Ribble Valley at war

Henry Miller -Fought In -Two World Wars

We have some information from Albert Miller who resides at Dutton Brook House, Ribchester that his Father (Henry Miller born 7th June 1898, Darwen and died 28th July, 1963 in Darwen) served in the First World War with the Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment and then served in Ireland from 1919 until 1922 with the East Lancashire Regiment. Then he served again in the Second World War with the Royal Artillery.

Incredible that Henry was able to fight in both these wars and survived. Our thanks go to Albert and we hope to print several photo's of his late Father in due course.

Officer's Unpaid Fare

A Journey from Bamber Bridge to Whalley

A Lieutenant in the East Lancashire Regiment Norman C. Anderson was fined £2 at Clitheroe County Court Sessions on Monday for travelling on the railway without paying his fare. He pleaded not guilty. Albert E Ormerod, foreman porter at Whalley Station said that on Friday, November 11th, he was on duty when a train drew in from Blackburn at 6.30am. Defendent came to him at the barrier and said he wanted to pay his fare from Blackburn. When asked for his ticket he said he had come from Preston. Witness told him that he could not have come from Preston as it was a closed station. Similar wrong stories were then told.

Clitheroe Advertiser dated January 19th, 1945

Chatburn Police Ball

The popularity of the County Police Ball was very evident on Friday night, when this pleasant social event was held in the Church Institute. Dancing was enjoyed by a large company to music provided by the East Lancashire Regimental Band.

Advertiser April 13th, 1945.

Local Volunteer Fire Brigade

The Ducketts were a large and well known family in Clitheroe at one time. Mr Frank Duckett was revisiting the old borough from New Ferry, Liverpool. His father was Michael Duckett, a former Superintendent of the local Volunteer Fire Brigade. Like most Ducketts, Frank was a musician to his finger tips, and was connected with the local brass band, playing various instruments in the course of his career. He holds the long Service medal of the Clitheroe Fire Brigade. Not withstanding his 72 years, he looks remarkedly fit. Unhappily his wife (nee Cissy Crook) has spent some months in hospital with a fractured thigh.

Clitheroe Advertiser dated July 14th, 1944

Mary Francis Hughes

We recently met Mary Francis Hughes (maiden name Lloyd) from Longridge aged 94 and born on the 4th July 1918. Mary joined joined the Auxillery Territorial Service when she was in her early twenties and was part of the 559 Royal Artillery Battery and was stationed at Dover and Wolverhampton. Her primary role was as a Predictor to target the planes and then to relay this to the rest of the gun crew as and when to fire. Mary and her mixed crew worked a shift system. Prior to the war and again afterwards she worked for the Co-Operative at Earlam near Eccles.

Her two sisters Daisy and Gwenn were in the Royal Signals. Their Father George Lloyd was decorated during World War Two with the Militery Medal. He was in the Royal Army Medical Corps and lost a leg through his actions in saving another soldier.

The following words have been supplied to us by Mary who has held onto these for many years.


When the barrage opens out to greet the raiding Hun, don't forget the girls out there -the girls behind the gun. When you hear the boom of fire and see the sky alight, remember they're on duty in the frontline of the fight. When the barrage has subsided and the raiders passed, when the 'all clear' sounds and you can get to bed at last, more than greatful you should feel for all that they have done to keep you safe. So don't forget the girl behind the gun. Written especially for all Ack-Ack girls by Patience Strong. Kindly loaned to us by Mary.

"British women have proved themselves in this war. They have stuck to their posts near burning ammunition dumps, delivered messages afoot after their motorcycles have been blasted from under them. They have pulled aviators from burning planes. They have died at their gun posts, and as they fell another girl has stepped directly into the position and 'carried on'. There isn't a single record of any British women in uniformed service quitting her post, or failing in her duty under fire. When you see a girl in a uniform with a bit of ribbon on her tunic, remember she didn't get it for knitting more socks than anyone else in Ipswitch." Extract from USA War Department booklet issued to every American soldier entering Britain.


Auxiliary Territorials Service, that's what I hear people say. They were the lady soldiers in the wars of yesterday. In the uniforms just like the men, they served our country too. On Ack-Ack guns and searchlights, and drove the lorries through. The air raids and the bombs they braved, like the soldiers their lives they gave. So on that day in November, we wear our poppies with pride. We give thanks and remember, our gallant girls who died. Copied frrom a poem by a Mrs J.O'Doughty and treasured by Mary.

More information and photo's to follow. We hope to assist Mary in obtaining a veterans badge.

Raymond Cox

We recently met Raymond Cox (aged 88) from Clitheroe who was called up at the age of 18 in 1942 to join the Army. Prior to the war Raymond was working as an apprentice butcher in Litchfield, Staffordshire. After basic training he was shipped off to Algiers North Africa with the 683 Light Recovery Section -R.E.M.E. The sea journey proved difficult to say the least with the convoy being attacked and several ships with supplies being lost to enemy action. One of his first duties was to escort a group of German POW's into the desert to build a field hospital for the wounded. He was issued with a truck and led some 20 bronzed fit looking Germans -who looked as though they had been training for years and Raymond looked pale and puny compared to them. During this trip Raymond lost control of his machine gun going over a bump and his magazine fell off the machine gun and fell onto the dusty track. The brakes of the truck were slammed on and one of the Germans jumped off the truck and ran about 200 yards, picked up the magazine and handed it back to him. Raymond thanked the German.  Several Germans did escape.

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