Following the end of the First World War Fleetwood fervently sought a fitting location to honour the town’s war dead following the loss of over 300 Fleetwood men. The local community and Fleetwood Heroes’ Committee required a large area of land, to include playing fields, tennis and bowls courts and a dedicated space for horticulture; in the early 1920s Warrenhurst Park was selected as a suitable location.
Following fundraising within the local community, Warrenhurst Park was given as a gift to the town and in 1925 noted town planner Sir Leslie Patrick Abercrombie was commissioned to transform it into a fitting dedication to Fleetwood’s fallen. It was opened in 1926 by Lord Derby with a well-attended and poignant ceremony noting that the children’s laughter within the park would be a ‘fitting tribute for the dead’. Local children who had lost their immediate family in the War were invited to honour their losses with the planting of elm trees on neighbouring Remembrance Avenue.
A war memorial, completed in 1927, was added to the centre of the park depicting a man holding a torch wearing the laurels of victory. Architect Bertram Drummond was initially commissioned, but it was later completed by Herbert Tyson-Smith, who designed the cenotaph in Liverpool. The memorial includes two lines from the poem In Flanders Field, and upon completion had the names of First World War heroes engraved into it. Following WWII, and the war in Afghanistan, further names of Fleetwood’s fallen were added to the memorial.
In the 1930s a lily pond, a rock garden, a flourishing rose garden, beautiful horticulture and greenhouses were added to the park. Later, bowling greens and tennis courts were added. The park was a centre for relaxation and recreation, and also the location of the crowning of the first Fishing Queen in 1935.
In the early 2010s Wyre Council was awarded funding to restore the rose garden, and two years later funding to assist with the restoration of the park as a heritage site. It was celebrated with a number of community projects to celebrate the Memorial Park and its unique legacy. This funding was also used to restore the main entrance arches to their original 1920s design.