Leeds nostalgia: The fall of a French hero, prisoners escape with a spoon and Yeadon’s famous ‘ghosst’ train...

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One of France’s most popular leaders suffered a fall from grace after he was sentenced to death following his trial in Paris.

Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Petain (1856- 1951), generally known as Philippe Petain or Marshal Petain, was a general who had been honoured for his bravery and leadership during the First World War.

He became leader during the Second World War but was no match Hitler’s German war machine - although he remained technically leader, he was merely a figurehead and was captured and taken to German, returning after the war.

Although sentenced to death, this was commuted to life in prison because of his age and his contributions during the First World War.

Petain was 89 when sentenced to spend the rest of his days on Ile St Marguerite, an island fortress similar to St Helena, where Napoleon Bonaparte ended his life.

In other news, prisoners in a detention camp in Bordon, Hants, escaped after they used spoons to unscrew the hinges on their cell doors. ARound 200 soldiers broke out and 47 escaped and some later set fire to a watch tower and living huts.

Closer to home, there was a head-on tram collision in Leeds in Sheepscar, which resulted in 12 passengers being injured and one person being admitted to hospital.

Finally, Yeadon, which at that time did not appear on any train timetables, ran its ‘ghost train’ carrying 1,200 people to the coast. The station, which was technically just a goods yard, was reached by a single line from Guiseley.

All the mills were closed in Yeadon on the day of the special trip, which had been an annual event before the war and hope was it would also be after.