A royal knees up for former POW Maurice

SPECIAL GUEST Maurice Crowther.
SPECIAL GUEST Maurice Crowther.

A Spen veteran who was a prisoner of war during World War II has been invited to the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Maurice Crowther, 92, has been invited to represent the Java Club Far East Prisoners of War at the event on Tuesday.

Maurice was just 18 when he volunteered to join the army in 1938, and was stationed in Singapore when he was captured by Japanese forces in 1942.

He was made to work in the coal mines alongside female locals until he suffered a broken leg in a mining accident. He was hospitalised and after being discharged, he was sent to work on the gruelling railway salt works.

Maurice was held at a POW camp at Fukuoka, 80 miles from Hiroshima, which was destroyed when the US army dropped an atom bomb on it in August 1945. He was held captive for three years and after his release, he became a councillor for Liversedge and, as a lifelong Huddersfield Town fan, was the chairman of the club’s patron’s association.

He worked for Heckmondwike Carpets and after living in Liversedge all his life, he moved to North Yorkshire two years ago.

Maurice will be accompanied to the event by his daughter Julie Ward. They were invited by the Not Forgotten Association, for serving and retired servicemen and women with illness or disability.

Last November the pair took part in the Armistice parade service in London.