Lillie-Mitchell Ltd., piano and music warehouse, High Street, Leek

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Description:Lillie-Mitchell Ltd.'s shop on High Street, Leek. The business supplied pianos, organs, phonographs, records and sheet music, as well as a piano tuning and repair service.

This substantial looking business must have had a relatively short lifespan. James Ernest Lillie Mitchell was born in 1885 in Dursley, Gloucestershire, the son of a pharmacist. Initially a commercial clerk in Bristol, he married Mabel Page from Bristol (where the Mitchell family were living) at Wellington, Shropshire in 1910. He was running this musical supply business in Leek by the time of the 1911 census but a newspaper article suggests it went into liquidation in 1912.

In 1915 he enlisted in the Army at Pembroke Dock and joined the Royal Garrison Artillery, 203rd Siege Battery and was posted to France in July 1916. Cpl Mitchell was killed in June 1917 and lies buried at Cite Bonjean Military cemetery, Armentierres. His name appears on the Nicholson Memorial, Obelisk Memorial in Boston, Lincolnshire, and also at Dursley.

Image from 'Staffordshire Past and Present: An Historical Pictorial & Descriptive Guide' published in 1911 and edited by J.W. Bradley.

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Donor ref:LH2133_Lillie#1 (37/41199)

Source: Staffordshire Museum Service

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