On the 4th of April 1943, the Nottingham Evening Post reported:
The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Alderman Ernest Braddock, has called a meeting at the Council House for April 8th in support of “The Lidice Shall Live movement” to be addressed by Dr Stross, of Stoke-on-Trent. In his letter inviting attendance at the meeting the Lord Mayor refers to the Nazi murders of the inhabitants of Lidice, and continues:
“Our miners and citizens feel that such an act of barbarism must have filled with horror not only this country, but all the freedom loving peoples of the world, and that a gesture of repudiation of such acts must be made to which all may have an opportunity of associating themselves.”
A fund is to be raised for the purposes of rebuilding Lidice (in Czecho-Slovakia) after the war.
At the meeting, which received the full support of Nottingham City Council, under the sponsorship of the Lord Mayor, Alderman Ernest Braddock, Dr Stross explained that the fund was started by North Staffordshire miners, who agreed to a levy of 2s. 6d. (half a crown) per head and miners as a whole had promised support to the extent of over £50,000. It was an opportune moment for another attendee, Mr Val Coleman, Secretary of the Nottinghamshire Miners’ Federated Union to announce his association’s support and contribution of £1,000 towards the Lidice fund.
A certified locomotive driver and a gifted poet, Colonel David Bourner was a prominent local figure around Nottingham, who played key roles in the Home Guard and the British Legion, as well as other areas of public service. His work on behalf of the Czechoslovak refugees began at the time of the annexation of the Sudetenland when he served as adjutant to the British Legion Volunteer Police Force – which was to have monitored proceedings during the handover of power and the subsequent plebiscite in Czecho-Slovakia. It was this keen interest in the welfare of the Czechoslovak state and its people, which prompted him to become Chairman of the Nottingham “Lidice Shall Live” committee.