The inaugural Lidice Shall Live Committee was formally constituted in Stoke-on-Trent in early October 1942 and comprised a mix of elected representatives, members of the North Staffordshire Czecho-Slovak – British Friendship Club, miners’ delegates, Rotary Club members, members of the North Staffordshire Architectural Society and concerned, influential members of the public. The full list of members of the first Lidice Shall Live committee is as follows:
Dr Barnett Stross (Chairman), Mr H. Booth (Vice Chairman), Mr Frank Hampl (Secretary), Mr Hugh Leese (Treasurer), Alderman Austin Brook, Mr J. B. Adams (Vice President North Staffordshire Architectural Society), Mr W. Emmott (Secretary Burslem Co-operative Society), Alderman G. Timmis, Mr George Meir, Mr Hubert Dudley, Mr Arthur Baddeley, Mr B. Berman, and Miss Joyce Kempster.
The Financial Sub-Committee:
Mr W. Emmott (Chairman), Mr F. W. Langley (President, Stoke-on-Trent Rotary Club), Mr H. Dudley, Mr A. Simcock, The Rev. A. Perry, Mr Arthur Baddeley, Mrs F. Hutchinson, Mr T. Garratt, Dr Barnett Stross, and Mr Frank Hampl.
In mid-October 1942 Dr Beneš responded to an appeal sent by Mr Frank Hampl, Secretary of the Fund; accepting an invitation to become a patron and contributing personally £500. In the course of his letter to Hampl, Beneš stated:
“I was deeply impressed with the genuine sympathy and understanding for the suffering of our people. As to the kind suggestion that I should become a Patron of the movement, I will certainly do so. I feel that the steps you have taken in commemorating the name of Lidice in this fashion will have great moral significance and is a very sympathetic gesture to my afflicted country.”
The success of the launch of the Lidice Shall Live movement was reflected in a flood of grassroots donations. This was picked up by the national press. Expectations were suitably high as the efforts of the fledgling committee were recognised in newspapers throughout autumn and into winter 1942. The Evening Sentinel carried the following headline on December the 7th:
The Lidice Fund: SUPPORT FROM MANY AREAS!
Since the first Lidice Shall Live Committee was organised and the mass meeting of September 6th was held, other areas and cities have adopted the movement. The Durham miners have subscribed £15,000, with £100,000 as their objective. The miners of the Midlands have also offered a levy of 2s.6d. per head, and the districts of Yorkshire, Lancashire, and other areas are following suit. It is expected that contributions from miners alone will reach a large sum-between fifty and eighty thousand pounds.
For more information about the Lidice Shall Live committee and how it spawned an international movement, read The Path to Lidice – the definitive account of the Lidice Shall Live campaign, and its legacy.
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