Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry, Newark-On-Trent most decorated war hero, holder of the Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order

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A time to remember Sam Derry – he will never be forgotten

“We reflect 
on times past and to remember him, 
who will never be forgotten”

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry

Sam Derry was Born One Hundred Years ago in Newark on 10th April 1914

He was an exceptionally brave and courageous soldier, greatly admired in Newark. His memory will be deservedly preserved in years to come

 

Giant flag

This Memorial page by Newark resident Laurence Goff

who has dedicated this website to the Lt-Col Sam Derry

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Laurencegoff

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry, Born 10th April 1914 – 2014, 100 years Ago Newark-On-Trent

He might have departed this life, we will remember him

A time to remember – that you will never forget

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry was born on 10th April 1914 here in his home Town

Newark-On-Trent, Nottinghamshire

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Laurencegoff

A former POW died on 3rd December 1996 age 82, many he RIP

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Laurencegoff

Commemoration, Honouring The Memory As Our Fitting Tribute To Him

 

 

Lest we forget

Newark’s most decorated war hero, holder of the Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order for his work in Rome.

Jumped from a moving train to escape the Germans during the 2nd world war.

He must have departed this life, let’s remember him on his

100th Birthday 10th April 1914

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Sam Derry who came from Newark

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Laurencegoff

Town Hall Newark-On-Trent, Nottinghamshire

Lest We Forget

Time to emphasize his heroism, bravery, valour and determination for our freedom

Town should honour war hero who saved 5000 his was lifesaver

Newark war hero Lieutenant-colonel Sam Derry I’m adding my voice to the campaign for a permanent memorial to him.

   

Samuel Ironmonger Derry – Former Newark Borough Council JP 

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry, Newark-On-Trent most decorated war hero, holder of the Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order. A fitting tribute to one of our Newark hero’s

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Photo by laurencegoff

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry, of Newark-On-Trent had a farewell funeral service at Newark Parish Church of St Mary Magdalena with over 500 attending

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.

Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.

Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

He also served on many committees in the town — for example with the St John Ambulance serving as President. He was a governor of the Magnus School, was on the board of Newark Hospital, active with St Leonard’s Trust, and served as a local magistrate.

Giant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flag

Ministry of Defence

By Laurencegoff

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry

War hero’s portrait set for Newark Town Hall

A portrait of Newark’s most decorated soldier will be hung in the Town Hall to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth. 

Newark Town Council has agreed that a painting of Lieutenant-colonel Sam Derry should be placed in the council chamber, among portraits of past mayors.

Colonel Derry is commemorated by a plaque in Newark Parish Church, and Sam Derry Close is named after him.

Colonel Derry’s family hope the portrait will be hung in the Town Hall by the end of summer.

One of his sons, Mr James Derry, said: “It’s a very fitting tribute.

“He was born and bred in Newark and would be delighted to get the recognition.

“He was a member of the town council for many years and was very much Newark through and through.

“We are delighted that the portrait will be hung in the Town Hall.”

Town councillor Mr Laurence Goff said: “This has been long overdue.”

Colonel Derry was born in Newark on April 10, 1914, and educated at the Magnus Grammar School.

He served in the Royal Artillery in the second world war and was one of the thousands evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940.

In 1941 he was posted to the Middle East and served in Iraq.

He was transferred to North Africa where, as a major in the 1st Field Regiment, he was awarded the Military Cross when his gun battery fought off an assault by 28 German tanks.

Colonel Derry also held the Distinguished Service Order and Territorial Decoration and was awarded the Gold Cross of the Royal Order of George I by King George of the Hellenes.

He was captured in June 1942 and imprisoned in Chieti, Italy, but he organised the construction of four tunnels through which he and many fellow prisoners escaped.

Together with Irish priest Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty he ensured the passage to freedom of around 5,000 British and American soldiers who were stranded in the Italian countryside after escaping from German captivity.

Operating from the Vatican, his Rome Escape Line became famous for defying German efforts to locate its source and destroy the organisation.

The story inspired a film starring Gregory Peck as the priest.

After the war Colonel Derry was appointed a magistrate on the Newark bench, serving as chairman in 1971, and as a councillor on the old Newark Borough Council from 1954 to 1973.

He held many other public positions including membership of the Newark Hospital Management Committee; president of Newark British Legion; serving on the Nottinghamshire Police Authority; president of Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural Show; chairman of housing charity St Leonard’s Trust; and he was a Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire.

He was the subject of the BBC’s This Is Your Life programme in 1963.

Colonel Derry died on  3rd December 1996 and is buried in Newark Cemetery.

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By Laurencegoff

Samuel Ironmonger Derry JP

Grave at Newark Cemetery

Plot number West Right Side Q71 against the wall across from the main Arch and Chapel

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 Sam Derry Close, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 1FY off Barnby Road

Ministry of Defence

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http://newarkadvertiser.co.uk/

 

http://newarkadvertiser.co.uk/

Sam Derry Grave at Newark Cemetery turn right at the Arch

Plot number West Right Side Q71 against the wall across from the  main Arch and former Chapel.

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By Laurencegoff

I’m over Looking to the former Chapel  standing near Sam Derry grave

Sam Derry was a member of the Royal Artillery and had been one of the thousands who escaped at Dunkirk. He was subsequently transferred to North Africa where he was captured at the beginning of 1942.

He managed to escape but was soon re-captured ironically by the same German unit that July. He was imprisoned in the Chieti Camp in Italy where he was invited to join and eventually take charge of the escape committee. He was moved from here before escaping but before this he had helped many other prisoners to escape. On a train journey through Northern Italy, Derry managed to throw himself from the train and escape.

Derry headed to Rome and was eventually assisted by The Monsignor, who promptly asked him to join the ‘Council of Three‘ taking charge of organisational details.

He commented of The Monsignor:

Tramping around Rome with him, I marvelled at how his organisation had so far concealed more than a thousand ex POWs in convents, crowded flats, on outlying farms”

Derry managed the discipline amongst the prisoners of war ensuring that no unnecessary risks were taken while moving from location to location or through over indulgence of alcohol.

Derry maintained careful financial records of all the monies used by the organisation in providing food, provisions and shelter for POW’s and civilians.  

Sam Derry’s book ‘The Rome Escape Line’ was published in 1960 and in this he commented of The Monsignor:

he is one of the finest men it has been my privilege to meet. Had it not been for this gallant gentleman, there would have been no Rome Escape Organisation

 

Amongst the many well-known local people that are buried in Newark Cemetery include  among the many graves are Memorials to some of Newark’s greatest benefactors and people who have helped shape Newark like Lieutenant – Colonel Sam Derry D.S.O., MC., T.D., D.L., JP

 Giant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flag

Wartime heroes

By Vic Piuk

The military careers of four Nottinghamshire men point up the county’s proud contribution in the Second World War.

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Lieutenant Colonel Sam Derry of Newark, (pictured left) the Gunner who won an MC in the western desert, jumped from a train to escape the Germans and then organised the Rome Escape Line for more than 3,000 allied servicemen. He was awarded the DSO for his work in Rome.

 

 Nottinghamshire hero was another Newark man, Lieutenant Colonel Basil Ringrose DSO of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry who commanded an army of 20,000 Ethiopian fuzzy-wuzzies to harry the southern flank of the Italian armies in the western desert.

The Sherwood Rangers were the first British troops to enter Germany. Sherwood Forester infantry battalions fought with distinction in the desert, in Italy and in France while the South Notts Hussars turned in an excellent record as gunners.

Royal Engineer officers were trained at Newark and the county was the war-time home for many of the RAF bomber squadrons who night after night took the war to Germany.

But the most famous airman from the county fought not in the Second World War but in the First. Twenty-year-old Captain Albert Ball was a distinguished fighter ace who won the Distinguished Service Order with two bars, the Military Cross, French and Russian medals and posthumously the Victoria Cross.

Captain Ball began his service as a private soldier in Nottinghamshire’s county regiment, The Sherwood Foresters, now merged with the Worcestershire Regiment.

One of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Forester traditions is its mascot, a ram called Derby which has been a member of the Foresters since the Indian Mutiny in 1858. His successors are now presented by the Duke of Devonshire and always attract much attention on ceremonial duties.

Another is the flying of a red jacket on regimental flagpoles and at Nottingham Castle on April 6 each year to remember victory at Badajoz in the Peninsular Wars in 1812 when a detachment of the 45th, from which the Foresters developed, captured a besieged fortress and ran up a similar garment to signify its fall.

The Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment is HRH The Princess Royal and it has an impressive memorial in the form of a lighthouse tower on top of a 1,000 feet tall cliff at Crich in Derbyshire where on the first Sunday in July there is a ceremony to remember all those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice.

During the First World War the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry served as infantry in Gallipoli, Salonika and Palestine but in 1920 was restored with its horses until 1940 when it became lorried mechanised.

The Second World War saw the regiment in action as coastal gunners, involved in the siege of Tobruk, the invasion of Crete. It became an armoured unit in 1941, landed on the Normandy beaches at D-Day in June 1944 and fought through Europe until the end of the war.

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Ministry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of Defence

Ministry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceMinistry of DefenceLieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry

 

Honouring His Memory

We all owe a huge debt to Sam Derry, our thanks and gratitude.

Let’s Have A Memorial to Commemorate his 100th Birthday next year on 10th April 1914 – 2014.  We could Pay a fitting Tribute to our brave former Newark resident.

SAM_0976The Newark Advertiser leads calls to honour Newark’s most-decorated war hero, Lieutenant-colonel Sam Derry

My late father was one of the many soldiers who escaped from Italy during the war thanks to the efforts of Sam Derry, My family all support the idea of a lasting memorial to this good man. A bronze bust of Col. Derry somewhere everyone could see it would be great. It would also be a nice gesture if his medals were on display in the Town Hall beneath a portrait of him. Monica and Richard Lawrence

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry

 Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry

Colonel Derry helped save the lives of 5,000 Allied Servicemen in the second world war through the Rome Escape Line, which he operated from the Vatican with an Irish priest, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty.

There is a community garden dedicated to Monsignor O’Flaherty in Ireland and a statue to be unveiled later this year, but Colonel Derry is better remembered there and in Italy than in his home town where there is a plaque in the parish church.

This year marks significant anniversaries in the Derry story.

It is 70 years since he entered Rome, hidden under cabbages in a cart, and met Monsignor O’Flaherty.

It is also 50 years since he was the subject of This Is Your Life on the BBC.

His family hope that if the people of Newark decide a lasting memorial is appropriate, it could be created by April 10, 2014, on what would have been his 100th birthday.

The Advertiser is asking readers what they feel would be a fitting tribute to the man who saved so many lives.

Early suggestions include a statue or bust and a display of his medals alongside a portrait in Newark Town Hall.

The MP for Newark, Mr Patrick Mercer, said a permanent memorial to Colonel Derry had been overdue since his death in 1996.

“I would hope that in calling for a memorial we knock on an open door,” said Mr Mercer.

“A public memorial is the only thing that is appropriate for the greatest soldier Newark has produced since King Charles’ nephew Prince Rupert in the civil war.”

The chairman of the Royal British Legion in Nottinghamshire, Mr Andy Gregory, said while the legion could not help financially, he was keen to support the idea.

“It is something I am sure the local branches would like to be involved in,” he said.

“Colonel Derry is a hero and a significant historical figure.

“I don’t think, however, too many people would know that he came from Newark and that is a regret.

“We do so much to remember the acts of the fallen that sometimes the deeds of the survivors are overlooked.”

Colonel Derry’s son William, of London Road, Newark, says the family would contribute financially.

Mr Derry said: “We put it in the hands of the people of Newark to decide whether a permanent memorial is fitting.

“There is certainly a move towards creating one and for that alone we are grateful.

“Father was an ordinary man working for the family plumbing business before the war, and did extraordinary things during the war.

“He organised the escape of thousands of people under the noses of the Gestapo.

“By my own mathematics, if each of those people he saved had the 2.4 children they say is the norm, 200,000 people are alive today who otherwise wouldn’t have been.”

Mr Derry’s grandson, Mr Dan Derry, also of Newark, said: “My grandfather was a very humble man and quite happy to be out of the limelight.

“That said, he did some fantastic things in Italy. It is an inspirational story.

“It is not a familiar war story but a story of hope, courage and achievement.

“My grandfather was rewarded with the Military Cross for bravery in tank battles but when asked what his greatest achievement was, would say saving 5,000 people from being tortured and shot.

“But if he talked about it it would be in terms of what others achieved.

“He refused an OBE for that reason and came home to Newark where he was always happiest.”

http://www.newarkadvertiser.co.uk/articles/news/Time-to-honour-a-true-hero

 

Extraordinary life of an ordinary man

Sam Derry had already earned a Military Cross, the second highest military honour behind the Victoria Cross, in the deserts of North Africa before his exploits in Rome.

He was born in Newark on April 10, 1914, and attended the Magnus Grammar School from 1922-31.

After school he joined the family firm of R. I. Derry and Son, heating engineers.

He rowed for Newark, captained Newark Rugby Club and became a county player.

He was commissioned into the Territorial Army in 1936, joining 60th North Midland Field Brigade at Lincoln.

Mobilised in 1939, and promoted to captain, he served with the British Expeditionary Force in France until May 1940, escaping in the Dunkirk evacuation.

He was moved to the Western Desert in June, 1941, and promoted to major.

He was awarded the Military Cross in December, 1941, after his gun battery was attacked by 28 German tanks. They destroyed seven of those tanks and scattered the rest.

This was after he had driven through the battle in a tractor for more ammunition. The tractor was hit.

Sam Derry was taken prisoner by the Germans in February, 1942.

He escaped by making a dash for it and hurling himself over a precipice under rifle fire. He walked back over the desert to British lines.

He was recaptured by the same German unit in July, 1942 when overtaken during a rearguard action.

He was transported to Italy where he commanded the escape organisation in the the country’s biggest officer prisoner camp.

In 1943 he organised an escape in which five tunnels broke ground simultaneously and 46 prisoners escaped.

He made his own escape by leaping from a speeding train carrying him to Germany.

He entered the neutral Vatican disguised as a clerk, and set up and commanded, under the noses of the Gestapo, the Rome Escape Line that kept 5,000 Allied escapees out of enemy hands until the liberation of Rome in June, 1944.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his work saving men who otherwise would probably have been tortured for information about the Rome Escape Line and shot.

Fifty years ago, dozens of ex-prisoners of war surged on to the stage at the end of the This Is Your Life programme hosted by Eamonn Andrews to shake hands with the man who helped them.

For most it was their first face-to-face meeting with Sam Derry.

“I wouldn’t have had an easy moment for the rest of the war if I’d known what he was up to,” said his wife, Nancy, who surprised him on the programme with his children Richard, William, twins James and Andrew and daughter Claire.

Colonel Derry wrote a book entitled The Rome Escape Line that was later adapted into a film, The Scarlet and The Black, starring Gregory Peck.

Let us know what you think      

d.churcher@newarkadvertiser.co.uk

news@newarkadvertiser.co.uk  o1636-681234

The daughter of a prisoner-of-war who escaped from Italy with the help of Newark war hero Lieutenant-colonel Sam Derry has added her voice to the campaign for a permanent memorial to him.

 Mrs Monica Lawrence, whose father Mr John McGarry was  a POW rescued with the help of Colonel Sam Derry, reads through his war service record.

Mrs Monica Lawrence, whose father Mr John McGarry was a POW rescued with the help of Colonel Sam Derry, reads through his war service record.

Mrs Monica Lawrence, 58, of Rutland Avenue, Newark, knew nothing of the war service of her father, Sergeant John McGarry, until after his death.

She was helping her mother, Mrs Dorothea McGarry, 90, sort through his belongings when she learned of his story.

She said: “I was only 21 at the time and I was too young to appreciate it.”

Sergeant McGarry went to North Africa with the Sherwood Foresters during the second world war. He was captured by the Italians and taken to a prisoner of war camp in Italy.

He escaped, was recaptured, but escaped again.

“I know he had no food for days but managed to find his way to Rome,” said Mrs Lawrence.

It was there he found help from Colonel Derry and Irish priest Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, who were operating the Rome Escape Line from the neutral Vatican.

They helped more than 5,000 Allied servicemen to escape and with their aid Sergeant McGarry fled from Italy. He walked to Switzerland and finally found his way safely back home to Mansfield.

Mrs Lawrence said: “He weighed just six stone when he knocked on the door of his home. His mother fainted when she saw him.

“My father kept his Army record books and he had a chestful of medals, but he very rarely spoke about what happened.”

Sergeant McGarry served in the Army for almost 30 years and finished his career as a sergeant major based in its recruiting office in Middlegate, Newark.

He retired from the service in 1962 and lived in Newark until he died at the age of 57.

Mrs Lawrence said her family fully supported the idea of a lasting memorial to Colonel Derry.

She said: “It would be great to have a bronze bust of Colonel Derry erected in the town where everyone could see it.

“It would also be a nice gesture if his medals were on display in the Town Hall beneath a portrait of him.”

http://newarkadvertiser.co.uk/articles/news/Town-should-honour-war-hero-who-saved-my-fath

Samuel Ironmonger Derry JP

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry  

                                                                                                                               {Catholic Priest}

                                                                                                                               Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty

They organised and was responsible for smuggling some 5,000 Allied Servicemen

out of occupied Europe under the noses of the enemy. An operation led from the Vatican by Irish priest,

Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty and Major Sam Derry.

http://www.hughoflaherty.com/index.cfm?page=viewNews&id=63&cYear=2010&cMonth=12

Book by Col Major Sam Derry

Let’s go back to October 1943

The organization was obviously the place for people with a bold turn of mind. Major Sam Derry of the Royal Artillery had been captured in North Africa, taken to Italy, and put on a prison train heading to Germany. He’d jumped to freedom and headed for the hills, where he found himself in charge of a motley group of POWs about 120 miles behind enemy lines. Since winter was coming on, Derry wrote a letter to the Vatican, asking for money and clothing. A friendly priest took the message, and returned with 3,000 lire and a request that Derry provide a receipt. Derry duly wrote out an acknowledgement of the money, signed it “S. Derry, Major,” and included a p.s. asking for more! These communications reached O’Flaherty, who liked their tone. He and D’Arcy had been looking for someone to bring a little discipline to the growing numbers of escaped soldiers. Derry was brought to Rome in the back of a farmer’s cabbage cart and sneaked into the Vatican—at six-foot-three, he was a good fit for O’Flaherty’s robes. The Monsignor and Sir D’Arcy liked what they saw, and Derry officially became a compatriot.

Derry’s military mind brought some order and security to the organization. He started to list names and next-of-kin for the escaped POWs, and to keep track of the money involved. All these important records were stored in cookie tins and buried in the Vatican gardens. Derry set up a chain of communication within the organization, and issued code-names. Sir D’Arcy, for example, was called “Mount,” while Mrs. Chevalier was glamorously known as “Mrs. M.” O’Flaherty got the moniker “Golf.”Derry eventually became head of a British group that grew out of and worked alongside of O’Flaherty’s organization. While O’Flaherty’s focus had always been humanitarian, the Brits’ aim was to get their men back into active service, and also to gather intelligence on the enemy. The Vatican was willing to overlook many activities on the part of their priests, but spying was not one of them. Derry tried to keep O’Flaherty out of the cloak-and-dagger stuff, but sometimes the monsignor couldn’t resist.

The late Lieutenant-colonel Sam Derry, of Newark-On-Trent

The five children of Lt. Col. Sam Derry and two of the grandchildren of that wonderfully brave widow Henrietta Chevalier were in Killarney throughout the weekend and they were both moved and amazed by the range and quality of the Memorial Weekend Programme.  All three families met for the first time on Friday evening at a special pre concert dinner, hosted by The Malton Hotel, Killarney.

The Spirit of Hugh O’Flaherty Fund Raising Concert held in the Church of the Resurrection on Friday evening, surpassed all expectations in so many ways, i.e., the church was packed to capacity, the concert produced by Noel O’Sullivan and his colleagues in the youthful Teen Spirit and their many guests, was quiet simply a superb evening of inspiration and high quality entertainment and, at the end of the evening, those in attendance gave so generously towards the Memorial Fund, raising over €5000.

Following a brief tour of Killarney and the surrounding areas on Saturday morning, the combined families were guests at a superb lunch in Muckross hosted by theMuckross House Trustees after which Mayor Donal Gradyofficiated at a Civil Welcome Ceremony held in the beautiful and historical setting of Muckross House. William Derry presented the Mayor with a framed portrait of his late father Sam Derry, which will add further to the efforts we are making to increase the awareness of the great humanitarian work done by the Monsignor and his colleagues in Rome during those terrible years of Nazi occupation.

On Saturday evening in the Killarney Plaza Hotel, it was announced that the sculptor selected to create Killarney’s Memorial to Hugh O’Flaherty is, Alan Ryan Hall of Valentia and a scale model of the installation and a maquette of the sculpture were unveiled by Alan and Deputy Mayor Cllr. Hugh Courtney. Alan’s life size sculpture will be completed and installed in Killarney once the final location has been decided and the fundraising has been completed. Early in the New Year, the Memorial Committee will officially publish details of the Memorial Sculpture together with the launch of a “Friends of Hugh O’Flaherty Society”.   

The large audience present for the Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award Ceremony were first treated to readings by author Brian Fleming from his book “The Vatican Pimpernel” and by Claire Derry from her father’s book, “The Rome Escape Line”. The great surprise of the evening was the performance of a short original drama about three people meeting by chance at Killarney Bus Station, discovering that they all knew and and were involved with the work of the Monsignor in Rome. It was scripted, produced and excellently performed by members of the new Killarney drama group, Blew Door. 

The main purpose of the evening’s programme was the presentation by Deputy Mayor Cllr. Hugh Courtney of the 2010 Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award to the Columban Missionary, Fr. Michael Sinnott. We all recall how this 81 year old missionary was abducted last year and held captive by guerrillas for over a month in remote mountains of the Philippines.  Yet, after his release, he declared his full forgiveness of his captors and with complete disregard for his own health and safety, he insisted upon immediately returning to his duties with his team, working with the deprived children and their families. His selection for the 2010 Award was inspired by his work of many years and how his post release actions replicated in so many ways the principles followed by Monsignor O’Flaherty. 

True to these principles, Fr. Sinnott regretted that his workload would not permit him to leave the Philippines and travel to Killarney to receive the Award personally and he asked his Columban Missionary colleagues Fr. Pat Raleigh, Fr Des Quinn and Killarney’s own Fr. Charlie Meagher to accept the award. Very specifically he asked us to note that he was accepting the Award not just on his own behalf but on behalf of all the brave and committed Irish people who work tirelessly and selflessly in remote and dangerous places overseas, coming to the aid of the oppressed and needy. The inaugural winners of the 2009 Award, Sharon Commins and Hilda Kawuki of GOAL, held the exact same principles.

The weekend programme concluded on Sunday morning with a special Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral con-celebrated by Bishop Bill Murphy, Fr. Charlie Meagher and Fr. Kenneth O’Riordan.  At the end of the Mass, the celebrants personally greeted each one of the visiting Derry, Chevalier and O’Flaherty Families and it was a fitting way to bring the weekend’s memorial celebrations to a close. 

Throughout the weekend, several references were made to the unexpected and sad passing earlier this year of the Memorial Committee’s inaugural Chairman, Cllr. Michael Courtney. Michael’s wife Sheila and the extended Courtney family were present throughout the weekend.  Michael’s son Cllr. Hugh Courtney has assumed the mantle of Chairman of the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Committee and Hugh reminded us on Saturday that his father would have celebrated his 80th birthday on Sunday, the closing day of the weekend’s celebrations.

 

 Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry, of Newark-On-Trent had a farewell   funeral service at Newark Parish Church of St Mary Magdalena with over 500 attending

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.

Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

Laurencegoff

Remembrance Day, for those who have given up their lives for our Freedom

Lest We Forget

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Photo by laurencegoff

October 1943 70 years ago should will be remembered

Laurencegoff

 Lest We Forget, Britain honoured its war dead. 

Tribute to British Commonwealth and Polish Sacrifice.

They departed this life into the next. Though they are hidden in the shadow of Death.

Their lives for others in the love of serving our Country and Newark-On-Trent that never dies.

 Our beautiful and historic Newark Cemetery, London Road, Newark, Nottinghamshire for over 150 years since

1856

        Newark Cemetery

London Road

Newark

 NG24 1SQ

Newark Cemetery Is Open all year round April – September 8am-8pm

October – March 8am-6pm

For over 150 years since 1856

We Will Remember

Newark Resident Laurence Goff

This is a privately owned and maintained, not-for-profit, website which is supported privately, the content here is solely the responsibility of Laurence Goff. As a fitting tribute to the people who resting place is at Newark cemetery. The views expressed our solely my own and do not reflect  Newark Town Council.

I have been walking around Newark cemetery for a number of years since 2004.  In 2005 we set up a group Friends Of Newark Cemetery.  I had an opportunity to have a blog for the last four years and I have had 36,000 visit across the UK, and the World. Many kind words which I really enjoy and appreciate from people that have contacted me. It has intrigues me, something that makes me want to look into who is buried and history going back to 1856, which has been fascinating.

Friends of Newark Cemetery  - Meeting 

 Wednesday  5th June 2014 at Newark Town 6pm in Pickin Room

 Chapel Interpretation Centre at Newark Cemetery will only open by appointment for groups .

 by Contact  Laurence Goff  01636-681878 or leave a message at Newark Town Hall 01636-0333 or by Email: friendsofnewarkcemetery@yahoo.co.uk  

We  need to found more Volunteers to welcome visits to Newark Cemetery by  showing around our exhibition, serving refreshments giving tours or help 

locate a grave for visits.

 For more information

 Councillor Laurence Goff

  Chairman

 Friends of Newark Cemetery

friendsofnewarkcemetery@yahoo.co.uk

  Newark Town Hall/Market Place

  Newark-on-Trent NG24 1DU

  01636-681878 (home)

 Location of Cemetery Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire NG24 1SQ 

Newark Nottinghamshire, England

Chapel Interpratation centre

Chapel Interpretation Centre (East side turn left at the Main Arch and enter at the red door)
Will open 
Organised by the Friends of Newark Cemetery

April – October  by appointment for groups Please give plenty of notice.

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You can see Sam Derry grave, top left  located at Newark Cemetery

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Laurencegoff

Memorial to the fallen at Newark Cemetery 

The Newark Advertiser leads calls to honour Newark’s most-decorated war hero, Lieutenant-colonel Sam Derry

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Kieran Troy

I work as a tour guide in Rome. Last year I had the privilege of getting to know Sam Derry’s story personally through the visit of members of his family to Rome, along with the family and friends of Fr Hugh O’Flaherty. The occupation regime in Rome during the Second World War were a ruthless bunch of people, as the Ardeatine massacre demonstrates. The arrest of Sam Derry was a top priority of the German command and of the Italian Fascist police. If he had been arrested, he would certainly have been tortured mercilessly, and would have faced probable death. Despite this great danger, Sam Derry led the escape organisation with incredible courage and valour. He didn’t remain in the relative safety of the Vatican, but insisted on visiting the safe houses personally in order to make sure of their security for both the hidden prisoners and the host families alike. He worked tirelessly for the safety of the men under his command. and showed remarkable consideration for the Italians and people of other nationalities that were part of the Escape Line. There can be no doubt that he saved the lives of a huge number of escaped Allied soldiers. But it is also true that he did everything possible to safeguard the Italian host families. They would have been shot if the prisoners had been discovered in their homes. Sam operated a policy of zero tolerance regarding breaches of discipline on the part of the soldiers, because he knew that such breaches endangered the lives of the families that were sheltering them. His courage, organisational skills, military discipline and humanitarian qualities mark him out as an exceptional individual worthy of a permanent memorial. Any honour that is given to him is appropriate and deserved. Regarding the form that the memorial should take, I am not familiar with the terrain and have no idea what kind of resources are available. But Sam Derry was a handsome man with an imposing physical frame. A statue would certainly seem appropriate. Long live the memory of Sam Derry and all who worked with him on the Rome Escape Line!
Kieran Troy.

http://newarkadvertiser.co.uk/

1984 Lt Col Sam Derry meeting the Pope John Paul 11

Book by Col Major Sam Derry

In late October 1943

The organization was obviously the place for people with a bold turn of mind. Major Sam Derry of the Royal Artillery had been captured in North Africa, taken to Italy, and put on a prison train heading to Germany. He’d jumped to freedom and headed for the hills, where he found himself in charge of a motley group of POWs about 120 miles behind enemy lines. Since winter was coming on, Derry wrote a letter to the Vatican, asking for money and clothing. A friendly priest took the message, and returned with 3,000 lire and a request that Derry provide a receipt. Derry duly wrote out an acknowledgement of the money, signed it “S. Derry, Major,” and included a p.s. asking for more! These communications reached O’Flaherty, who liked their tone. He and D’Arcy had been looking for someone to bring a little discipline to the growing numbers of escaped soldiers. Derry was brought to Rome in the back of a farmer’s cabbage cart and sneaked into the Vatican—at six-foot-three, he was a good fit for O’Flaherty’s robes. The Monsignor and Sir D’Arcy liked what they saw, and Derry officially became a compatriot.

Derry’s military mind brought some order and security to the organization. He started to list names and next-of-kin for the escaped POWs, and to keep track of the money involved. All these important records were stored in cookie tins and buried in the Vatican gardens. Derry set up a chain of communication within the organization, and issued code-names. Sir D’Arcy, for example, was called “Mount,” while Mrs. Chevalier was glamorously known as “Mrs. M.” O’Flaherty got the moniker “Golf.”

Derry eventually became head of a British group that grew out of and worked alongside of O’Flaherty’s organization. While O’Flaherty’s focus had always been humanitarian, the Brits’ aim was to get their men back into active service, and also to gather intelligence on the enemy. The Vatican was willing to overlook many activities on the part of their priests, but spying was not one of them. Derry tried to keep O’Flaherty out of the cloak-and-dagger stuff, but sometimes the monsignor couldn’t resist.

 

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry

http://newarkadvertiser.co.uk/

Roberta Winterton

At the time of the liberation of Rome

{Catholic Priest}  Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty’s and Major Sam Derry’s organisation was caring for 3,925 escapees and men who had succeeded in evading arrest. Of these 1,695 were British, 896 South African, 429 Russian, 425 Greek, 185 American. The remainder was from 20 different nations. This does not include the hundreds of Jews who were in Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty’s strictly personal care.

 There will be a whole series of Anniversaries marked during 2013 such as the 50th Anniversary of the broadcasting of the BBC This is Your Life programme dedicated to The Rome Escape Line with Lt. Col Sam Derry and Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty and, the 30th Anniversary of the release of the movie The Scarlet and the Black. As part of the 2013 Gathering, the Society is planning a very special event on 4th July, American Independence Day. Killarney will celebrate the WW2 1944 Liberation of Rome by US Forces and the role played by Monsignor O’Flaherty in ensuring that many thousands of allied escapees were still alive to witness the liberation. The celebration will include some representations on the streets of what took place on that day and will also include a celebration of Italian Food & Wine as well as the Big Band Swing Music of the era at a special dinner dance that night. In October / November, the Memorial Programme will be extended to a weeklong series of events, exhibitions and tours to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Monsignor’s death on the 30th October 1963.


For further information on becoming a Patron or Friend of the Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society visit

http://www.hughoflaherty.com

In his early days during the 2nd world war was a member of the Royal Artillery and had been one of the thousands who escaped at Dunkirk. He was subsequently transferred to North Africa and was captured at the beginning of 1942.

He managed to escape but was soon re-captured ironically by the same German unit that July. He was imprisoned in the Chieti Camp in Italy where he was invited to join and eventually take charge of the escape committee. He was moved from here before escaping but before this he had helped many other prisoners to escape. On a train journey through Northern Italy, Derry managed to throw himself from the train and escape.

 

October 1943 70 years ago will be remembered 

Sam Derry headed to Rome and was eventually assisted by a Catholic Priest  Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, who promptly asked him to join the ‘Council of Three‘ taking charge of organisational details.

He commented of The Monsignor:

Tramping around Rome with him, I marvelled at how his organisation had so far concealed more than a thousand ex POWs in convents, crowded flats, on outlying farms”

Sam Derry 

Managed the discipline amongst the prisoners of war ensuring that no unnecessary risks were taken while moving from location to location or through over indulgence of alcohol.

Maintained careful financial records of all the monies used by the organisation in providing food, provisions and shelter for POW’s and civilians.  

Sam Derry’s book ‘The Rome Escape Line’ was published in 1960 and in this he commented of The Monsignor:

“He is one of the finest men it has been my privilege to meet. Had it not been for this gallant gentleman, there would have been no Rome Escape 

Major Sam Derry

Major Sam DerryThe organization was obviously the place for people with a bold turn of mind. In late October 1943, another of these showed up. Major Sam Derry of the Royal Artillery had been captured in North Africa, taken to Italy, and put on a prison train heading to Germany. He’d jumped to freedom and headed for the hills, where he found himself in charge of a motley group of POWs about 120 miles behind enemy lines. Since winter was coming on, Derry wrote a letter to the Vatican, asking for money and clothing. A friendly priest took the message, and returned with 3,000 lire and a request that Derry provide a receipt. Derry duly wrote out an acknowledgement of the money, signed it “S. Derry, Major,” and included a p.s. asking for more! These communications reached O’Flaherty, who liked their tone. He and D’Arcy had been looking for someone to bring a little discipline to the growing numbers of escaped soldiers. Derry was brought to Rome in the back of a farmer’s cabbage cart and sneaked into the Vatican—at six-foot-three, he was a good fit for O’Flaherty’s robes. The Monsignor and Sir D’Arcy liked what they saw, and Derry officially became a compatriot.

Derry’s military mind brought some order and security to the organization. He started to list names and next-of-kin for the escaped POWs, and to keep track of the money involved. All these important records were stored in cookie tins and buried in the Vatican gardens. Derry set up a chain of communication within the organization, and issued code-names. Sir D’Arcy, for example, was called “Mount,” while Mrs. Chevalier was glamorously known as “Mrs. M.” O’Flaherty got the moniker “Golf.”

Derry eventually became head of a British group that grew out of and worked alongside of O’Flaherty’s organization. While O’Flaherty’s focus had always been humanitarian, the Brits’ aim was to get their men back into active service, and also to gather intelligence on the enemy. The Vatican was willing to overlook many activities on the part of their priests, but spying was not one of them. Derry tried to keep O’Flaherty out of the cloak-and-dagger stuff, but sometimes the monsignor couldn’t resist.

The Rome Escape Organisation as it has become known as, featured a cast of characters who worked together with The Monsignor to save the lives of Prisoners of War and Civilians.

All of these ‘volunteers’ ran the peronal risk of definite imprisonment and possible execution in their selfless acts for others in need.

Sam Derry commented :

“The strangeness of this organisation, in which soldiers and priests, diplomats and communists, noblemen and humble working-folk, were all operating in concord with a single aim, yet without any clearly defined pyramid of authority

 Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry, of Newark-On-Trent

Military Cross

This award was introduced to fill the gap to recognise those who committed an act of gallantry which fell just short of that required to earn a VC. Originally the Military Cross was issued only to junior officers and warrant officers of the Army (higher ranking officers receiving the DSO) but was extended to majors in 1931. RAF, Royal Naval Division and Royal Marines also became eligible under certain circumstances during the First World War.

Distinguished Service Order

This award was originally granted to senior commissioned officers for acts of distinguished service for which the award of the VC would not be given. The DSO has also been awarded to junior officers but it was originally intended for officers of field rank only. In 1942 the award of the DSO was extended to officers of the Merchant Navy who had performed acts of gallantry while under enemy attack.

 

A former POW died on 3rd December 1996 age 82, many he RIP 

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry, of Newark-On-Trent

The late Lieutenant-colonel Sam Derry, of Newark-On-Trent

He was a former president of St John Ambulance Newark division.

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He has departed this life, and lives in our heart

 Remembered 

St John Ambulance member of Newark Division which is located at Unit 2, Telford Drive, Brunel Drive Industrial Estate, Newark-On-Trent, Nottinghamshire UK.   Each room at HQ is named after someone with connections to the division. The late Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry, of Newark, was a former president and has a room named in his memory.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry

Buried in Newark Cemetery/ Newark-On-Trent

         Newark Cemetery

London Road

 NG24 1SQ

Newark Cemetery Is Open all year round April – September 8am-8pm

October – March 8am-6pm

For over 150 years since 1856

We Will Remember Them

 

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry 

Newark’s most decorated war hero,  holder of the Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order for his work in Rome. 

Jumped from a moving train to escape the Germans during the 2nd world war.

Major Sam Derry

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Chapel Interpretation Centre (East side turn left at the Main Arch) Newark Cemetery
{Location walk from the parking lot to the main Arch turn left red side door} Organised by The Friends of Newark Cemetery

Open each Month from April – October  by appointment for groups for our exhibition

 Please give plenty of notice

New volunteers are welcome

For more information

Laurence Goff

Chairman

Friends of Newark Cemetery

friendsofnewarkcemetery@yahoo.co.uk

Newark Town Hall/Market Place
Newark-on-Trent NG24 1DU
01636-681878 (home)

07794613879 {Mobile}

We will have volunteers on site from Friends of Newark Cemetery

Giant flag

Poppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all souls  Giant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flag

Newark Town Councillor Laurence Goff visiting Newark Cemetery War graves

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Street has been named

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Sam Derry Close, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 1FY off Barnby Road next to Co-op shop.

A nameplate will be put in place.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry, of Newark-On-Trent We will Remember him

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  1. First World War 1914-1918 total from Newark Killed  456

    Second World War 1939-1945 total from Newark  killed 144

    One from West Africa 1961 total  killed 1

    One from Malaya 1962 total killed  1

    One from Afghanistan 2007 total  killed 1

    Total 603

    We will Remember them, RIP

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    Memorial To The Fallen at Newark-On-Trent Cemetery – YouTube

     Uploaded by laurencegoff
    There are 603 names on Newark’s Memorial To The Fallen atNewark Cemetery, located off London Road

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    First World War 456 Killed Came From Newark-On-Trent

    Memory to the Fallen

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    Let’s Remember those who have given up their lives for Freedom

     

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The Rome Escape Line Sam Derry was one of our many brave war hero’s that came from Newark On Trent.

 He told about making his second escape of the  2nd World  War, by jumping off a prisoners train in broad daylight that was going from Italy to Germany. The enthralling story of his account in is book after the war.

The late Lieutenant-colonel Sam Derry, of Newark-On-Trent, was a former president of St John Ambulance Newark division.

Col Sam Derry, was a Second World War hero, immortalised in a Gregory Peck film The Scarlet and the Black and also on This is Your Life in 1993.

In February 1963, the British TV program This is Your Life featured Sam Derry in an episode. While a national audience watched, old colleagues and former POWs came forward and spoke about the occupation of Rome and the escape organization to which most of them owed their lives. At the end, a surprise guest was announced, and Hugh O’Flaherty walked falteringly from the wings to embrace his old friend. He was there to pay tribute to Sam Derry, but the Englishman wouldn’t let him get away without accepting tribute in his turn. “Had it not been for this gallant gentleman,” Derry would write in his memoirs, there would have been no Rome Escape Organization.”

  

Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty is an unsung hero in his native Ireland. From Kerry, he was a Vatican monsignor and diplomat. During the German occupation of Rome from 1942 to 1944, he devoted his time and energy to running an escape organisation for Allied POWs and civilians, including Jews. Building a network of contacts and safe locations around Rome, his helpers included the religious, communists, a Swiss count, British soldiers, the singer Delia Murphy and many others. He placed thousands in safety and was known as the Pimpernel of the Vatican. The work was dangerous. Safe within the Vatican state due to diplomatic immunity, he regularly ventured out using disguises to continue his mission. Kappler, the Gestapo chief in Rome, ordered him captured or killed if seen outside the Vatican. None of those recaptured and tortured betrayed him. When the Allies entered Rome he had saved over 6,000 lives. Kappler was sentenced to life. His only visitor, monthly, for many years, was O’Flaherty. They became friends and in 1959, O’Flaherty baptised Kappler. O’Flaherty was awarded the highest honours by many Allied countries, including a CBE (UK), the Congressional Medal (US), and was the first Irishman named Notary of the Holy Office. He retired to Cahirciveen in 1960. Eight million watched him in 1963 on BBC’s This Is Your Life, in which he was to be the subject but was too ill, about his ally Colonel Sam Derry. Within months he was dead. His death was reported in the New York Times and by papers all over the world. The Oskar Schindler of Ireland was immortalised in a 1983 film starring Gregory Peck as O Flaherty, The Scarlet and the Black, there is a road named after him in Killarney, Co Kerry and a grove of Italian trees was planted in Killarney National Park in 1994 with a poem to mark the occasion

by Brendan Kennelly.

 

O’Flaherty was awarded the highest honours, including a CBE (UK), the Congressional Medal (US), and was the first Irishman named Notary of the Holy Office. Eight million viewers watched him in 1963 on BBC’s ‘This Is Your Life’. Within months he had died and his death was reported by papers all over the world. In 1983 he was immortalised in the film, ‘The Scarlet and the Black‘. Yet the only monument to him is a grove of trees planted in Killarney National Park in 1994 by his family and friends.

The name of this great and good man is largely forgotten in his native Ireland.”

The Vatican Pimpernel’ is published by Collins Press and is available in all bookstores.
                                                www.collinspress.ie

  

 Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty is one of the most heroic people of our country’s history – his story is amazing and the fact that he was from Killarney makes his story even better!! During World War II, while based in the Vatican, he was responsible for saving 6,500 Allied soldiers and Jews. 

His amazing achievements are captured in the film ‘THE SCARLET AND THE BLACK’ and although it was made back in 1983 it’s a really great film. It’s inspiring when watching the film to think that all this really happened and as the film is not a work of fiction, it was really cool knowing that a Killarney man really did all these heroic things! 

So let’s take a closer look at the once “most wanted man in Rome”: his actions, his motivations, his faith, his sense of humour, his selfless service, his humility and hard-work….. and let’s see how the SpiriT of Hugh O’Flaherty can still inspire us today!

Click the thumbnail to the right to view “The SpiriT of Hugh O’Flaherty” booklet produced in October 2010 by Teen SpiriT Productions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd55srzMaZE

The Scarlet and the Black is a 1983 made for TV movie starring Gregory Peck and Christopher Plummer. Based on J. P. Gallagher’s book The Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican (published in 1967), this movie tells the story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a real life Irish Catholic priest who saved thousands of Jews and Allied POWs in occupied Rome.

The movie title The Scarlet and the Black is a reference not only to the black cassock and scarlet sash worn by Monsignors and Bishops in the Catholic Church, but also to the dominant colours of Germany Party regalia.

In 1943, Germany completely occupies Rome. The Pope (John Gielgud) is approached by General Max Helm and SS Head of Police for Rome Colonel Herbert Kappler (Christopher Plummer). The Colonel expresses concern that escaped Allied prisoners may attempt to seek refuge in the Vatican, and requests permission to paint a white line across St. Peter’s Square in order to mark the extent of Vatican sovereignty. The Pope grants his permission, but upon the departure of the SS officers looks out the window to see the white line had already begun being painted.

Kappler’s main rival is Monsignor O’Flaherty (Gregory Peck), an Irish clergyman who runs an underground organization which provides safe haven and eventual escape to Jews, escaped PoWs, and refugees in occupied Rome. He is assisted in this enterprise by several other patriots such as Ms. Francesca Lombardo and other local Romans, including clergy.

Kappler attempts to end their activities and destroy the group, but is increasingly frustrated by O’Flaherty’s repeated successes, due to a combination of his clever plans, numerous disguises, and stressing the very limits of international law. Met with continuous failure, Kappler begins to develop a personal vendetta against O’Flaherty.

Despite O’Flaherty’s efforts, Kappler manages to recapture many escaped PoWs, deport many Jews to death camps, and exploit and oppress the general population; a number of O’Flaherty’s friends are also arrested or killed.

As the war progresses, the Allies succeed in landing in Italy and begin to overcome German resistance, eventually breaking through and heading towards Rome itself.

Kappler worries for his family’s safety from vengeful partisans, and, in a one-to-one meeting with O’Flaherty, asks him to save his family, appealing to the same values that motivated O’Flaherty to save so many others.

The Monsignor, however, refuses, disbelieving that after all the Colonel has done and all the atrocities he is responsible for, he would expect mercy and forgiveness automatically, simply because he asked for it, and departs in disgust.

As the Allies enter Rome, Monsignor O’Flaherty joins in the celebrations of the liberation, and somberly toasts those who did not live to see it.

Kappler is eventually captured and questioned by the Allies. In the course of his interrogation, he is informed that his wife and children were smuggled out of Italy and escaped unharmed into Switzerland. Upon being asked who helped them, Kappler realizes that it must be O’Flaherty, but responds simply that he does not know.
The film epilogue states that Kappler was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was frequently visited in prison by O’Flaherty, eventually becoming a Catholic and being baptized at his hands in 1959.

The character of General Max Helm was based entirely on the real life of SS-Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff, who served in 1944 as the Supreme SS and Police Leader of Italy. The film was unable to use Wolff’s real name, since the SS General was still living in 1981; he died in 1984.

Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty was a real Irish priest and Vatican official, accredited with saving 6,500 Jews and Allied prisoners.

Herbert Kappler was sentenced to life imprisonment, and did convert to Catholicism after several years, partly under the influence of his war-time opponent Hugh O’Flaherty, who often visited Kappler in prison, discussing religion and literature with him. He was eventually transferred to a prison hospital on account of poor health. It was there that he escaped imprisonment by being smuggled out in a suitcase by his wife (Kappler weighed less than 105 pounds at the time). He escaped to West Germany, where he eventually died at age 70 in 1978. 

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The Books.

Brian Fleming, the author is a former member of the Oireachtas and is currently Principal of Collinstown Park Community College in Dublin.

Brian felt that this book should be written to generate more awareness about this great man and his selfless humanitarian work.

O’Flaherty was awarded the highest honours, including a CBE (UK), the Congressional Medal (US), and was the first Irishman named Notary of the Holy Office. Eight million viewers watched him in 1963 on BBC’s ‘This Is Your Life’. Within months he had died and his death was reported by papers all over the world. In 1983 he was immortalised in the film, ‘The Scarlet and the Black‘. Yet the only monument to him is a grove of trees planted in Killarney National Park in 1994 by his family and friends.

The name of this great and good man is largely forgotten in his native Ireland.”

The Vatican Pimpernel’ is published by Collins Press and is available in all bookstores.

www.collinspress.ie

After the war, Gallagher continued to be intrigued by the story. After much pleading on the reporter’s part, the reluctant Monsignor was persuaded to give one interview. This, plus much research and many other interviews with people who knew, helped, or were helped by the priest, became the basis for Gallagher’s book, Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican, published in the late sixties.

With true Irish storytelling flair, Gallagher makes Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican read like a novel. The book moves chronologically through O’Flaherty’s life, focusing most closely on the war years. The chapters are filled with fascinating anecdotes (who knew that the one of the refugees, a young Yugoslav med student, would end up marrying actress Gina Lollobrigida?). O’Flaherty may come across as larger than life, but he never seems less than real. Any writer knows how hard it is to portray an honestly good person; in this Gallagher has succeeded.

Gallagher does have the attitudes of his era, a definite pro-British slant, and a regrettable tendency to fictionalize dialogue of the “Wait! We kom!” variety for the Germans. But on the whole the book is well-written, fast-paced, and never disappoints. Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican is out-of-print now, and a bit hard to find, but if you’re seriously interested in the Monsignor, it’s worth tracking down.

For a long time, Gallagher’s book was the only source of information about Hugh O’Flaherty’s life and career. But the Monsignor’s story has been getting more attention since 2008, when Irish writer Brian Fleming brought out his new biography, The Vatican Pimpernel: The Wartime Exploits of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty The publication of this book marks the first serious study of the Monsignor in more than forty years.

cover of The Vatican PimpernelFleming, a former member of the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament), and principal at Collinstown Park Community College in Dublin, has done an excellent job of giving us a contemporary analysis of O’Flaherty’s life. A great deal of research obviously went into the book, and Fleming has gotten as close to the original sources as he can in every case. While the story is basically the same as it is in Gallagher’s book (a tribute to O’Flaherty’s integrity, really),The Vatican Pimpernel offers us a wealth of new information.

Fleming spends some time on the various political situations, expanding the stage on which the story is set. There are several new exploits to be added to the Monsignor’s legend, and new details about the old ones. Many characters whose small roles were previously overlooked are now given their due. And we get more of a sense of O’Flaherty himself, as a man and a priest, not just a hero.

The Vatican Pimpernel may not be as sensational as Gallagher’s book, but you will still be absorbed in its pages. Fleming’s straightforward prose sets off the heroism of O’Flaherty and co. with all the simple style of a roman collar. As true-story reading goes, the book is quite enjoyable.

The Movie.

The movie, The Scarlet and the BlackJ.P. Gallagher’s book was the main inspiration for the 1983 TV movie, The Scarlet and the Black, which dramatizes O’Flaherty’s rescue efforts during the German occupation of Rome. Gregory Peck stars as Hugh O’Flaherty, Christopher Plummer plays Col. Herbert Kappler, and Sir John Gielgud takes a turn as Pope Pius XII. The film’s opening scene portrays the painting of the white line across the opening of St. Peter’s Square, effectively underscoring the theme of the whole movie: is it possible that something or someone will be able to hold God back? The second scene introduces us to O’Flaherty, who is giving the Swiss Guards a boxing lesson. Immediately we understand that for this man, there is no line painted between heaven and earth.

The film stays true to the book in generalities. Sam Derry has been quietly left out, the better to highlight O’Flaherty’s role. Mrs. Chevalier has been turned into Francesca Lombardo, an attractive Maltese widow with two daughters. John May is renamed “Mr. West,” but the character is stilled played as one part Jeeves, two parts Artful Dodger. And every villain in the story has been rolled into Col. Kappler, a man more subtly drawn than your typical film Nazi; we see him order death and torture, yet we also see his honest devotion to his rather brainless wife Nina and their two bratty children.

Christopher Plummer in a scene from The Scarlet and the BlackThe movie has a good time with some of the legends about O’Flaherty, especially the one about his disguises: we see him dressed as a street sweeper, a nun, even (ahem) a Nazi officer. It also makes the enmity between Kappler and O’Flaherty more personal. In one tense scene, the priest insolently saunters along the very edge of the white line, while Kappler, at a nearby window, watches through the sights of a sniper’s rifle, his finger quivering on the trigger. At the end, the movie takes another departure from strict accuracy, but still remains within the spirit of O’Flaherty’s story.

Gregory Peck as Hugh O'FlahertyThe film was shot on location and the sights of Rome provide a beautiful backdrop for the action. The soundtrack has unfortunately not worn very well, but the screenplay is still snappy. Gregory Peck plays the unconventional priest with Irish charm; he is, perhaps, a little too steely around the eyes, but otherwise his performance is wonderful. And if you only know Christopher Plummer from his role as the noble and anti-Nazi Captain VonTrapp in The Sound of Music, then you are in for a surprise. The Scarlet and the Black has no rating, but I would give it a PG-13; there is no language, but there are some scenes of violence (Jewish people are rounded up and pushed into trucks, a man is executed by a firing squad—but nothing is too explicit).

Altham, Elizabeth. (1998, February, 10). “Catholic heroes of the holocaust.” In Sursum Corda, The Augustine Club, Columbia University. Retrieved June 3, 2006 from http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/heroes.htm

Fleming, Brian. (2008). The Vatican Pimpernel: the wartime exploits of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty. Cork; The Collins Press. 

Gaffney, Mary. (n.d.) “Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty.” In Terrance Talk Profiles. Retrieved June 3, 2006. http://www.terracetalkireland.com/profiles/hugh.htm

Gaffney, Mary. (1999, July/August). “The Vatican Pimpernel.” In CatholicIreland.Net. Retrieved June 3, 2006 from http://www.catholicireland.net/pages/index.php?nd=68&art=490

Gallagher, J. P. (1967). Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican. New York; Coward-McCann. 

Glaser, Tom W. (n.d.). “The Massacre at the Ardeatine Caves, 24 March 1944.” In Ada Holtzman Home Page. Retrieved June 3, 2006, from http://zchor.org/italy/caves.htm

Grigg, William Norman. (2004, March 22). “The priestly Pimpernel: operating literally under the nose of the Nazi SS, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty’s Vatican-based underground rescued thousands of Jews and Allied POWs.” In The New American, p35-40. 

“Herbert Kappler.” (2006, May 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 29, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Herbert_Kappler&oldid=54055904

“Hugh O’Flaherty.” (2006, June 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 29, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hugh_O%27Flaherty&oldid=56862125

“Italy in the second world war.” (n.d.) Spartacus Educational. Retrieved June 25, 2006, from http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWitaly.htm

Papafava, Francesco, Ed. (1984). The Vatican. Florence; SCALA, Instituto Fotographico. 

“Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust.” (1998, May 27). A Catholic Response, Inc. Retrieved June 28, 2006, from http://users.binary.net/polycarp/piusxii.html

“Pope Pius XII.” (2006, June 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 29, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pope_Pius_XII&oldid=61122989

“Rough justice for a very human judge.” (1999, April 21). In The Irish Examiner..Retrieved June 3, 2006 from http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/1999/04/21/ihead.htm

“Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican.” (2000, May). In County Kerry, Ireland. Retrieved June 3, 2006 from http://www.rootsweb.com/~irlker/scarlet.html

Schoenberg, Shira. (2006). “Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust.” In Jewish Virtual Library. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/anti-semitism/pius.html

Sensing, Donald. (2003, August 30). “Loving one’s enemies.” In One Hand Clapping. Retrieved June 3, 2006 from http://www.donaldsensing.com/2003/08/loving-ones-enemies.html

Sweeny, Fergal. (2005, June 2). “Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty.” In Our Irish Heroes. Retrieved June 3, 2006, from http://pearsecom.com/Ireland/irishheroes/MonsignorHugh.htm

“World War Two in Europe Timeline.” (2005). In The History place. Retrieved June 15, 2006, from http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/ww2time.htm

“Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican.” (2000, May). In County Kerry, Ireland. Retrieved June 3, 2006 from http://www.rootsweb.com/~irlker/scarlet.html

 


The end of the war was in sight now, and if the rest of the world was inclined to sit back and relax a little, O’Flaherty was not. He was soon visiting POW camps again, only this time the prisoners were Italian and German. Just as he had before, he kept an eye on welfare and conditions, gathered names, and helped Italian citizens get news of their missing or imprisoned relatives. Sam Derry arranged for O’Flaherty to see the US General, Mark Clark, and recalls that the Monsignor spent most of the meeting quizzing the General about the Americans’ treatment of their German captives.

O’Flaherty flew to South Africa to visit prison camps there. He visited Jerusalem to help many of the Jews he had rescued with their immigration to Israel. The two double agents who had been involved with the organization were put on trial as Fascist collaborators. O’Flaherty testified on their behalf. “They did wrong,” he told Derry, “but there is good in every man.”

1946 saw O’Flaherty promoted to a higher position in the Holy Office. But the tales told about his work and the regard with which the people held him (some called him a saint) unfortunately hurt his career more than helped it. Those Vatican officials who had always been annoyed by his unorthodox style were doubly offended now. Even though he never sought recognition, and would get almost angry if called a hero, O’Flaherty had to fight backbiting and politics for the rest of his career. This tired and disappointed him, but he didn’t let it discourage him too badly.

He was busy with other things anyway. After all, the golf courses were open again. While playing near Ciampino one day in ‘46, the monsignor stumbled on a half-starved group of Central European refugees squatting in a ruined village. Naturally O’Flaherty couldn’t just pass by. He provided food and clothing, helped the men find work, fixed up the buildings, taught the refugees about the Church, baptized them, and virtually adopted the whole village. For the next 12 years, he would visit every Sunday and say Mass.

1950 was a Holy Year (a jubilee celebrated by the Catholic Church four times a decade) and hundreds of religious pilgrims were expected to travel to Rome. To help them make the most of their visit, O’Flaherty was asked to co-author a guide to sights of the city. As usual, the Monsignor gave the job his all. The resulting book, O Roma Felix, is described by biographer Brian Fleming as “an amazing amalgam of geography, history, culture and archaeology … a very scholarly work and far richer in its content than the average guidebook.”

O’Flaherty was justly proud of his book, and would tell anyone who asked that it was better than any other guide to Rome. But about his work during the war, he remained reticent. Even his closest family learned about his heroism only indirectly. His sister, Bride, recalled meeting a Jewish family on one of her visits Rome. When they learned that the Monsignor was her brother, they brought her into their jewelry shop and insisted that she pick out anything she wanted, so great was their gratitude to O’Flaherty. But from her brother himself, Bride could rarely get a word.

After the War.

Because of O’Flaherty’s silence, it is hard to know exactly how many people he helped to rescue during the occupation of Rome. According to Sam Derry’s records, the British escape organization saved some 3,925 prisoners-of-war—British, American, Russian, Greek, South African and twenty other nationalities. Major William Simpson, who became closely involved with the work of both Derry and the Monsignor, estimates that around 2,000 civilians were helped as well.

For his work, O’Flaherty was made a Commander of the British Empire, and awarded the US Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm. (All such decorations were sent to his sister in Ireland, to be kept in a drawer.) Italy offered him a lifelong pension, but he refused to use it.

Sam Derry was given the Distinguished Service Order, and eventually retired a lieutenant-colonel. Mrs. Chevalier received the British Empire Medal, and many other members of the organization were decorated or commended. Gemma Chevalier married a British Corporal, Kenneth Sands; O’Flaherty performed the ceremony.

Pietro Koch escaped Rome but was shot by Italian partisans as he tried to reach Milan. Colonel Herbert Kappler was tried for war crimes and sentenced to life imprisonment. He served his time in Italy’s Gaeta prison, where, for the next decade, he had only one regular visitor.

Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty came to see him every month.

And in March of 1959, Kappler was baptized into the Catholic Church at the hand of the Irish priest.


  1. Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican

    By the end of the war he had helped over 6,500 Jews, American and British Soldiers escape from the Germans and his activities earned him the nickname “Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican”as he became the master of disguises, evading capture from the Germans when he had to leave the security of the Vatican to go on his rescue missions.


    1. http://www.catholicireland.net/the-vatican-pimpernel/

    Mary Gaffney for The Catholic Ireland paper recalls the life of Msgr. Hugh O’Flaherty, the Irish priest who became known as the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’ for his remarkable work in saving thousands of Jews and Allied soldiers from the hands of the Nazis.

  2. In Rome, I crossed the vast expanse of St. Peter’s Square and made my way to the top steps of the Basilica. At last I was here. It had taken me many years but now I was walking in his footsteps. Because this was where so often during the German occupation of 1943-44, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, the Kerry priest who became known as the Vatican Pimpernel, would stand large as life.

    Six foot two in black soutane, bent over his breviary, glasses glinting, he would scan the Square for a familiar figure while murmuring Latin in his Kerry brogue. To sightseeing Wehrmacht soldiers, he was just another priest at prayer. Nothing about him suggested that this was the Vatican Pimpernel, up to his clerical collar in wartime intrigue.

    As a theologian for the Holy See, Mgr O’Flaherty officially dealt in Catholic dogma. But ex officio he led an underground organisation in Rome which saved the lives of more than 4,000 Allied soldiers and Jews from imprisonment, torture and death by the Gestapo. The monsignor’s amazing success was due to his awesome courage, sharp wits and overwhelming compassion. Those who knew him say he had more compassion than anyone they had ever met.

    Sent to Rome
    As a young seminarian from Killarney, Hugh O’Flaherty was posted to Rome in 1922, the year Mussolini’s dictatorship began. By 1934 he was a Vatican monsignor deeply devoted to good works and to golf. He was in fact the amateur golfing champion of Italy and played golf regularly with Count Ciano, Mussolini’s son-in-law, and with ex-King Alfonso of Spain. He was a formidable boxer, and a good handball player and hurler.

    Mgr O’Flaherty was also a skilled diplomat and served with distinction in such far-flung posts as Egypt, Haiti, San Domingo and Czechoslovakia, until he was recalled to Rome and appointed to the Holy Office.

    In the early war years, he toured Italian prisoners of war camps seeking out prisoners who had been declared ‘missing in action,’ returning to Rome each night to reassure their families through Vatican Radio.

    After the Allied forces landings and Italy’s capitulation in September 1943, thousands of POWs were let loose. Many reached Rome just as German troops seized it. Remembering the visits of the monsignor to the POW camps, the ex prisoners turned to him for help. He concealed more than 4,000 in convents, crowded flats and outlying farms. He secured aid from monks, nuns, communists, a Swiss Count and Free French secret service agents. He knew everyone, and they all adored him.

    The work was hazardous, requiring frequent trips outside the Vatican to co-ordinate with Roman friends in securing food and shelter. Disguised as a beggar, a postman, a nun, even a Nazi, the monsignor operated the escape line without the knowledge or permission of his superiors and in the face of constant death threats. Chief of SS forces in Rome, SS Colonel Herbert Kappler, gave top priority to wiping out Mgr O’Flaherty’s network but he could never capture the Irish Scarlet Pimpernel. An attempt to assassinate him in St. Peter’s failed.

    Many escapes
    The number of times he escaped either capture or death is legendary as he ranged through a city where the Gestapo were determined to shoot him on sight.

    When the Allies entered Rome in June 1944, more than 3,900 of those saved by Mgr O’Flaherty were still alive. Of those recaptured, tortured and murdered, no man or woman betrayed the Pimpernel.

    But the monsignor could not stop there. Overnight, his boundless compassion embraced the foe as well. They were now the underdog and when US General Mark Clark came to pay his respects, the monsignor quizzed him sharply to make sure German prisoners were well treated. In a plane, loaned to him by the Allied commander-in-chief, General Sir Harold Alexander, he flew to see thousands of Italian POWs in South Africa, then visited Jewish refugees in Jerusalem.

    Colonel Kappler, the monsignor’s arch enemy, was among those tried by the Allies for war crimes. He was sentenced to life and was incarcerated in Gaela Prison between Rome and Naples. In prison, the colonel’s only visitor was Mgr O’Flaherty, They became firm friends, and in March 1959, Kappler, the Nazi butcher of Rome, was baptised into the Catholic Church by his friend.

    Mgr O’Flaherty was awarded the highest honours six countries could bestow on him, including the CBE and the US Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm. But when Italy’s first post-war government awarded him a life-time pension, he refused to take one lira of it. He wanted nothing for himself.

    Return to Ireland
    In 1960 Mgr O’Flaherty suffered a stroke while saying Mass, and returned to Ireland to live with his sister, Mrs. Bride Sheehan, in Cahirciveen. He remained as active as possible, saying Mass in the local church, going for drives and, in spite of the stroke, continuing to play golf.

    In 1963 the BBC decided to devote a This is Your Life programme to the monsignor, but because of his poor health, it was decided to feature instead Colonel Sam Derry, who was in charge of the British forces in Rome during the Nazi regime. The monsignor took part in the programme. He was filmed first in Cahirciveen and then, in spite of his failing health and his doctor’s warning not to travel, flew to London to appear on the programme, which was seen by eight million viewers. He was the last guest on the show and when he walked slowly out on stage, the studio erupted with clapping and crying.

  • Mgr Hugh O’Flaherty dead at the age of 65
  • His death was reported on page one of the New York Times, and taken up by papers all over the world where his wartime activities were remembered, under the heading “The Pimpernel is Dead.” He is buried in the grounds of the Daniel O’Connell church in Cahirciveen under a simple headstone.Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, CBE, born 28-02-1898, was an Irish Roman Catholic priest and senior official of the Roman Curia. During World War II, he was responsible for saving 6,500 Allied soldiers and Jews. Due to his ability to evade the traps set by the German Gestapo and Sicherheitsdienst, Monsignor O’Flaherty earned the nickname “the Scarlet Pimpernel of the Vatican”. 

  •  

The saintliness and heroism of Mgr Hugh O’Flaherty, whose love and concern embraced everyone, irrespective of race or creed (“God has no country,” he would say) has remained unsung in Ireland for 35 years. But people continually visit his grave to seek his help in trouble. They know that the man who in life never turned his back on anyone will not in death fail them.

Vatican and Rome, stating that O’Flaherty would be killed if he crossed it. Ludwig Koch,  the head of the neo-Fascist Italian police in Rome often spoke of his intention to torture O’Flaherty before executing him, if O’Flaherty ever fell into his hands. Several others, including priests, nuns and lay people, worked in secret with O’Flaherty, and even hid refugees in their own private homes around Rome. Among these were Augustinian Maltese Fathers, Egidio Galea, Aurelio Borg, Ugolino Gatt and Brother Robert Pace of the Brothers of Christian Schools. Another person who contributed significantly to this operation was the Malta-born widow Chetta Chevalier, who hid some refugees in her house with her children, and was lucky to escape detection. Jewish religious services were conducted in the Basilica di San Clemente under a painting of Tobias − the Basilica was under Irish diplomatic protection. When the Allies arrived in Rome in June 1944, 6,425 of the escapees were still alive. O’Flaherty demanded that German prisoners be treated properly as well. He took a plane to South Africa to meet Italian POWs and to Jerusalem to visit Jewish refugees. Of the 9,700 Jews in Rome, 1,007 had been shipped to Auschwitz. The rest were hidden, 5,000 of them by the official Church − 3,000 in Castel Gandolfo, 200 or 400 (estimates vary) as “members” of the Palatine Guard and some 1,500 in monasteries, convents and colleges. The remaining 3,700 were hidden in private homes. At the time of the liberation of Rome, O’Flaherty’s and Major Sam Derry’s organization was caring for 3,925 escapees and men who had succeeded in evading arrest. Of these 1,695 were British, 896 South African, 429 Russian, 425 Greek and 185 American.  The remainder were from 20 different nations. This does not include Jews and sundry other men and women who were in O’Flaherty’s strictly personal care. After the war Hugh O’Flaherty received a number of awards including Commander of the Order of the British Empire and the US Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm. He was declared Righteous Among the Nations by Israel and was honoured by Canada and Australia. He refused to use the lifetime pension that Italy had given him In the 1950s. 

 

  • Giant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flag

 

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  • Giant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flag
 

 Remembering them, On the 11th hour, of the 11th Month in 1918 the First World War ended. We still wants to Remember those who have given their lives for peace and Freedom.

Behind the Remembrance Poppy

This is the story of how the red field poppy came to be known as an internationally recognized symbol of Remembrance.

The dark days of the 2nd World War from the British Commonwealth that join up with the RAF that were killed and there resting place is Newark Cemetery 4 ARAF- Australian, 44 British Servicemen, 17 CRAF- Canadian, 3 RNZAF- New Zealand and 397 Polish Airmen and other servicemen.

http://newarkcemeteryuk.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/general-wladyslaw-sikorski-prime-minister-of-polands-london-based-government-in-exile/

http://newarkcemeteryuk.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/we-must-not-forget-those-of-the-commonwealth-and-polish-airmen-they-fought-for-freedom-against-the-enemy-and-didnt-flinch/

 http://newarkcemeteryuk.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/304-polish-bomber-squadron-sodn-during-the-2nd-world-war-that-are-buried-at-newark-on-trent-cemetery/

http://newarkcemeteryuk.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/lasting-tribute-to-british-commonwealth-polish-airmen-and-workers-of-ransome-and-marles-bombing/

http://newarkcemeteryuk.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/on-14th-july-1941-general-wladyslaw-sikorski-visited-newark-on-trent-cemetery/

Giant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsGiant flagPoppy Day .... R.I.P to all soulsRoberta Winterton

http://www.newarkadvertiser.co.uk/articles/opinions/Memorial-would-be-fitting-tribute-to-hero

Memorial would be fitting tribute to hero

 Thursday Jan 31, 2013

I fully agree with the comments made by John Stephenson (Decision Time, News Views, Advertiser, January 17) with regard to a memorial dedicated to the late Lt-Col Sam Derry.

I started my working life as a 15 year-old apprentice at R. I. Derry Son, Plumbing and Heating Engineers, St Marks Lane, Newark in 1947.

Colonel Derry was in charge of this firm at that time and for all the 17 years I was in his employment — and a finer employer one would have a job to find.

When I walk through the Marks and Spencer food store I often picture in my mind just where our workshop was situated.

Many towns and cities have memorials dedicated to people importance associated with them.

Colonel Derry was a gentleman in every sense of the word, and also an exceptionally brave soldier.

I can remember him being instrumental in obtaining my wife and I our first house and making a speech at our wedding.

He was also a modest man — never did I hear him discuss anything of his military career.

In fact, the workforce knew nothing of his appearance one evening on the television programme, This Is Your Life, until a few hours before it was televised and that information did not come from him, although his programme had been recorded a few days earlier.

He also served on many committees in the town — for example with the St John Ambulance service. He was a governor of the Magnus School, was on the board of Newark Hospital, active with St Leonard’s Trust, and served as a local magistrate.

A considerable amount of money was spent on the Jubilee Arch which, in my opinion, does nothing to represent anything about Newark so let’s have a memorial to a true and distinguished son of Newark.

For anyone interested in reading about Colonel Derry’s war record there is a book entitled The Rome Escape Line.

— C. R. BLOODWORTH, Edward Avenue, Newark

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Sam Derry Woodhead, 18, is in a gap year before following in the footsteps of his grandfather, the late Lieutenant-colonel Sam Derry, architect of the world war two Rome Escape Line, and joining the British Armed Forces.http://newarkadvertiser.co.uk/articles/news/Familys-relief-after-missing-outback-teenage

His father said he was inspired to join the Army by his grandfather, Second World War hero Lieutenant-Colonel Sam Derry.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/desperate-search-for-london-backbacker-lost-in-australian-outback-8494889.html

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I would like to say many thanks to our local Newark Advertiser, Newark Library and Doctor Peter Crookes and  St John Ambulance

Laurence Goff

St John Ambulance member of Newark Division from 1998 until 1st August 2013

100_3500 Lest We Forget, Britain honoured its war dead. Tribute to British Commonwealth and Polish Sacrifice.They departed this life into the next. Though they are hidden in the shadow of Death.Their lives for others in the love of serving our Country and Newark-On-Trent that never dies. Our beautiful and historic Newark Cemetery, London Road, Newark, Nottinghamshire for over 150 years since 1856

 

We Remember Them not just on Remembrance Day at Newark-On-Trent, Nottinghamshire

 

 

Remembrance Day, for those who have given up their lives for our Freedom Newark-On-Trent

 

 

If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps was played; this brings out a new meaning of it

 

 

Our Beautiful and Historic Newark Cemetery Notts Since 1856, put together by Newark Town Councillor Laurence Goff

 

 

General Wladyslaw Sikorski, Prime Minister of Poland’s London-based government in exile

 

 

Newark Cemetery, London Road, Nottinghamshire, NG24 1SQ

 

 

Lance Sgt Nathan Cumberland completed the Newark-On-Trent Half Marathon in 2.5 hours

48 Blatherwick’s That Are Buried in Newark-On-Trent Nottinghamshire UK for over 150 Years

 

 

Computerised records. Newark Cemetery

http://www.deceasedonline.com/

 Newark Town Council

Newark Town Hall, Market Place, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 1DU.

Nearly 40,000 burial records are available, with a mixture of register scans and computerised records.

Newark Cemetery – Added 7 June 2010

Burials numbered 1 to 37,141 dated 31 December 1856 to 4 March 1997, are available as burial register scans. Subsequent data is only available as full computerised records. Initially, records have been added up to no 39,673 dated 26 March 2010.

 

Contact:

 

 Laurence Goff

01636-681878 (Home)
07794613879 (Mobile)

 Friends of Newark Cemetery
Become a Volunteer for the good of Newark Cemetery

friendsofnewarkcemetery@yahoo.co.uk

http://www.youtube.com/user/laurencegoff

www.facebook.com/laurencegoffnewark

www.flickr.com/photos/friendsofnewarkcemetery

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=newark%20cemetery%20

http://newarkcemeteryuk.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/laurencegoff

My blogging principles are that I strive to be accurate. I promptly correct any inaccuracy or error with a visible edit and update. I attribute and link to sources on the web wherever possible. My direct contact details are displayed on every page of the site. I do not receive payment or services for any reviews or editorial. And this is a personal blog. The views expressed are solely my own, and do not reflect the views of Newark Town Council

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