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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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A Kind Thought

by stellacoll

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Edith, James and Ella Dearden
Location of story: 
Wetherby, Yorkshire
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
27 November 2004

My grandparents, James and Edith Dearden, managed a pub in Wetherby, the Angel, during the War. There were two prisoner of war camps, each side of Wetherby, one Italian, one German. Virtually all the pubs in Wetherby and the surrounding area would not accept German POWs in their establishments. However, my grandfather took pity on them, saying that they were just fellow human beings who had been caught up in the War, and deserved a beer, if they felt like one. He was criticised by some of the bar regulars, but nonetheless accepted the Germans' custom. They were always quiet and well behaved, and very grateful. Before they left for Germany, at the end of the War, one of them presented my grandfather with a pair of miniature shoes, made with leather and nails, which he put in a Swan matchbox.
This small gift, which speaks volumes for my grandfather's humane and understanding nature, is kept in the family, and will be passed on to future generations, as a sign of respect for others, even in the most difficult times.

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