Death of Haworth man who kept wartime Brits supplied with spuds

Stanley Sutcliffe pictured on his 100th birthday

Stanley Sutcliffe pictured on his 100th birthday

First published in News
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A HAWORTH-born man who was pivotal in keeping Britain supplied with potatoes during the Second World War has died.

Stanley Sutcliffe worked for the Ministry of Food and was charged with ensuring spuds remained on the menu for food-rationed Brits.

“Potato supplies were predicted to be inadequate for the country’s needs,” said his daughter, Anne.

“Dad was working for the Potato Marketing Board in London and when war broke out, he could hardly have imagined he would be declared a key worker.

“He was evacuated to Oxford, and the intricacies of his role were quite amazing.

“By 1944 he had been promoted to the post of deputy finance director of the Ministry of Food’s potato division.

“He flew to Poland and without difficulty procured further supplies. Finding and chartering a boat to transport the potatoes was not so easy, but he eventually succeeded.”

After the war, Mr Sutcliffe’s focus was redirected to bacon and ham, and, still working for the ministry, he made frequent trips to Denmark to organise provision.

He then worked for several years for the Monopolies Commission, and in 1971 was given a special assignment to transfer organisation of civil aviation from the civil service to the new Civil Aviation Authority, whose financial structures he set up.

Mr Sutcliffe, whose parents John and Mary lived at West Lane in Haworth, entered accountancy after leaving Keighley Boys’ Grammar School.

He was articled with Thoseby, Son and Co Accountants in Bradford, and passed his final exams in 1935. He remained with the company until moving south to take up his post with the Potato Marketing Board.

Mr Sutcliffe – who died at a nursing home near Oxford just four days after his 101st birthday – was also an accomplished photographer, and was made a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 1985. He displayed his work at many prestigious exhibitions.

“Dad was immensely proud of his Yorkshire roots,” said Anne, who lives at Solihull.

“He was a devoted and loving husband to my mum, Josephine, and a fantastic father, who wanted nothing but the best for myself and my brother, Richard.

“Even in death, he is much loved and will never be forgotten.”

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