****** 1941 ******

During 1940 the war had claimed the lives of 11 members of the armed forces and 8 civilians with a connection to Darwen. At the start of 1941 Britain stood alone against the might of Germany. The spirits of the town were raised with the purchase of the Darwen Spitfire, and the USA passed the Lease-Lend Bill which meant we had the equipment to carry on with the war. The debt for that equipment would not be repaid totally until 2006. Germany invaded Greece in April, the same month we had a battle in Tobruk, then May saw the invasion of Crete. May saw the loss of HMS Hood, but then in reply a Darwen man would win the DSO for his part in sinking the Bismarck. Two things that year turned the tide of the war – Germany made the mistake of invading Russia and the Japanese made the mistake of attacking the Americans. Strangely, when the USA declared war on Japan, Britain was quick to do the same – a decision which would cost a lot of Darwen men their lives.

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