Remembering the War

Image of the First World War memorial in Styal village

When the War finally ended, families in Styal and across the globe were left shattered by the deaths of so many. Communities now needed to find ways of remembering their dead, and Styal was no different. The textile industry too was facing a difficult time ahead, and Quarry Bank's future had been irreversibly altered by the First World War.

The Greg family were never the same after the loss of Arthur and Bobby.  Had they lived one of them would have inherited the mill and estate, but all of it was left to their younger brother Alec when their father Ernest died in 1934. Alec had never wanted to take on the family business or manage the estate. Instead he owned a farm in Cheshire and eventually sold Norcliffe Hall and Quarry Bank House. A few years earlier in 1939 he had left the mill, Apprentice House and estate to the National Trust. 

The Greg siblings all together as children. The deaths of Arthur and Bobby were felt deeply by the family, and changed the future of Quarry Bank
Photo of the Greg siblings as children, all together in some hay on the estate
The Greg siblings all together as children. The deaths of Arthur and Bobby were felt deeply by the family, and changed the future of Quarry Bank

 
After the War the British textile industry as a whole began to decline. Quarry Bank Mill adapted but wasn’t able to return to its previous production rates. Many tenants of the cottages in Styal began to move away from the village to find opportunities in cities. 


In 1920 the War Memorial Committee invited Styal to erect a memorial to honour the men who were killed in the First World War. A committee was formed at Styal which was chaired by Ernest Greg and a memorial was built at a cost of £350. The unveiling took place on 15th October 1921 and Ernest gave the speech:


‘their names are enshrined in our hearts. Let none of us forget those Styal men who went forth inspired by the same spirit of duty and self-sacrifice…let us take our courage in both hands, let us gather inspiration from their glowing example of simple and noble self-sacrifice and it is in the fervent hope that this monument will always remind us not only of our dear laddies and their noble deaths but of our duty to the ideals for which they so grudgingly laid down their bright young lives.’