To the memory of the sons of France, who, taken as|
prisoners of war, came to Leek on parole during
the years 1803 to 1812, and lie at rest here and
elsewhere in our community.
A la mémoire des fils de France, qui, faits
Ce mémorial a été inauguré le 26 mars 1996 par
A Parole Agent was appointed to look after their welfare. The prisoners were given a weekly allowance of ten shillings, and had to muster twice weekly in the Market Place. The officers played a part in the social life of the town. A few brought in their families and servants. Some of the less well-off found work. Some started relationships with local women. There were several weddings.
Of the 346 prisoners in Leek who gave their parole, 41 escaped (6 were recaptured). A few died and are remembered on tombstones in St Edward's churchyard. These include: Joseph DEBEC, Jean Baptiste NILLOT, and Charles LUNEAUD. A few made their lives in Leek and remained after war ended.
Leek was one of 50 towns in the UK where French officers were held. Other ranks did not fare so well, they were incarcerated in prisons and prison hulks.