to address but we hope to be able to do justice to it.

“Horwich Heritage is indebted to its dedicated World War One research team and to all those who have come forward with details of relatives who fought in the war.”

Despite the hardships, the Horwich community rallied and compassion shone through as more than 100 Belgian refugees who escaped the German onslaught were welcomed to Horwich with food, clothing, accommodation and schooling from the local people.

The exhibition will feature photographs, memorabilia and World War One records, including all those who lost their lives and will see the launch of the Special World War One edition of the Horwich Heritage Magazine.

The exhibition, which will be opened by Bolton Mayor Cllr Martin Donaghy and Horwich Mayor Cllr Richard Silvester at 10.30am on August 16, will run until spring next year at the centre in Beaumont Road.

The centre is open every weekday from 2pm until 4pm and from 10am until 12.30pm on Saturdays, with free admission at all times.

On the opening day, the centre will be open until 1pm and visitors will be able to see the first showing of the society’s new DVD, called Horwich in the Great War, from 11am.

At 1pm, proceedings will move to the Horwich Resource Centre, which is next door, where the play Words of War will be presented by the On the Go Theatre Company.

For any inquiries or offers of further information contact Stuart on 847797.