Ribble Valley at war
Gunner G Holden Escapes
Gunner George Holden of 28, Brook Street, Clitheroe who has been a prisoner of war in Germany has escaped and reached the Allied Lines in Italy. This welcome news was received by his parents last week. A short letter stated that he was well and will be seeing you all soon. An official staqtement said that Gunner Holden would be brought home as soon as transport was available. Gunner Holden was one of the first to join the Territorials and evacuated from Dunkirk and served in the Middle East campaigns but was then taken prisoner at Tobruk.
Private Harold Hudson (Missing)
Private Harold Hudson of 2, Pendle View, Chatburn has been reported missing whilst serving in Italy with the Loyal Regiment. Advertiser March 24th, 1944. Not later reported as killed so may well have been taken prisoner or wounded.
Advertiser March 24th, 1944.
Engineer Drowns 1945.
Sapper Roger Thomas Macken of Watford Royal Engineers aged 19, Service Number 14465749, stationed at Low Moor, Clitheroe drowned in 20ft of water on the 21st October 1945 at Sale Wheel, River Ribble when he dived in trying to save another sapper who got into difficulties whilst carrying out 'practices in water works'. The other sapper was able to get out of the water. Coroners verdict Accidental Death. Buried at Watford Cemetery. Section C. Uncons Row 1. Grave 337.
Clitheroe Advertiser 26/10/1945.
William (Bill) Wolstenholme
William (Bill) Wolstenholme Corporal in the RAF was stationed in Malta during the majority of WW2. When first posted he and those servicemen who went with him thought it would be a good posting in the sunshine and surrounded by blue water. It wasn't long before the Island was being bombed by the Italians. This was bearable as most of the Italian bombs missed as they were flying too high. However when the German Stuka bombers started coming down at close range everyone apart from the gunners headed way under ground. Bill could see the eyes of the German pilots they came that close.
The Allies only had a few planes and Bill and his friends did their best to keep them in service but in those early parts of the fighting the pilots never made it back and as we know Malta went close to complete starvation and most of the areas were in rubble.
As the war wore on and with Malta holding out the tide turned and the Island was rescued. Bill saw out the rest of the war back in the Uk saying he and his mates did their bit. Bill went back to Malta several times for the various reunions. After the war Bill worked for BAE systems as a fitter until he retired and played cricket for Clitheroe.
We filmed Bill and he has been given a copy of this film and attended all of our functions and celebrations.
Sadly Bill has now passed away aged 92. January 2012. God Bless.
In the village hall at Bashall Eaves they have several plaques dedicated to those who fell in World War One and World War Two as well as those who survived. The servicemen who were killed in World War Two are listed as James Newhouse, Peter Watson and Roy Wilson. Those who served and survived are listed as Vera Isherwood, Ellen Kay, Dick and Henry Chew, Rachael and William Kay.
Good music was provided on Tuesday evening at the Castle Bandstand in Clitheroe by the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers. There was a large audience to enjoy a well varied programme of classical and popular music. Advertiser June 19, 1942.