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Family of postal worker John Stanley Tipper request a memorial plaque bearing his name in Leek's sorting office to be made public

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

By Abbey Buxton

  • John Stanley Tipper

  • John Stanley Tipper with his mum Olive Tipper at Christine's mother Amy's house in Meerbrook.

  • John Holland, Christine Colclough and Desmond Tipper with the plaque. Below, inset, the plaque.

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THE family of a Leek postal worker who was killed in the Second World War are hoping a memorial plaque bearing his name will be revealed to the public.

Corporal John Stanley Tipper served with the Army's Second Division Signals in the Royal Corps of Signals from 1939.

Corporal Tipper was born in Thomas Street, Leek, in 1918 and was killed in action, aged 21, on June 17, 1944, in Burma.

He is buried in grave 6.C.9 in Kohima War Cemetery in India, which lies on the battleground of Garrison Hill.

Following his death, Corporal Tipper's name was added to a memorial plaque in Leek Sorting Office in Strangman Street, alongside staff members who died in the First World War.

The plaque could be seen by the public when it was a fully functioning post office for the town.

But, after the Post Office counter services moved, leaving only the sorting office, the plaque was moved to the back of the room, where the public can only see it if they make an appointment.

Corporal Tipper's nephews and niece John Holland, of Sudbury, Desmond Tipper, of Park Road, Leek, and Christine Colclough, of Sudbury, were only children when their uncle died; John was eight, Christine was two and Desmond was 12.

Mr Holland said: "I remember seeing Uncle John twice and that he had a girlfriend.

"When we found out he had died, me and Christine were at Christine's mum Amy's house in Meerbrook, which is where Uncle John's mum, our grandmother, Olive, was staying at the time.

"Desmond's dad came to tell Olive what happened with Desmond; I remember how upset she was." Desmond's parents were invited to the unveiling of the plaque at the post office.

He said: "Dad fetched me out of school to go to Meerbrook to tell Olive what happened, but he didn't tell me why at the time."

Christine said: "We lived in Meerbrook until 1954, which is when we had to move as part of the village was flooded to make way for Tittesworth Reservoir.

"Olive was staying with my mum at the time, but she actually lived in Park Road.

"I know that Uncle John's dad was a painter and decorator in the town, but he died before Desmond was born. We don't know a lot about him really, and if anyone else knew him and may have any memories they can share we'd really like to hear from them."

John, Desmond and Christine have visited the plaque, after recently finding out about its existence.

They are requesting that it be moved to a more prominent place for the public to see more easily.

Desmond said: "It wants putting where it will be seen by everyone and kept there permanently."

Christine added: "It seems a shame that it's stuck there; most people don't even know it's there.

"There might even be family members of the people who died in the First World War who don't know about it at all."

A spokesman from Royal Mail said: "We're grateful that the matter has been brought to our attention and we will look into the possibility of moving the plaque"

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