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ISSUE No. 173 View larger

ISSUE No. 173

(Code A173)

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THE INVASIONS OF ELBA ISLAND. Irena Sendler. The Case of Pfc Fred W. Ashley. Battle of the Somme Remembered.

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THE INVASION OF ELBA ISLAND — The Italian island of Elba has the rare distinction of having been invaded twice in the space of nine months during the Second World War. It was an important location as it guarded the sea passage between Corsica and the Italian mainland. Jean Paul Pallud explains its story in fine detail. Irena Sendler — During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an underground organisation known as Zegota — or Rada Pomocy Zydom (Council for Aid to Jews) — managed to smuggle out some 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto, providing them with false identity documents and shelter, and thus rescuing them from certain death. The driving force and leading figure behind the clandestine operation was Irena Sendler, a 33-year-old social worker and head of the organisation's Children's Section. Anna Mieszkowska tells the story of this remarkable woman. The Case of PFC Fred W. Ashley — This is the story of the mysterious disappearance of Pfc Fred W. Ashley, a seasoned soldier belonging to the 1st Platoon of Troop C of the 2nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanised). He was killed in southern Czechoslovakia on May 4, 1945 — just four days before the end of the war — and although his remains were recovered from a field grave a few weeks later, and were identified by the US graves registrations specialists in August 1945, they somehow got lost and today this young soldier is still listed as missing. Manuel F. Van Eyck tells us his sad story. The Battle of the Somme Remembered — This is the story of a live tribute by the National Theatre to mark the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Somme, using 1,400 actors to make a silent vigil across the country acting as 'ghost' soldiers. This was a striking reminder to commuters in another century of the price paid then for what we enjoy today.

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