Final wish of Sheffield war hero's nephew
Retro is today honouring the dying wish of a Sheffield man who is the nephew of a city Victoria Cross winner.
Susan Sansom, the daughter of Bill Loosemore, wrote: “While we were sorting out the affairs of the late William Loosemore we came across a request from him, asking us ‘to arrange some sort of announcement like the following to go to a major Sheffield newspaper on my death’.
“Although he passed away some 18 months ago, it is only recently that we discovered this note amongst his papers . “His request reads: ‘This was Bill Loosemore who lived with his parents and sister at 1 Lescar Lane, Sharrow Vale. This had been his grandparents’ home in which seven Loosemore boys were born, all saw frontline action in the Great War. Arnold, a local hero, was awarded the Victoria Cross and the DCM.
“Bill was a Hunters Bar schoolboy from 1924 to 1934 and at 14 he left school to work for five years at the Sheffield and Ecclesall Co-op. During this time he was also a very active member of the Sheffield Central Cycling Club.
“In 1939 he volunteered for the RAF and became a Warrant Officer Pilot, then did a spell in the police service in Cumbria and Nyasaland (now Malawi, Africa). “He was appointed County Road Safety Officer for both Westmoreland and Cumbria.
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“On retirement he spent the remainder of 30 very happy years in the Bournemouth area with his wife, Margery, who passed away at 90 years, Bill was 97 when he passed away’.
“We know that Bill was very proud of his Yorkshire roots and he would be so pleased if you could help.”
Arnold Loosemore won the VC for actions under fire in Belgium in 1917. Two years ago, a stone was laid near the war memorial in Barkers Pool. There are also plaques near his grave at All Saints Parish Church, Ecclesall, and at Loosemore Drive, Gleadless Common, which was named after him.
He was buried in a shared grave after dying of TB in 1924 after his widow was left almost penniless by the Government.