A LEGACY of LOVE
Lancashire Life|November 2020
An unusual war memorial in Lancaster is a haven for wildlife and young people from the city
Louise Bryning

In a corner of a Lancaster suburb there’s a field that is forever a reminder of a sister’s love for her brother, father and her native city.

The site – known as Miss Whalley’s Field – was bought with money bequeathed by Miss Frances Geraldine Whalley, who died in 1939, aged 57.

She stipulated the land should be ‘for the use and enjoyment and benefit, exclusively or mainly, of children residing in the Borough of Lancaster’ and was given in memory of her brother, Julian, who was killed in World War One, and their father, Colonel J Lawson Whalley.

Julian, who had originally joined the King’s Own Royal Regiment, was a captain in the Essex Regiment when he died in a German Field Hospital in France in 1917, aged 33. Colonel Whalley was Colonel Commandant in the King’s Own.

The field, now designated as an official war memorial and with spectacular views across Lancaster from Derwent Road, has a certain amount of protection from development and is no longer in the Local Plan.

It was fears of such development that prompted the Friends of Miss Whalley’s Field to be formed in 2015.

Since then, these volunteers have partnered with Lancaster City Council which has managed the field for almost 70 years. The council helps to maintain the site, working closely with the Friends by organising tree planting days, training and overseeing their management plan.

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