****** 1940 ******

At the start of 1940 Darwen men were involved with the BEF (British Expeditionary Force), supporting the French on the Continent. This was the time of the phoney war and there was little for them to do except for digging gun emplacements and moving equipment about. The Germans had invaded Denmark and Norway in order to protect their supplies of raw materials but this would change in May and the BEF would be forced back to Dunkirk where they would be evacuated from the beaches. In June there was a real threat of invasion and Churchill mobilised the civilian population to form the Home Guard, whilst Darwen did it’s bit to look after the evacuated children. The Battle of Britain started in September 1940 which prompted Darwen to donate money for a Spitfire with many a school pupil giving pocket money. A disastrous attempt to re-take Norway ended up with another evacuation under fire, carried out this time solely by the Royal Navy. Italy saw its chance and decided to try and extend its colonies in North Africa and Egypt but was thwarted when the British, ably assisted by Darwen men, stopped them in their tracks.

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