A Wartime Story of a USA Airman - Club Link
Club Historians reaches people near and far who are interested in and/or have links to clubs.
We have previously shared stories sent in by friends in Australia about memories of clubs used by parents and grandparents and we were recently thrilled to receive from the USA a romantic story that involves a Northants club!
Ruth received an email from Jim Pratt who lives in Portland, Oregon. As well as sharing some of the story of his American father Harley 'courting' local Leicester girl Eileen Scupham he also scanned his father's CIU club documents. The story and the scans are all a rare treat indeed and, of course, of great interest to Club Historians.
This is what Jim told us:
My dad Harley Pratt, born in Kansas in 1922, was in the US Army Air Corps during WW2, stationed at Chelveston, outside of Leicester. He was Master Sergeant, Communications Chief and stationed in England from Sept 1942 - Sept 1945.
My mom Eileen Scupham, was born in 1924 and lived in Leicester. They met at a dance at the Palais in Leicester. Dad would ride his bike from Chelveston to Leicester to see my mom, which is a long ride. I still have his kit bag, which has a black burn mark on the bottom from the bike tire.
They married on May 25th 1945 and mom moved with Dad to the US. While they were dating, my grandfather (mom's dad) Frederick Scupham invited my dad to join the Stanwick WMC. It appears that he was a member from April 1944 until September 1945 (when he shipped home). From what I remember, my dad said there was a lot of drinking and darts playing. But I can't remember if that was specifically at the WMC or just at the pubs!!
They were married for 63 years until my mom passed away in October 2008. My dad passed away in November 2010, and in going through his papers I found various WMC items, including the original black wallet that they went into. My dad would tell me stories of him going to the club with his soon to be father-in-law.
I have a lot of my dad's war-time items, so the WMC paperwork will definitely get passed down through the family. Mom went back to England three times, in 1969 (with my oldest sister), in 1976 (with me and my Dad) and then once in the 1980's, just with my Dad.
These are great memories and we thank Jim for getting in touch. Does anybody else have memories of this club or of anyone who might have used it such as other American servicemen? Are there any more recent stories of the club to be told?
Please get in touch if you do.
We are pleased to hear that Stanwick Club is thriving as a private members club. The club boasts a terrific, comprehensive website with lots of historical information. This includes details about the links between the club and USA servicemen.
All the best
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