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Leek Senior Council School

Before the Second World War the football team from the Leek Senior Council School used to play on an area known as Whites Field, which is where the Britannia head office is now situated. Some members of the old football team sadly lost their lives during the Second World War and it was decided by their team mates, friends and families to create a memorial to their loved ones. After several meetings at the Central Club, it was decided to approach the Britannia with a view to dedicating a plaque in their memory. The Britannia gave their permission and a meeting was arranged with Mr Philip Davies of the Britannia and members of the old team. It was agreed to allocate an area opposite the main entrance to the Britannia for the memorial plaque in memory of those lost.


LSCS Members through the years

The Leek Senior Council School football team for 1934 - 1935

Back L. to R. Harry Nichols (Headmaster), Keith Smith, Doug Caswell, Ronald Poultney, Trevor Harvey (Sportsmaster).

Middle L. to R. Stan Bentley, Ernie Webster, George Hammersly, Derek Perkin, Fred Stafford.

Front L. to R. John Hambleton, Tom Gell, Tom Healy

Keith Smith (aged 21) R.A.F. Aircrew Bomber Command lost over Stuttgart 20th December 1942
Ron Poultney (aged 21) Royal Marine Commando killed D Day beaches 6th June 1944

 

The Leek Senior Council School football team for 1937 - 1938
with teacher Trevor Harvey

Frank Hammersley, 2nd left centre row, killed aged 19
Michael Stafford, 3rd from left centre row, killed aged 19
Harry Mellor 1st left front row, killed aged 18

 

 



The Military graves of these three heroic men can be found in graveyards in Italy, France and Burma.

At 2pm on a bright spring day in May 1993 the crowds gathered to pay their respects to the football team. The Britannia Brass Band played for the occasion, seated at the front entrance of the Britannia Building Society head office, smartly dressed in their red coats.

A gathering of old football players who used Whites Field before the war, these include:- Roy Oultram, Ernie Abbott, Derek Butterworth, Jack Ball, Russell Briand, Derek Alcock, Basil Birchall, Alf Prince, Norman Hudson, Bill Barker, Doug Harlow, Roy Clayton.

The Staffordshire Regiment and their mascot 'Watchman' oversee the proceedings as Stan Harvey, son of the sports master of the football team, unveils the commemorative plaque.


V.J. Day 2000

George Hammersley (centre) brother of Frank Hammersley, who was killed in Burma in the closing stages of the war, with Arthur Fisher and Basil Birchall.

The memorial plaque was dedicated by the Chaplain of the Royal British Legion, (Staffordshire Branch) the Reverend Joseph Harrop.

So if you are going to the Britannia, please go to the front entrance and take a moment to look at the plaque and remember the Old boys who used to play football on the site where the Britannia is now situated and lost their lives on foreign soil fighting for their country.

IN MEMORIAM

BEFORE THE 1939 - 1945 WAR THIS SITE WAS USED AS A FOOTBALL GROUND BY LOCAL SCHOOLS

THIS PLAQUE IS DEDICATED BY THE FRIENDS AND TEAM MATES TO THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO PLAYED HERE AND LOST THEIR LIVES IN THAT WAR

MAY THEY NEVER BE FORGOTTEN

 

Basil Birchall and Arthur Fisher placing fresh flowers and crosses on the commemorative plaque

Basil Birchall has travelled to Normandy on several occasions to pay his respects to the men who lost their lives in the war.

A French lady, Suzanne Lesueur who has attended one of the graves for many years, left a note on one of the graves asking for any information about the gentleman in the grave, Gilbert Brereton. Basil wrote to her and received a reply from her son, Jean Marc Lesueur. She had attended the grave of G. Brereton of Leek at the Cambes Cemetery for the last 59 years.Jean Marc Lesueur had been searching for information about the soldier for many years, so Basil was able to fill in the gaps of his knowledge for him. In November 2011 it will be the 66th anniversary of the end of the war.

Please spend a few moments to remember these people.

Jean Marc and his mother Suzanne Lesueur at the grave of Gilbert Brereton

Madame Guillem, Norman Inge (former Leek Battery) with Suzanne Lesueur and her son Jean Marc

 

...Lest We Forget

Armistice Parades

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