Proposal to name Chorley street after war raid hero

Artist's impression: Attack on the Moehne dam
Artist's impression: Attack on the Moehne dam
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The name of an heroic Second World War pilot killed in the legendary Dambuster Raid has been suggested for a new street in Chorley.

Vernon William Byers died on May 16, 1943, when his Lancaster was shot down by flak off the Dutch coast.

It has been proposed that Byers Walk in Buckshaw Village is named after the 32-year-old Canadian.

Chorley Council has asked Euxton Parish Council - which covers Buckshaw Village - for its views.

If it is accepted, it will be in keeping with the area’s proud links to the famous raid on the German dams in the Ruhr valley. Workers at the former Royal Ordnance Factory at Euxton – on which Buckshaw Village has sprung up – filled 19 ‘bouncing bombs’ for the raid.

Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bomb, has already been used to name Barnes Wallis Way in the village.

The raid by RAF 617 Squadron was called Operation Chastise. PO Byers’ Lancaster was to bomb the Sorpe Dame.

After it was hit, it crashed into the Waddenzee, West of Harlingen and was the first aircraft shot down on the operation with the loss of all the crew.

Debra Platt, clerk to Euxton Parish Council, said: “The council will consider the proposal at a meeting tonight.”

Site developers submit names to Chorley Council.

Deputy leader Coun Peter Wilson, said: “We have quite detailed guidelines for developers to take into consideration when they are choosing street names for their developments from such things as reflecting the history or geography of the area, to not being difficult or awkward to pronounce or spell.

“We also check there’s no duplication of existing street names within the borough and then we consult with the relevant parish council.”