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‘Thriving’ village where bullet-strewn buildings leave memory of deadly battle

‘Thriving’ village where bullet-strewn buildings leave memory of deadly battle

For generations, Bamber Bridge has been a quiet village, surrounded by bigger counterparts like Preston and Leyland.

Located in South Ribble with a most recently recorded population of just 12,000-or-so, its history includes textile manufacturing which was badly affected by a huge mill fire in the 19th Century. It led to 250 people losing their jobs and reportedly impoverished many.

For lots, the village is best known for its links with Preston – so much so that its football stadium is named after one of the city’s favourite sons, Sir Tom Finney. And like many of the surrounding villages, its proximity to the M6 provides an ideal location for those who want a quiet base with easy access to busier places.

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But while it may be considered a quiet and relatively uneventful place to many, it soared into the national spotlight 80 years ago when an evening which started with a quiet drink ended with deadly gunfire.

That night saw the death of Private William Crossland and to this day bullet holes can still be seen in some of its buildings.

During World War II, Bamber Bridge had welcomed American soldiers into the village to help the war efforts but locals refused to abide by the segregation which was common among the US forces. Instead, black soldiers were welcomed into all pubs and treated the same as their white counterparts.

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  • June 25, 2023