Colonel Killian at the Freedom of the City award event (see text) – image posted and shared from the Lichfield City Council Flickr stream.
Readers may well recall the awful and largely forgotten story surrounding Colenal James Kilian, and his cruelty and subsequent disgrace following the mistreatment of soldiers at the U.S. Army base stationed at Whittington, near Lichfield, duringWorld War Two – it’s a subject we’ve touched on occasionally and is little known about here in the UK, but somewhat notorious in the USA.
Tony Briggs, St. Matthews Hospital researcher and Lichfield City Council Deputy Town Clerk has written to me with some interesting hostorical finds relating to Colonel Killian and alerting us to a large gallery of Lichfeldian material curated by the Council on Flickr.
Tony Briggs wrote:
I have written to you before about a couple of family history pictures and also St Matthews Hospital.
In my professional capacity I came across some historic photographs in Lichfield’s Guildhall, all neatly stacked in a box. I have no idea how long they had been there, but I have scanned them and added them to a Flickr account. I have contacted Kate at Lichfield Lore about the photos but thought one or two in particular may be of interest to you.
Some time ago there was discussion on your blog about Colonel Killian of the 10th Replacement USA Forces based at Whittington during WW2 and the article featured a cutting from the Tamworth Herald of the Freedom of the City of Lichfield being awarded to the 10th Replacement USA forces in 1944. Along with the other historic photos were a few from that event, plus another event dated a couple of months earlier when there was a presentation to Colonel Killian (unfortunately I can find no further detail on this event).
Click here to see all the photos (mostly historic but with some more recent events also added):
The Freedom album in particular can be viewed here.
Col. Killian can also be seen in other photographs from the time, including the unveiling of the City of Lichfield train at Trent Valley Station in 1944:
More generally, help with or corrections to any of the City Council’s photographs would be greatly appreciated.
Deputy Town Clerk
Lichfield City Council
Donegal House, Bore Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6LU
Tel: 01543 309852
Fax 01543 258441
email: tony.briggs at lichfield.gov.uk
The City Council website is at www.lichfield.gov.uk
Thanks to Tony for a very thought-provoking find, and for all he and the Council are doing to preserve the city’s pictorial history – were that other authorities were so adaptive to new media.
Comments, clarifications? Please feel free, either here, or mail me. BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Thanks.