****** 1945 ******

1944 had proved to be the worst year of the war as far as Darwen was concerned with over 70 fatalities. 1945 saw the push for supremacy in Europe, and as troops moved across the continent Darwen saw its menfolk in action across many fronts. News from the front would give rise to hope as the British crossed the Rhine and the Germans surrendered in Italy. The town must have experienced the full range of emotions in the months leading up to May – from joy to sadness, hope to despair, then elation as the Germans surrendered unconditionally in May. Parties were hastily arranged and people relaxed and enjoyed a moment’s respite. For some though, the war went on until August in the Far east. Many Darwen men were caught up in that conflict and loved ones at home would have to wait many months before they could be sure that family members were safe and had survived. Then came the awful news of the two atomic bombs and the devastation they caused – the only redeeming feature was that they brought the war to a quicker conclusion. Japan would surrender in August, but then the allies found out the truth about atrocities both in Europe and the Far East.

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