An author believes a Huddersfield soldier may have captured one of the Nazi Germany’s most notorious leaders.
Gunner W Stewart was serving with 196 Battery, 73rd Anti tank, Royal Artillery, on Monday, May 21, 1945, when a patrol of five men from the battery caught Heinrich Himmler.
Chris Mannion’s grandfather L/Sgt Patrick Mannion, of Newton le Willows, was one of the group and Chris is now writing a book about Himmler’s arrest.
He said: “Himmler was arrested along with two others near Bremen. He was using false papers under the name of Heinrich Hitzinger.”
Chris knows the name of two others from the group but is anxious to find the names of the final two.
He knows that Gunner Stewart was a member of 196 Battery and survived the war. He lived at Side Lane in Huddersfield. There is a Side Lane in Longwood.
Chris wonders if Gunner Stewart is on the photo of the Battery.
He added: “The photo is of 196 Battery, 73rd, taken in April/May 1944. They landed on D-day and fought though France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. I’d really like to find any relatives of W Stewart to see if they have any information, photos, stories or service records.”
Himmler was overseer of the concentration camps and responsible for the deaths of more than six million people. From 1943 onwards he was both Chief of the German Police and Minister of the Interior.
He tried to flee after the war but after he was caught he committed suicide in British custody on May 23, 1945, after biting on a cyanide pill and was buried in an unmarked grave near Luneberg.
Anyone with information can email Chris at email@example.com
Alternatively, phone Andrew Hirst at the Examiner’s newsdesk on 01484 437761.