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Desert battle held the key to victory

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: November 04, 2013

  • El Alamein commemoration service

  • El Alamein commemoration service

  • El Alamein commemoration service

  • El Alamein commemoration service

  • El Alamein commemoration service

  • El Alamein commemoration service

  • El Alamein commemoration service

  • El Alamein commemoration service

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VETERANS and members of the Royal British Legion held a service of commemoration and placed a wreath on the Nicholson War Memorial in Leek to mark the 71st anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein.

The men of Leek who fell during the desert campaign of the Second World War were remembered last Thursday.

El Alamein marked a change in the fortunes of the Allied forces as General Montgomery’s Eighth Army defeated Rommel’s Africa Korps.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill said: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Leek's town mayor councillor John Fisher took part in the service and members of the public in the town centre also paid their respects during the event.

Geoff Robinson, chairman of the Royal British Legion Leek Branch, led the service.

He said: “The battle of El Alamein was a very significant part of the Second World War campaign.

“Up until then we'd never won a battle, and afterwards things started to change and look up for us.

“At these services we hold throughout the year we remember not just those who lost their lives during the two world wars, but also those who are still fighting and losing their lives in conflicts today.”

Royal British Legion member Norman Corden, of Leek, was serving in the supply corps during the Second World War and was involved in the build up to the El Alamein battle.

He said: “I was called up when I was 20 in 1940, and as part of the supply core it was part of my duties to make sure the soldiers had everything they needed in preparation for the battle of El Alamein.

“Before the battle we’d never had a victory and afterwards we never had a defeat and we never looked back.”

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