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Having lost her husband in 1917 at the age of 29, Bessie re-married James Batty in November 1921 and moved to the south of England.

Bessie had one child, Constance, by her new husband.

In later life, Bessie retired to Bournemouth, before being widowed again in 1974. 

She died in 1981, aged 93 years, in Shrewsbury, where she had moved to be near Constance and her family. 



On 29 March 1929, Jimmy (by then a 21 year old accountant) departed from the port of Greenock on board the SS Duchess of Bedford bound for Saint John, New Brunswick - and a new life in Canada.
 
He married Edith Stokes Chadwick (b. 1910) in Canada in 1932, and the couple had two daughters, Betty (Elizabeth), and Constance.

After being economic with the truth about his age, he enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1943, when actually aged 36. 

He was posted to the Royal Canadian Artillery Regiment, and saw service in the UK and continental Europe (France, Holland and Germany).

Jimmy was awarded the France & Germany Star, the 1939-45 Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal 1939-45 and the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (see below).


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There was a strong parallel with both father and son.  In 1915, Jimmy Speirs had enlisted voluntarily, despite having a wife and two young children.  In 1943, his son (left) had done exactly the same - in fact, going to some lengths to ensure that he was posted to a combat unit, when he had no need to do so.

Unlike his father, happily, Jimmy returned home at the end of the War, in 1945.  He rejoined his department store employers, T Eaton & Co, and became Head of Eaton's Merchandise Department.


Jimmy's section of the Royal Canadian Artillery Regiment (Jimmy is fifth from the right on the back row) pose for the camera in 1943 at Brampton, Ontario (click to enlarge)

In 1948-9, on behalf of Eatons, Jimmy brought the first "Punkinhead" teddy bear into Canada, which he gave to daughter, Constance.  These bears are now highly regarded collectables.

Later, Jimmy became Head of Eaton's Construction Department, where his job involved travelling to the major cities in Canada, arranging for the location and design of new stores.  However, Jimmy never forgot his Scottish roots, nor the father he lost at the age of nine, of whom he was very proud.

Jimmy died in 1993 at the age of of 85.



Betty lost her father two weeks after her fifth birthday. 

She moved to the south of England with her mother, after Bessie re-married.  

Betty married Gordon, and had a son, Ian and a daughter, Elizabeth.

Like her brother, Betty also retained her Scottish roots, naming her home Glen Cottage. 

Betty died in 1980.


Jimmy (on leave from his Canadian Army unit) and Betty pictured in England in May 1945 (click to enlarge)



The Club celebrated its centenary in 2003, and to mark the occasion an Exhibition - "100 Years of Claret & Amber" - was held at the Bradford Industrial Museum.  

A huge success, it attracted over 12,000 visitors, who were able to see a vast range of exhibits, some of which had been loaned from the Club itself, but alongside many from private individuals.

In addition to the many exhibits, there were a variety of pictureboards, which described key events in the Club's history.




Encouraged by the success of the exhibition in 2003, the hope of establishing a permanent "Bradford City Museum" gained momentum.  Many of the items displayed at the Industrial Museum were kindly offered for permanent loan, along with many new exhibits.  On 31 July 2005, The Official Bradford City Museum, sponsored by Bradford's daily newspaper, the Telegraph & Argus, opened adjacent to the club's stadium at Valley Parade.

Prior to the museum opening, the Telegraph & Argus had invited readers to vote for players to be inducted into the Museum's Hall of Fame, with one player being selected for each decade of the Club's existence.  Jimmy Speirs was duly elected, and life-size reproductions of these players, including Jimmy, were sited around the Museum, with short biographies of each on the reverse.

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Following the sale of the building housing the Museum, various exhibits are now on display within the Valley Parade stadium but it is hoped to reinstate a dedicated Bradford City AFC Museum in the future. 



The Imperial War Museum (North), based in Manchester, held an Exhibition entitled  "The Greater Game: Sport, War and Peace"  from 3 July 2004 to 9 January 2005.  Jimmy Speirs was one of only eleven men featured in a "Sportsmen at War" section.  The Exhibition was extremely popular, and was seen by some 90,000 people, including a large number of schoolchildren.


                    Jimmy's case at the Imperial War Museum Exhibition (click to enlarge)

                 Photograph included by kind permission of the Imperial War Museum (North)



In the July 2006 issue (No. 132) of Family History Monthly, an article appeared entitled "Sporting Heroes".

Included in the article are the stories of various professional footballers who served in WW1 - including Jimmy Speirs.

Amongst the other players featured are two of Jimmy's former team-mates - Robert Torrance and Evelyn Lintott - who were also killed in action on the Western Front.

Photographs by kind permission of Family History Monthly





To commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, in 2007 a series of events was arranged including an Exhibition at the Memorial Museum Passchendaele, which featured Jimmy.

His life-size reproduction was loaned to the Museum - see below.

     Biography of Jimmy on display at the Memorial Museum Passchendaele (click to enlarge)


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As part of the commemoration of the Battle of Passchendaele, a book was written by staff of the Memorial Museum Passchendaele, arising from the Passchendaele Archives project.  "Passchendaele 1917 - The Story of the Fallen & Tyne Cot Cemetery" sets out to restore faces to the names of those killed.  Jimmy Speirs is one of those covered in the book.





Tyne Cot Cemetery contains the graves of some 13,000 men (the largest Commonwealth cemetery), and memorials to a further 35,000 missing.  It is close to Ieper (Ypres) and Dochy Farm New British Cemetery, where Jimmy Speirs is buried.  A new Visitor Centre at Tyne Cot was officially inaugurated by HM Queen Elizabeth II & HRH Prince Philip in July 2007, and housed an Exhibition on the Passchendaele conflict.  Jimmy Speirs was amongst those featured in the Exhibition.





To mark the centenary of Bradford City's FA Cup success in 1911 various events were held, including an exhibition at Bradford Industrial Museum which was officially opened on 8 April 2011 and ran until 12 June 2011.  


Further photographs of the Exhibition can be found here (courtesy of John Ashton)

On 26 April 2011 a centenary dinner took place at the Midland Hotel, Bradford during the evening. The FA Cup was at the hotel exactly one hundred years to the minute when Jimmy Speirs and the Bradford City players returned from Old Trafford to the Midland Hotel itself with the Bradford-designed FA Cup. 

David Pendleton, curator of the Bantamspast museum, wrote a new book, 'Glorious 1911 and Bradford City's Golden Age, 1908-1915'.  Jimmy's contribution to the 1911 Cup triumph was obviously significant, as was his part in establishing Bradford City in the First Division of the Football League - he was clearly a factor in the first part of that "Golden Age", until his departure for Leeds City in December 1912.
Finally, in conjunction with the celebrations, an enamel badge featuring Jimmy Speirs was produced.

Jimmy's badge" - photograph courtesy of www.paraders.co.uk 



In February 2013, Bradford City FC reached the Final of the "Capital One" Cup, where they were beaten by Swansea City.  To mark Bradford City's first major final since 1911, various newspaper articles referencing "Glorious 1911" were written including one by Jonathan Coates in The Scotsman.  Click here to read "Jimmy Speirs - A hero on the pitch and in battle".

The British Library, in their "Untold Lives" series also focused on "Jimmy Speirs - Inspirational Captain, brave soldier".  Click here to read John Watmough's article.



From December 2014 to September 2015 The National Football Museum in Manchester presented an exhibition to tell the forgotten stories of players and fans during World War One.


    (Photograph courtesy of the National Football Museum)

"The Greater Game: Football and the First World War" explored the role football played at home and at the front during the war years and looked in detail at some of those who served. Jimmy Speirs featured prominently in the exhibition, with various items on display (see below).


 Jimmy's display at the National Football Museum (click to enlarge) - courtesy of the National Football Museum

The National Football Museum also produced a book to accompany the exhibition.  "The Greater Game - A History of Football in World War 1" (Shire Publications, 2014).  Jimmy Speirs is amongst those included in the book.     Also to accompany the exhibition, the National Football Museum is supporting the online project to compile the comprehensive database of the contribution made by football and footballers during the First World War - - click here to read Jimmy's entry.

(photograph courtesy of the National Football Museum)



From its start on 31 July 1917, one of the most infamous campaigns of World War One - Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres) - involved Scottish troops at its heart.

The Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, along with various partners, organised "The Long Road to Passchendaele", a commemoration from 19-20 August 2017 as a tribute to all those Scottish soldiers who fought at Passchendaele, along with non-Scottish troops such as the South African Brigade, who fought as part of the 9th (Scottish) Division.

Amongst the soldiers involved in the Passchendaele campaign - and ultimately one of some 325,000 allied casualties - was Sergeant Jimmy Speirs.  For the centenary commemorations, Jimmy was chosen to give a face to the thousands of Scots alongside whom he fought.

The commemorations on 19 August 2017 included the unveiling of a number of life-size silhouettes - based on famous war photographs - which represent Scottish soldiers marching past the Scottish Great War Memorial on the Frezenburg Ridge, towards Passchendaele.  Along with the Celtic cross (dedicated in August 2007) the silhouettes now form the Frezenburg Scottish Memorial Park.

One of those silhouettes is of Jimmy Speirs.  It was funded by Club 1872 members - an independent body of Rangers Football Club supporters - and the wider Rangers support.  Click here for more.


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Jimmy's silhouette was unveiled by Willie Henderson, the former Rangers player and Scottish International, and Jimmy's great-grandson, Stefan.

Here is a wider view of the silhouettes, with Jimmy's being third from the left:


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As a tribute to Jimmy in an overall Passchendaele them, folk singer and project team member Alan Brydon published "Sing for the Boys - Jimmy's Song" which was performed during the commemorations.


 
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