In 1946 a further eight people from Darwen had lost their lives as a direct result of war service. Darwen men and women would continue to lose their lives as a result of the war, whether by accident, injuries sustained during the war or illness and disease contracted from across the world as a result of being on active service for some time to come. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission decided to put an official end date for the recognition of WW2 casualties at 31st December 1947. The Second World War Memorials produced for Schools, Workplaces, Social Groups and Churches can still be found in the town, but these do not record all of the people who lost their lives. A Roll of Honour for the town is being created by the Darwen Heritage Centre which will attempt to recognise the contribution made by all those people who have links to Darwen for the 75th Anniversary of the end of WW2. Whilst every care has been taken in this work to be accurate we do not wish to upset anyone who feels that their family member should be included. If, once prepared, you feel that there is someone from your family who should be included then please contact the Heritage Centre.
***You can click on each image to enlarge it***
On his way home on a train in Austria, Alfred Walmsley would be attacked and fatally stabbed.
He was buried with full military honours.
A volley of shots fired over his grave.
The last Darwen casualty of WW2 to be buried on foreign soil.
For a long while after the war, when the tram rails had been removed, the only evidence they had been there was the cobble stones either side of the tarmac.
James Allen who had been evacuated to Darwen in 1944 married the sweetheart he found there, Ann Kay in August 1947.
In October, Emma Wilkinson Pendlebury, a member of the ATS, lost her life and was buried in Darwen Cemetery.
The last person recorded by the CWGC from Darwen was Sydney Gerald Horrocks in December 1947 at the age of just 21.
Not recorded by the CWGC but on the Spring Vale Methodist Church Memorial is Allan Parr of the Fleet Air Arm, once involved in the attempt to sink the Tirpitz.
Allan passed away in 1948, succumbing to the TB he caught whilst working below decks on aircraft carriers in damp, dark conditions for long periods of time.
Medals were issued to those who gave service during the Second World War but they were not engraved with the recipient’s name and details as in WW1.
This list misses out the Arctic Star which was not awarded until 2013 for those who operated within the Arctic Circle on convoys to help the Russians.
For Operational Service overseas 1939-1945 – colours
Atlantic Star for anyone who served in Atlantic or Home Waters – colours represent the colours of the oceans.
Aircrew Europe Star for RAF over Europe up to June 1944 – colours represent sky, night flying and enemy searchlights.
Arctic Star for those operating within the Arctic Circle – colours represent three services plus ice.
Africa Star for North Africa, Malta and Egypt 1940-1943 – colours represent three services plus the desert.
Pacific Star for Malaya, Singapore, China, Hong Kong or Sumatra 1941-1945 – colours represent the three services plus the jungle and beaches.
Burma Star for service in Burma, 1941-1945 plus some in India, China and Malaya – colours represent sun plus British and Commonwealth Forces.
Italy Star for service in Italy and Sicily 1943-1945, also includes Yugoslavia, Greece, Corsica or Sardinia – colours represent Italian Flag.
France and Germany Star for service across Europe 1944-1945 – colours represent the National colours of UK, France and Netherlands.
Defence Medal for non-operational service, home or abroad, includes Home Guard – colours represent attacks on green and pleasant land and blackout.
War Medal given to full time personnel of the Armed Forces wherever they served – colours represent the Union Jack.
General Service Medal was awarded to Army and RAF personnel who operated in other areas, plus Bomb and Mine clearance post war and the Berlin Airlift.