Napoleonic War Memorial, Leek, Staffordshire.

Napoleonic War Memorial, Leek, Staffordshire.


In St Edwards church yard, Leek, Staffordshire.


A stone memorial bearing an inscription in memory of French prisoners of war who died in captivity in Leek during the Naponeonic War 1803 to 1812.


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.

This memorial was unveiled by
President of the Fondation Napoléon and the
Souvenir Napoléonien, March 26th 1996

A la mémoire des fils de France, qui, faits
prisonniers de guerre, furent retenus sur parole
à Leek de 1803 à 1812, et reposent en cette
enceinte et dans autres lieux de notre communauté

Ce mémorial a été inauguré le 26 mars 1996 par
le Baron Bourgaud, Président de la Fondation
Napoléon et du Souvenir Napoléonien.

Napoleonic War Memorial, Leek, Staffordshire.


Over three hundred French prisoners were held in Leek during the Napoleonic wars (1803 to 1815). They were all officers and therefore "gentlemen". Providing they gave their word (parole) they enjoyed considerable freedom. During the day they could move around town and were allowed up to a mile outside the town boundary.

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.

Thank you

To Ann Harris for help with this web page.

Carl's Cam