Memorial to the Battle of Bamber Bridge should finally be created 78 years on

A memorial to mark the infamous Battle of Bamber Bridge in 1943 is expected to be given the go-ahead by councillors tomorrow.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 4:55 am

Plans for an engraved steel sculpture on a grass verge opposite Ye Olde Hob Inn have been recommended for approval by South Ribble' s planning committee.

The monument, which will show an outline of the town's skyline together with the Union Flag, the Star and Stripes and the flag of the US 1511th Quartermaster Truck Regiment, is part of a regeneration project on the land at the junction of Church Road and Station Road.

It will commemorate the incident in June 1943 when African American troops based in Bamber Bridge clashed with white US Military Police and officers following an incident at the Hob Inn.

The land in front of Ye Olde Hob Inn where the memorial will be built.

One GI was killed and seven other soldiers were wounded as shots were exchanged between the two groups of American military.

During the Second World War white and black US soldiers were segregated even though they were fighting on the same side.

A group of black GIs had been drinking with locals in the pub when Military Police tried to arrest one of them claiming he was improperly dressed and did not have a valid pass.

The situation later escalated and eventually shots were fired. Private William Crossland was fatally wounded in the crossfire.

As a result 32 African American soldiers were convicted on mutiny by a Courts Martial.

The specially-commissioned sculpture, which will have Bamber Bridge engraved on the frame, will be fixed on concrete pads with uplighters.

The regeneration of the green space will also include new pathways in the form of a crescent, together with benches, flower beds, an information lectern and waste bins.

Earlier this year South Ribble residents were given an opportunity to have their say on the monument during a public consultation process.

It is hoped the green space will be used for community events in the future.