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Two brothers failed to return from conflict

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 03, 2014

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ONE of the exhibits on show at the Nicholson Institute is dedicated to the Simpson brothers, who lived in Shoobridge Street, Leek.

Three of the brothers, Harry, Sydney and Percy, fought in the Great War.

The eldest, Fred, who was profoundly deaf, remained in Leek working in the silk mills helping the war effort.

During the war Harry Simpson died in action at Arras on May 3, 1917; Sydney Simpson returned to England but died soon afterwards in hospital as a result of his injuries and never returned home; while Percy Simpson survived and returned home to Leek and his family.

A selection of items from the brothers including a picture of Sydney, believed to originate from the Daily Mail newspaper, published in 1916, silk remembrance bookmarks from the funerals and a soldier's small book, which includes pressed flowers collected during service.

The items were loaned by Percy Simpson's granddaughter and family. The Military Medal of Sydney, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps, is also on show.

He was awarded the medal for his efforts on June 28, 1918, when he ventured into no-man's land as he had many times before to rescue the injured, when he was shot by a sniper himself. Sydney returned to England but died in hospital at Dover on July 5, 1918, aged 21.

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