Nicholas Winton file photo [18948]

Nicholas Winton

Given NameNicholas
Born19 May 1909
Died1 Jul 2015
CountryUnited Kingdom


ww2dbaseNicholas George Winton was born in London, England, United Kingdom in 1909. His parents were German immigrants whose original family name was Wertheim; the family was originally Jewish in faith, but they converted to Christianity. In 1923, Winton entered the Stowe School in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England, but he would leave before graduation, choosing to work instead. He worked in banking in Britain, Germany (Behrens Bank and Wasserman bank), and France (Banque Nationale de Crédit), returning to Britain in the 1930s to work as a stockbroker at the London Stock Exchange. In Dec 1938, he traveled to Prague, Czechoslovakia to help a friend who was in turn helping Jews fleeing Germany. In Nov 1938, the British House of Commons approved a measure that allowed entry for Jewish children under the age of 17 should they be able to arrange a place to stay and a deposit of £50 for the return passage back to their home countries in the future. Winton successfully arranged 669 children, most of whom Jews, to travel to Britain via the Netherlands, while both he and his mother placed these children in homes and hostels. He had scheduled 250 Jewish children to depart from Prague by train westward on 3 Sep 1939, but the outbreak of the European War meant that the train was ultimately canceled; this would become his final attempt. His humanitarian work in Czechoslovakia would remain largely unknown until his wife Grete Gjelstrup found a detailed scrapbook in their attic in 1988 containing lists of children's names, their parents' names, and their home addresses. Returning to Britain, he originally declared himself a conscientious objector and served with the Red Cross, but in 1940 he rescinded his objection and joined the Administrative and Special Duties Branch of the British Royal Air Force. At the end of the war, he held the brevet rank of flying officer. In 1998, he received the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Fourth Class of the Czech Republic for his work with now-named "Czech Kindertransport". In the 2002 New Year Honours, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, also for his humanitarian work in war time Czechoslovakia. In 2008, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the Czech Republic. On 1 Sep 2009, a "Winton Train" set off from Prague, carrying several people who, as children, escaped Nazi oppression in 1938 with Winton's help; Winton personally greeted them at London at their journey's end. He passed away in his sleep at the Wexham Hospital in Slough, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom on 1 Jul 2015.

ww2dbaseSources: BBC, Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Sep 2013

Nicholas Winton Interactive Map

Nicholas Winton Timeline

19 May 1909 Nicholas Winton was born in Hampstead, London, England, United Kingdom.
22 Jun 1944 Nicholas Winton was promoted to the brevet rank of acting pilot officer.
17 Aug 1944 Nicholas Winton was promoted to the brevet rank of pilot officer.
17 Feb 1945 Nicholas Winton was promoted to the brevet rank of flying officer.
19 May 1954 Nicholas Winton was given the honorary rank of flight lieutenant.
1 Jul 2015 Nicholas Winton passed away in his sleep at the Wexham Hospital in Slough, Berkshire, England, United Kingdom on 1 Jul 2015.


Nicholas Winton holding a child, probably in Prague, Czechoslovakia, probably in 1938.Nicholas Winton at Prague, Czech Republic, Oct 2007

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Nicholas Winton holding a child, probably in Prague, Czechoslovakia, probably in 1938.
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