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Albert Platt's Story
During 2018 we were contacted and advised that we were to receive a bequest from Albert in recognition of his time at QEGS. We were honoured to be remembered by Albert and this page is our tribute in memoriam to the life he led and his lasting kindness.
A few weeks ago I was humbled by a letter I received telling me about someone who had been a pupil at our school between 1935 and 1938. This young person, called Albert Platt, was brought to Lincolnshire by his parents; they were not Lincolnshire people, in fact they came from the Manchester area, a place called Stalybridge. At the start of the first World War, Albert’s father joined up with his friends in one of the Manchester regiments that was nicknamed Ashton Pals. In 1915 he and his regiment were sent first to Cairo in Egypt and then to Turkey where they fought in the now infamous conflict called Gallipoli. Albert’s father, was made a Lance Corporal, he fought bravely and was awarded the military medal for risking his own life to save another soldier caught in the cross fire. Just as Albert’s father was getting back to safety, a piece of shrapnel severed his leg just below the knee. Injured, Albert’s father had to return home to convalesce. There is little detail of what prompted the family to move from the north west of Britain to a farm at Haltham in Lincolnshire but in the school archives, Albert’s Dad is recorded as being a poultry farmer. Albert was born in Stalybridge in 1922 but I don’t know when the family came to Lincolnshire. He joined QEGS in January 1935 when the Headmaster was D F Taylor. Albert must have been very bright – he earned a scholarship here at a time when the school was a private boys’ school. When he had first entered the grammar school he had been 36th in his year – when he left three years later he was 5th. I do know what the Headmaster thought about him – I have the letter here that he wrote as a reference.
Albert Platt left QEGS in December 1938 and took a course in engineering back in Manchester before being conscripted into the RAF during World War II. He had a natural talent for engineering which the RAF made full use of. He spent much of the war fighting the Japanese in Burma – an arena that saw some of the harshest conditions and the fiercest fighting. Awarded the Burma Star Medal for his efforts in the war, Albert returned to England and continued his career as an engineer with the RAF in Rutland. He left the RAF in 1947 and embarked upon further study to improve his mechanical engineering knowledge which set him up for a lifelong career in the industry. He appears never to have returned to Lincolnshire. When he retired from engineering he bought a narrow boat called the Smoky Stover and spent the next 25 years of his life travelling the canals and rivers of Great Britain. In 2009 he moored his narrow boat in Macclesfield and gave up his roaming lifestyle.
In August 2016, aged 93, Albert Platt died peacefully in his sleep. He had never married and had no living relatives but he had a few very good friends. In making his will, he remembered those very good friends and what is so very humbling for me, is that he remembered his school which tells us that he valued greatly the education he received here.