Leslie war plaques back on show

Campbell Morris and Susan  Phillips (Library Assistant) with the WWI commemorative plaques at Leslie Library
Campbell Morris and Susan Phillips (Library Assistant) with the WWI commemorative plaques at Leslie Library

Two historic World War II plaques, awarded to the people of Leslie for their special contributions to the war effort, have been returned.

A local historian and life-long resident of the town, Campbell Morris, saved the commemorative awards from ending up in a builder’s rubbish skip six years ago when construction workers were carrying out extensive renovations of a former Town Council office building on High Street.

Since then they have been locked away at Fife House, but finally a permanent new home has been found for the historic artefacts.

The two awards have now gone on show at the foyer of the town’s library.

“I’m glad to see them back and on show once again in the town where they belong,” Mr Campbell told the Gazette.

He added: “I remember them being on display in the Town Council offices but had not seen them for many, many years.

“When the renovation work started on the office I had a chat with the builders and salvaged a large amount of historic documentation, the plaques were also about to go into the skip but I knew what they were and asked it I could keep them.”

One of the Leslie plaques relates to ‘Wings For Victory Week’, which was a national fund raising event held across Britain in May 1943.

Each county was set a target for the amount of money they should raise in order to contribute to the coat of an aircraft, which in turn would be named after the town or county which raised enough money.

In turn, districts within each county were set individual targets to make up this total.

When their targets were successfully reached, commemorative plaques were awarded by the Air Ministry to recognise their achievement, with a certificate naming the successful town, village, or district.

Librarian Susan Phillips said it was fitting to see the awards back on display.

“It’s nice to know that someone has taken the time to save them.

“I understand they were prestigious and respected awards in their day and recognition of the efforts that the town made to the war effort.”