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MPs seeking posthumous honours for war heroes.



Byline: JONATHAN WALKER Jonathan Walker (born 1799 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts - died May 1, 1878 near Muskegon, Michigan), aka "The Man with the Branded Hand," was an American reformer who became a national hero in 1844 when he was tried and sentenced as a slave stealer following his attempt to help seven  Political Editor

Midlands heroes of the Holocaust who saved lives during the Second World War should be honoured posthumously for their bravery, MPs have said.

They launched a campaign to recognise the achievements of Stourbridge man Frank Foley Major Francis Edward "Frank" Foley (b. November 1884, Highbridge, Somerset – d. May 8 1958, Stourbridge) was a British secret service agent. Early life
He was the third son of a railway worker, and after attending local schools won a scholarship to the Lancashire
, who saved thousands of German Jews The Jewish presence in Germany is older than Christianity; the first Jewish population came with the Romans to the city Cologne. A "Golden Age" in the first millennium saw the emergence of the Ashkenazi Jews, while the persecution and expulsion that followed the Crusades led to the , and June Ravenhall, a Warwickshire woman who risked her life sheltering a Jewish man in Nazi-occupied Holland.

Both have been named as among the Righteous Among the Nations by Israel's Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yad Vashem Yad Vashem (יד ושם) — ("Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority") — is Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust established in 1953 through the Memorial Law passed by the Knesset, Israel's parliament. , in Jerusalem. But they did not received any British honours during their lifetimes, and civilianhonours, unlike their military equivalents, cannot be awarded posthumously.

Rugby MP Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright may refer to:
  • Jeremy Wright (politician) (born 1972), British Conservative Member of Parliament for Rugby & Kenilworth
  • Jeremy Wright (blogger), Canadian blogger
 (Con) has backed a House of Commons House of Commons: see Parliament.  motion asking for the system to be changed, so that the achievements of Frank Foley and June Ravenhall can be recognised formally by the UK. He said: "The Holocaust illustrates the very worst of mankind and shows the depths of depravity that people can sink to. But it also shows us the best of mankind and the heights of courage they canreach. It isimportant that neither of these lessons are forgotten.

I don't know exactly what type of honour is most suitable. This is something the government would consider and decide. But we are calling on the government to look at changing the laws governing the honours system to allow them to be granted posthumously, and to consider ways of recognising what these people achieved."

The Commons motion names Foley, a British passport control officer working in Berlin, as one of those who could be honoured. At huge personal risk to himself and his family, he began forging visas and passport documents for Jews attempting to flee Germany and Austria, even hiding the chief rabbi of Berlin in his own house. He went into concentration camps to secure the release of Jewish prisoners and is believed to have saved about 10,000 lives.

After the war, Foley, a devout Catholic who originally wanted to be a priest, retired to Eveson Road, Norton, Stourbridge, where he enjoyed gardening. He rarely spoke about his wartime experiences and neighbours had no idea he was a hero. He was also quiet about his role as a wartime spy, and the secret head of M16 operations in Germany.

It also names Ravenhall, a Kenilworth woman who moved to The Hague, Holland, with her husband Les, from Coventry.

Her name was Elsie but she was known by her middle name, June.

The couple started a business importing Coventry Eagle motorbikes but their home and business was taken when the Nazis invaded, and Les was sent to a prison campin Poland. Despite the danger, she sheltered a young Jewish man in her home, at the request of the Dutch resistance. In 2007, 23 years after her death, three of her children received a medal and certificate on her behalf at a ceremony at the Israeli Embassy in London.

The Commission for the Designation of the Righteous Among the Nations is an independent commission composed of researchers, historians and legal experts, most of whom are Holocaust survivors.

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 26, 2009
Words:519
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