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Search is on to find WW2 veterans as council plans honours

Release date: 
Friday, 13 March, 2020

Burnley Council is searching for local veterans of the Second World War as plans take shape to recognise their contribution to protecting Britain during its darkest hour.

The council is planning to honour the borough’s surviving WWII veterans, both those who served in the Forces and those who served through reserved occupations, by awarding them a Certificate of Honour.

To date six men who served with different branches of the Armed Forces in various theatres of war across the world have been identified but organisers are hoping to find more, and have cast their net wider in the hope of finding surviving members of the reserved occupations such as the “Bevan Boys” and other land-based veterans who ensured vital support to those serving overseas.

Anyone who knows of any surviving Second World War veterans from the borough who would like to take part in the ceremony is asked to contact Catherine Swift by email at cswift@burnley.gov.uk or phone 01282 425011 ext 3131.

The Certificates of Honour will be presented during a ceremony at Burnley Town Hall, at a date to de decided, and will be part of wider celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Councillor Cosima Towneley, the council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “The criteria for the Certificate of Honour is that it can be given to any member of the community but should be used sparingly. I believe our surviving veterans fully deserve such an accolade. Not only did they serve their country through a time of great peril but they also returned and served their borough and closer community.

“We know of six veterans but I’m sure there are more and we’d love for them to come forward and make themselves known so that we can honour them and their bravery and commitment to their country in its hour of need.”

The Certificate of Honour is awarded to recognise significant service to the community where that contribution has made a difference.

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