Posts Tagged ‘public’

Appeal for public to attend World War Two veteran’s funeral

December 7th, 2015

Eric Gill died aged 99 at his home in Edlington, Doncaster, on November 30, and his carer and friend Gwen has launched a Facebook appeal for members of the public to attend his funeral.

Mr Gill was part of the 49th West Riding Infantry and was one of six D-Day veterans from Yorkshire to receive France’s highest military honour, Legion d’Honneur, in April.

The award was given to all surviving British veterans of the 1944 Normandy landings for their efforts in the liberation of France.

“Eric served in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry … he took part in the D-Day and Operation Market Garden and was recently awarded the Légion d’honneur by the French,” says the Facebook appeal.

“Eric only had a small circle of friends and family, some of which are unable to attend his funeral, either due to illness or location.

a great man always talked about his medals and the royal family on the 15 bus when he used to get on, i was thinking…

Posted by Darren Paul Sables on  Monday, 7 December 2015

What a gentleman, will miss all the stories from you, RIP eric,,xx

Posted by Anne Mccormick-green on  Monday, 7 December 2015

“We call upon the entire nation to consider attending his funeral in Doncaster.

“Let us show the world how much respect we have for Eric and the men who helped keep this great nation of ours free!”

His funeral will take place at the Rosehill Crematorium in Doncaster but a date has yet to be set.


World War Two

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Look inside Benito Mussolini’s secret bunker as it opens to the public

October 27th, 2014

Secret underground bunkers and an anti-gas chamber built by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini during World War II under his 19th-century villa in Rome, will be opened to the public for the first time.

Villa Torlonia is now a popular park where Romans gather to picnic, jog and enjoy the views, but between 1925-1943, Mussolini lived there with this wife and children.

He built the underground chambers to protect himself and his family from possible air raids and gas attacks.

Two underground structures, built in great secrecy, cover more than 2,000 square feet and include an anti-gas chamber with air ducts and showers for decontamination, all protected by a double set of airtight doors.

“Of course Hitler had his bunker, Mussolini couldn’t have anything less. The truth is he was always against the use of a bunker during the bombings – or so he claimed,” said Laura Lombardi, a historian working for the Rome Underground association.

“He always said ‘I’ll wait for the bombs to come on my balcony, I’ll never go underground’. In fact we know that when there was an airstrike in Albania, at the very first sound of a bomb he went to seek shelter in a bunker!”

The building of the bunker took sometime and it remained incomplete after his death.

By the time air raids hit Rome, “Il Duce” had been deposed and was leading a puppet state in northern Italy under Nazi protection.


World War Two

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Record of largest-ever Nazi art hoard made public for first time

May 29th, 2014

And this week it has made the information from those catalogues freely available on the Internet – the first time any German art dealer has publicly released its records from the Nazi era.

Their publication is the initiative of Katrin Stoll, who took over the auction house in 2008, and has no connection to Mr Weinmüller.

“I feel very fortunate to have this difficult task,” she told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

Names and images of artworks that were sold can be freely browsed on lostart.de, the German government website for recovering looted art. The website does not list who bought the artworks, but anyone with a serious claim to legal ownership can apply for that information.

The website does list where Mr Weinmüller obtained the artworks, and the entry “seizure by the Gestapo” frequently crops up. Where some dealers traded in art sold at knock-down prices by Jewish owners fleeing the Nazis, Mr Weinmüller was dealing directly in looted art.

Despite his significance, Mr Weinmüller has remained a shadowy figure. For years no one even knew what he looked like, until a photo emerged a few months ago of a bespectacled, unobtrusive man at an auction.

He successfully lied to the “Monuments Men” about his role during the war, and hid his connections to the Nazi high command. In fact he had risen to wealth and prominence by his loyalty to the party, and counted Martin Bormann, Hitler’s private secretary, amongst his clients.

A previously small-time dealer, he chaired a pro-Nazi trade organisation and took over the Munich arts scene as Jewish dealers were forced out.

Despite investigating him as a high priority, the “Monuments Men” were unable to prove anything against him, or prevent him from reopening his auction house. He held a further 35 auctions before his death in 1958.

After his death the Weinmüller auction house, as it was then known, was sold to Ms Stoll’s father, Rudolf Neumeister, who changed its name.

Experts say the real test of the new initiative will come when legal owners come forward to claim looted artworks. Some of the details of the buyers in the auction house’s records are sketchy, and list no more than a common surname. But others may be traceable, and artworks long given up as lost may finally be found again.


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