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Doncaster News and Features: Famous Doncastrian: Steve Wade
Steve Wade died 22 December 1956 in Doncaster Royal Infirmary from stomach cancer, he was one of the last few qualified executioners from 1940 to 1955.
He worked as an assistant to the more famous Tom and Albert Pierrepoint on 31 occasions and also carried out 28 executions as head executioner.
His last assignment was Alec Wilkinson (aged 22 years), whom he and Robert Leslie Stewart hanged at Armley jail, Leeds on 12 August 1955. Wilkinson had been convicted of murdering Clara Farrell, his mother-in-law.
Wade had always wanted to be an executioner, he first applied in 1918 after coming out of the army at the end of the Great War. His application was rejected due to his age, but he kept trying and finally made it in 1940, 22 years later!
His first job came a year later, assisting the infamous Albert Pierrepoint with the hanging of Antonio Mancini at Pentonville on 31 October 1941.
After the war he worked for a while at a coach dealership inhis home town of Doncaster.
Then, having assisted both Tom and Albert Pierrepoint, he was finally allowed to be the main executioner at the execution of Arthur Charles at Durham on 26 March 1946. After this he was also generally selected by the Sheriff of Yorkshire for hangings at Armley prison Leeds from 1947 onwards.
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