Darwen draws up plans to give freedom of borough to former soldiers

5:11pm Wednesday 26th December 2012

By Peter Magill

MORE former soldiers in East Lancashire are set to be given honorary freedom of their town - after the success of a fledgling scheme.

Veterans in Earby and Nelson have been given the honour - more than 60 years after the final bullet was fired in the conflict.

The scheme in Earby - promoted by parish councillors Vera Cocker and James Spence - was so popular that a second round of recipients was identified.

And now members of Darwen Town Council are drawing up proposals for their own freedom scheme - and are on the lookout for candidates.

Coun Trevor Maxfield, deputy chairman of the town council, said: “After the success of the two towns, giving the freedom of the towns to Second World War veterans, I would like to propose we do a similar thing and present all veterans with a badge and tie, “But I would like to extend the scheme to include veterans from Aden, Suez and Korea.”

Coun Paul Browne, of Sudell ward, asked about the prospective numbers which may be involved in such a scheme.

But Coun Maxfield, who represents Earcroft ward, said there were was probably not more than two dozen who may be eligible for the honour.

The town already has a number of memorials to the supreme sacrifice made by soldiers during the Second World War.

And a Spitfire memorial, commemorating the £5,000 raised by public subscription for a Darwen-backed plane, was unveiled in November.

The former East Lancashire Regiment - and its successor the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment - already officially have the freedom of the Burnley, Pendle and Blackburn among others.

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