Edwin Edward Samuels
Remembered by Margaret Samuels (daughter)
My father Edwin Edward Samuels was born in Annotto Bay, St Mary, Jamaica on 5th December 1914. As a young boy he was very poorly with arthritis and was unable to attend school before the age of 7 years old.
When he left school, he moved to Kingston to find work. He did various jobs such as painting signs for business adverts and housing 'For Sale' signs. Thereafter, he began to help out in a shoemaker's shop, where he later became an apprentice, learning his trade as a shoemaker.
In 1939, representatives from the UK came to Jamaica to recruit volunteers to travel to England in order to support the British war effort. My father was one of those who volunteered and following his arrival at these shores, he was based at the Butlin's Camp in Filey, where he trained as Ground Crew. After his time in the RAF he returned to Jamaica in 1946 where he continued with his trade as a shoemaker.
My father had met my mother Cynthia Solomon in Jamaica by the time he returned to the UK in 1950 to join his sister Albertha and her husband Roland Simpson. It was not until he had saved money that he could send for my mother to join him.
He was employed by the Surgical Shoemaker for H. W. Poole & Son which was initially based in Aire Street in Leeds before it moved to Crispin House on North Street. His work included making shoes and prosthetics for returning WW2 soldiers. He was valued as the only skilled worker who could make leg extensions for amputees and went on to receive a watch for long service. He also worked part-time from home, making and repairing footwear for the local community in Harehills and Chapeltown, Leeds. He eventually retired due to health issues.
My father was a lifelong campaigner for equality and he joined the Socialist Workers Party in Leeds. I shall always remember that dad loved talking about politics and said that he joined the People's National Party (PNP) in Jamaica because he believed in being a voice for those who did not have one. My father was a patient and quiet man who was passionate about everything he did. He sadly passed away on 28th August 1988 and he is still very much missed by his four daughters, his wider family, his community and all who knew him. He now has family in Jamaica, USA as well as in this country.
Edwin's service number was 723410