Second World War medals presented to families of Ribble Valley veterans

Presentation of Clitheroe Youth's Second World War project at St Mary's Centre, Clitheroe. Photo Ben Parsons
Presentation of Clitheroe Youth's Second World War project at St Mary's Centre, Clitheroe. Photo Ben Parsons

MEMBERS of Clitheroe Youth Forum who took on a mission to honour the sacrifices of local servicemen and women killed during the Second World War made the presentation of their final project.

It was held at St Mary’s Church Hall, Clitheroe, and more than 150 people attended to witness the Clitheroe Army Cadet Standard blessed and several Second World War medals presented to family members of war veterans.

These included Gladys Shepherd, who during the Second World War lost her cousin and in 1949 her brother (both were named Dawson) during the Berlin Airlift. Both served in the RAF and their medals had recently been obtained.

Several other medals were presented to family members who had loved ones who fought in the war and passed away without obtaining their medals.

Rev. Andy Froud, the vicar of Clitheroe Parish Church, presided over the ceremony. The medals were presented by Ribble Valley Mayor Coun. Lois Rimmer, Clitheroe Mayor Coun. Alan Yearing and former High Sheriff of Lancashire Peter Robinson, along with representatives from the Armed Forces.

Members of the Royal British Legion, the police and fire brigade were also represented, and a film of the project was shown. Members of Clitheroe Youth Forum were also awarded certificates on behalf of Ribble Valley Borough Council by Coun. Rimmer.

Clitheroe suffered considerable losses in the fighting in the war, with 72 servicemen and one woman killed. But before members of the forum and its chairman Melrose Diack began their project there was not even a remembrance book to commemorate their bravery.

Children as young as nine worked on the Ribble Valley Remembrance Project, using National Lottery funding to create a Remembrance Book, Braille book, website and film to remember the Valley’s “forgotten” war heroes.

Last year, the Forum finished as runners-up in the National Lottery Awards 2010. The awards are the annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery funded projects, and Clitheroe Youth Forum reached the final stage in the Best Heritage Project category.

The young members’ hard work and efforts was also recognised when they were chosen as one of five winners of the Rotary Young Citizen Awards 2011. During the presentation, which was also attended by a senior representative from Heritage Lottery, Coun. Rimmer informed war veteran Sam Brearley (98), who the Forum had helped to claim his medals, that she had received a letter from the Greek government to say that his long awaited medal from the Greece campaign would be with him soon. Sam has been invited to one of the royal garden parties at Buckingham Palace in June.