Ribble Valley at war
The proceeds of a recent sale of a sack of flour were in aid of the comforts fund for local soldiers. Miss King Wilkinson was the last buyer and very kindly gave the flour to the Blackburn Royal Infirmary.
Clitheroe Advertiser and Times Friday 25th October, 1945.
Home From Germany
Home From Germany - Whalley
Queen Street was gaily bedecked to welcome home Gunner William Helm, after four years of captivity. Gunner Helm, who joined the Clitheroe Territorials in May 1939, was captured at Crete in 1941. Recently he was imprisoned in Staleg 8c, and as the American Forces were approaching in that direction, he was one of the prisoners to make the now historic 500 mile march. Eventually, they were released by our American Allies, who gave them a great welcome. Looking remarkably fit, considering his long imprisonment, Gunner Helm arrived home on Tuesday night.
Clitheroe Advertiser and Times May 11th, 1945.
Whalley Soldier's Experience
Whalley Soldier's Experience.
From the Military Observer comes the following story about Private William Edwardson, of 30, Bridge Terrace, Mitton Road, Whalley, who is now in Germany. He took part in the attack on Bremen, with a company of 1st South Lancashires in what the Battalion Commander described as an excellant example of co-ordination between tanks and infantry in the Bremen Sector. C Company took its objective in an assualt, and was then ordered to send patrols to a bridge north of its objective. In doing so, writes a Military Observer, the infantry came under heavy fire from machine gun posts. In order to wipe these out, the action became a platoon battle carried out in the approved text-book principles of fire movement. At one stage the South Lancashires came under heavy machine gun fire, and some of them were pinned down for a time. Their carriers had meanwhile moved on to the bridge. They drove the Germans off, killing a number and taking others prisoners. C Company, in this brush with the enemy, came out on top, but they had to fight for their success.
Clitheroe Advertiser and Times dated June 8th, 1945.
A thrilling account of his adventures as a prisoner of war has been given by Flight Sergeant Deryck D. M. Lambert, Royal Air Force, eldest son of Canon C. H. Lambert of Whalley Abbey, who recently returned from Germany. After bailing out from his plane at 15,000 feet, Flight Sergeant Lambert was shot at by the Germans on nearing the ground. Later he was accused of spying because he refused to give information about his squadron. He was not hit when making the descent, and during his eight months of captivity in German camps he endured much privation and shortage of food, and never received a single letter or parcel from home, though his parents wrote at least twice a week.
He was captured when shot down during a daylight raid on Gelsenkirchen on September 11th, and during interrogation everything he had, cigarettes, lighter, fountain pen, sweets, etc was all taken from him. After the threat of the death penalty when accused of being a spy, he was taken to a dispersal camp, and to use his own words "thanks to the wonderful Red Cross I got a hot shower and a splendid meal." He did get into a new camp at Bankau, reputed to be the ebst in Germany, where accommodation was good, but in time rations got worse, and on January 19th, as the Russians were approaching, they were out of bed at 3am, given five loaves between eight men, and a tin of sardines or meat.
"Then began the terrible march," he says. "The temperature was 20 or 30 degrees below zero. We went 200 miles in 16 days, with very little sleep, and on several days without a crumb inside us. When we crossed the Oder we marched from 8pm to 11am next morning without a break, with nothing to eat, and in weather so cold that my lips, eyelashes and hands were frozen."
"In a journey to Goldberg, 64 of us were put into a cattle truck. Conditions were shocking. No one was allowed out during the four days in which we travelled only 50 miles. We had no food except two fifths of a loaf, the guards refused us water, and some men were suffering from dysentery. At Luckenwalde there were more with dysentery, and we kicked up such a fuss that officials of the Protecting Power and International Red Cross officers arrived, and we tried to get more food. We existed a month on a daily ration of two thirds of a pound of bread, a cup of watery soup, and a handful of potatoes, and the German Red Cross promised an increase, the only thing that happened was a cut in rations."
"The Red Cross parcels that arrived on March 8th actually saved the lives of many. The German guards left us on April 21st, and when the Russians arrived next day it was found that eight Russians in the camp had starved to death in their terrible quarters, and that there was a lime pit containing the bodies of 15,000 persons who had been starved to death." Flight Sergeant Lambert eventually reached American lines in Wittenburg, and was flown to England. He is on a months, leave, but naturally hopes it will not be long before he can take up his study of medicine at Edinburgh University.
Clitheroe Advertiser and Times May 25th, 1945.
Congratulations to Captain W.E. Chadwick, R.A.S.C., on his promotion to the rank of Major. During his six years in the Army, the last three have been spent overseas, and he is at present in Italy. Major Chadwick is a son of Mr and Mrs R. Chadwick, formerly of Queens Street. Whalley. He is expected home at 168, New Bank Road, Blackburn in about a month.
Clitheroe Advertiser and Times August 24th, 1945
Whalley Military Cemetery
Whalley Military Cemetery
Listed below are the names of those buried at the Whalley Military Cemetery who fell in World War Two.
Captain Stewart. W. Laker-Wright
Royal Engineers. Aged 43. Died 11/06/1945. Service Number 221204. Son of William, Walter and Mary, Wright and husband to Violet Mary Laker Wright of West Mercia, Essex. Grave Number C. of. E Grave number 155.
Armourer. Staff Sergeant. William. Hall
Royal Army Ordanance Corps. Aged 45. Died 27/01/1941. Service Number 7581598. Son of Harry and Lucy Hall. Husband of Alice Hall of Oswaldtwistle. C.Of E. Grave number 153.
Sergeant. Dudley. James. Coveney
The Queen's Royal Regiment. (West Surrey). 1/5th Battalion. Aged 29. Died 19/09/1940. Service Number 6091754. Son of Charles and Martha Coveney. Husband of Doris Coveney of Fallowfield, Manchester. C.o fE. Grave number 152.
Sergeant. John. Joseph. Flynn
Royal Artillery. Died 16/11/1942. Service Number 992888. Son of Michael and Johana Flynn. Husband of Amy Flynn. R.C. Grave Number 644. (No age given.)
A/C. 2 Thomas. Bolton
Royal Air Force Volunteer. Died 07/03/1943. Service Number 1304099. R.C. Grave number 643. No age given.
Driver. John Brown
Sapper. Royal Engineers. Aged 38. Died 28/05/1940. Service number T/127767. Son of Thomas and Julia Brown of Bratton Clovelly, Devon. C. of E. Grave number 150.
Sapper. James. McCutcheon
Royal Engineers. Aged 25. Died 28/05/1940. Service Number 1886807. Son of William and Janet McCutcheon of Lanark, Scotland. C.Of E. Grave number 151.
Sapper. Joseph. Vincent. Welsh
Royal Engineers. Aged 19. 232 Field Coy. Died 11/07/1940. Service Number 2075135. Son of Joseph Edward and Jane Welsh. Dunston, Gateshead. R.R. Grave Number 645.
Private. Percy. Leal. Dodd
Royal Army Corps. Died 22/08/1942. Service number 10585421. C. of E. Grave number 154. (No age listed.)