Clitheroe man seeks grave of war death brother
A MAN whose nine-week-old brother died during the Second World War has launched an appeal to find the baby’s grave.
Liverpudlian Joe McArdle came to Clitheroe to escape the German bombing raids in 1941 and stayed in the area for four years.
During that time his mum gave birth to baby Michael John, but he died on March 3, 1943, at Waddow Hall Emergency Hospital in Waddington.
Now 77, Mr McArdle, who has fond memories of his time in Clitheroe, has been trying to find out where his brother was buried.
He said: “I must have been about six when he died and I just remember the coffin and he had snowdrops in his hands.
“I have been in contact with the council but I have come up against a stone wall.
“I just want to jog someone’s memory, but most of the people who had known my mum would have passed on now.
“I find it odd that someone was born and died in Clitheroe and there are no records of it.
“When you are a child you do not think about it but as I got older I started to wonder where he was buried.”
Mr McArdle, a father-of-four and grandfather-of-seven, said it was possible his baby brother was put into a pauper’s grave with other people.
He said: “But there must be some records, somewhere.
“I just want that finality and the chance to show he has not been forgotten.”
Retired window cleaner Mr McArdle, who is married to Doris and lives in Melling, came to the town in 1941 as his dad was in the Navy, and stayed wit his aunt, Edith Ashton, and her husband, Jack, just off Whalley Road.
He said he remembered staying at a house across the road with Lilly Holden before moving to Craven Street and to Wilkin Square until the war ended.
He said: “It was a really happy time. It was a child’s dream playing in the castle grounds with my brothers. I still come to visit Clitheroe once or twice a year as it is a lovely place.”
Anyone who can help can call Mr McArdle on 0151 5464304 or email jdmc37@ hotmail.co.uk