****** 1944 ******

During 1943 a further twenty people with a connection to Darwen had lost their lives as a result of war actions. 1944 would prove a very decisive year in the course of the war as the allies prepared for the invasion of France. The country swelled with the numbers of American troops arriving to join the British and Commonwealth Forces already here. Production in the mills in Darwen was stepped up in readiness for the increased demand. Darwen men were amongst those who landed at Anzio in January and moved swiftly through Italy to reach Rome in June, two days before the Normandy landings. In desperation the Germans retaliated with the V1 Flying Bomb, and as the war progressed and the Allies first liberated Paris in August then Brussels in September they unleashed the first V2 Rocket Bomb. There was an urgent need to move quickly across Europe and the bridges were an important link for the troops. Arnhem would claim a number of Darwen men in September. At the same time as all this was happening in Europe, Darwen men were involved in defeating the Japanese invasion of India – also in June. The high concentration of Darwen men in front line action would prove costly for the town.

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