A PROJECT to erect a memorial to 25 pilots who crashed in the Forest of Bowland and the Ribble Valley during the Second World War has been given the green light.

The Clitheroe Youth Forum started researching into the men in 2013, after being awarded a £27,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund after two-and-a-half years appealing for the money.


The We Shall Remember Them project discovered the names and nationalities of the 25 airman who lost their lives in 15 accidents in the area in the war.

The 23-member strong group found that the airmen were from Britain (seven), United States (nine), Poland (four), and one each from New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

The group, run by community stalwart Mel Diack, is aiming to place the memorial on land west of Trough Road and south of Langden River near Dunsop Bridge Mr Diack said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the council has given us permission and I would like to thank them for siding in our favour.

“It’s a huge boost for the project and the kids will be very excited.

“We have put in a lot of work to get to this point and this ruling means that we can now get on with planning the unveiling, which we hope to happen in July.

“I’m also hoping that members of the pilot’s families will be able to come over from the US and Australia to mark the occasion with us but we will have to see if that’s possible.

“I would also like to thank everyone who has been so supportive of this effort over recent years and also United Utilities whose land the memorial will be sited on.

“We are just trying to do our bit in making sure that these brave men are honoured and remembered as they should be.”

The crash sites include Longridge Fell, Dunsop Bridge, Bleasdale Fell, Gisburn and Pendle Hill.

A series of services were staged in Pendle Hill and Slaidburn in October to remember those who lost their lives.

The forum is also aiming to place stones at all crash sites before the main memorial is unveiled.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: “It’s an excellent community project which will be applauded by all of the residents in the Ribble Valley.

“It’s heartening to see that this has been driven by young people who are keen to keep the memories of these men alive.”