Arthur Baddeley – North Staffordshire Miners’ Federation – Unsung Hero 1942

Arthur Baddeley, an employee of the Chatterley Whitfield Collieries, was appointed “Organiser” to the North Staffordshire Miners’ Federation at the monthly meeting of the District Council held at the Miners’ Hall, Moorland Road, on the afternoon of Monday, September 29th, 1930. Members selected him from a list of fourteen nominees submitted from across the district. Arthur is closely linked to the Lidice Shall Live campaign, having been President of the Federation at the movement’s inception.

In early March 1948, it was announced that Baddeley, as Secretary and Agent of the North Staffordshire Area of the National Union of Mineworkers since 1946, had been elected, by ballot, full-time President of the newly constituted Midland Area of the NUM, which embraced North and South Staffordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Cannock, and Highbury, with an approximate membership of 49,000.  He became a magistrate on the 30th of September 1944.

Arthur Baddeley Circa 1960. Former President And Secretary Of The North Staffordshire Miners' Federation And Played A Leading Role In The Lidice Shall Live Movement.
Arthur Baddeley circa 1960. Former president and secretary of the North Staffordshire Miners’ Federation and a leading figure in the Lidice Shall Live movement.

Of the Lidice atrocity, Baddeley said,

“Though it has been totally destroyed, and our brother miners have been murdered, and the women and children battered and brutally treated by the Nazis, we say this village shall be remodelled and rebuilt, and the people shall rise and live again in a new spirit of fellowship and brotherhood. The miners would say to the world at large that their comrades of Lidice would never be forgotten, that the widows and orphans would be rescued and that the village would be rebuilt as a lasting monument that this crime against humanity should never succeed.”

In 2012, Muriel Stoddard, daughter of Arthur Baddeley, shared some of her recollections about her dad’s experiences with an amateur film crew:

“In January 1942, there was a massive disaster at the Sneyd Colliery. Dad was part of a delegation that had to go around telling people that they had lost loved ones. And in that same year, we heard of the disaster in Czecho-Slovakia, when the tiny village of Lidice was razed to the ground by the Nazis. A lot of the people from the village were miners, and so the miners of Stoke-on-Trent became aware of what had happened in Czecho-Slovakia.

Dad was part of a delegation that went out from Britain to Lidice for the stone-laying ceremony and when he came back, he told us of things that had happened, but he didn’t dwell on it. And he didn’t say ‘Oh, I’m the proud owner of a medal.’ He was very modest. He had the medal, and that was it. He was very grateful and very honoured, I think, to have received the award.”

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