Harry’s story as prisoner of war in France remains elusive

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Scarborough-born cobbler Harry Chapman was a prisoner of war in France – and although he seldom talked about his experiences his family know whereabouts he was.

The Green Howard named his daughter – Nancy – after the first place the soldiers came to on their release. She was born in 1923.

“I don’t know much about dad’s time in France – but he was so weak on his release he had to crawl out of the camp.”

The locals fed the men dried tea leaves, said Mrs Rycroft, who lives in Plaxton Court, Woodlands Drive, Scarborough.

Mr Chapman had a cobblers in Falsgrave Road on the site o f what is now the Tap and Spile pub. He was also a part-time funeral bearer. He died aged 52 in 1938 when Nancy was 15.

“I’m sure what happened to him during the war contributed to his early death,” said Mrs Chapman, who was married to James Chapman, who worked on the railways. She worked at Dennis Printers for many years. She has two daughters, Pat Walker and Jill Pereira.