Two young men from Nether Edge had differing fortunes in World War Two.
One was Brian Teather who lived in Chelsea Road, and the other was Eric Allsop, who lived in a house at the top of Machon Bank Road, close by the Union pub.
Brian left school in 1941 and soon after joined the RAF. He trained to be a pilot in South Africa before going on operations with Bomber Command in 1943, when the Battle of the Ruhr and later the massive winter offensive against Berlin were the RAF’s priority targets. Promoted to Flight Sergeant he flew for a year as the pilot of a heavy bomber before being shot down and killed over Belgium in October 1944. He had been married for a year and had just become a father when he met his death on a raid over enemy territory. He was 22 years old.
Eric Allsop was luckier than Brian and survived the war but endured some very hazardous experiences. The first was during the Sheffield Blitz in 1940 when he was still at school. He ran messages on his bicycle for the ARP and for three hours helped to put out fires and rescue people from bombed houses while the bombs were still falling. Then, when he finally got home to Nether Edge he found his own home had been seriously damaged by a German bomb. For his fortitude that night he was presented with a special commendation by King George VI himself.
Wind on four more years and Sapper E. Allsop of the Royal Engineers was one of the first men ashore on Juno Beach on 6th June 1944, as the Canadians assaulted the Normandy coast. His task was to defuse mines attached to the tank traps and make the beach safe for the following infantry and armoured units. Later in the day he met a man he knew at school calmly sketching the scene on the invasion beach, whilst working as an official war artist.
Eric Allsop served throughout the 1944-45 campaign in North West Europe, came home to Sheffield, became well known in local cricket circles and still lives within a mile of King Edward VII School, the school that both he and Brian Teather attended.
Brian and Eric’s stories are both included in a new book, “Another Generation” by John Cornwell about King Edward VII School during the Second World War.
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