OPINION: Cheers for Sir Nicky’s legacy, tears for the ninth train

Sir Nicky, who passed away last week at the ripe old age of 106, was the great British hero of mankind’s darkest hour.
Sir Nicky, who passed away last week at the ripe old age of 106, was the great British hero of mankind’s darkest hour.

No words do justice to the debt civilisation owes Sir Nicholas Winton, so I’ll attempt very few.

Sir Nicky, who passed away last week at the ripe old age of 106, was the great British hero of mankind’s darkest hour.

He saved 669 precious children from Hitler, who boarded eight trains from Austria and Czechoslovakia bound for Liverpool Street Station.

There was a ninth.

Some 250 child refugees were due to set off from Prague en route to the UK in September 1939. With the outbreak of war, however, their journey to safety was halted by the Nazis.

These were the kinder who would not escape the scourge of the Third Reich. Rather than make the journey to London these youngsters would make a journey to the ghettos and gas chambers of Europe.

A profound tragedy. Yet without Sir Nicky’s intervention, a further 669 would have been lost.

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