By Keith Thompson
James Larratt Battersby was the British Union District Leader for Stockport. He had been a Director of the Battersby Hat Co. Ltd. until forced to resign due to his political opinions. He was imprisoned without charge or trial under Defence Regulation 18B for campaigning for peace with Germany, and was selected for special treatment along with other members of British Union including Mr E.S. Sandell, Captain Bryan Donovan and Hector McKechnie. As a consequence he was sent to Camp 020 which was at Latchmere House at Ham Common, Surrey. The camp was controlled by a Commandant, in this case Lt. Col R.W.G. Stephens, who had a reputation for cruelty and sadism. He was in fact officially charged with such offences later. Battersby was moved with many other internees to Peveril Camp on the Isle of Man. The camp had an organisational structure and Battersby became Policy Adviser. He kept the prisoners informed of the latest news from outside. He was popular in the camp and showed himself to be an excellent pianist. For those interested in religion Thomas St. Baker, who had been decorated with the Military Cross during W.W. I, set up a Christian group in the prison and Battersby became a firm adherent.
After the war, in 1945, he became secretary for The League (also known as the Legion) of Christian Reformers and published a magazine called Kingdom Herald. He also published several books, one of which was called The Bishop Said Amen. His death was reported in 1955 as a suicide from the Mersey ferry, but this was unproven, and remains a mystery.