I was contacted this week by Chris Mannion who has unearthed an amazing story about one of the most notorious figures in history.
Chris is researching a book about the capture of top Nazi Heinrich Himmler, who was Hitler’s right hand man and the man, or should that be monster, who was the architect of the Holocaust.
Christopher believes a gunner from Peterborough may have taken part in Himmler’s capture.
He is working on the theoery that L/Sgt R. Hay, of Westwood Road, Peterborough, was involved in the capture of Himmler.
Chris said: “The arrest happened on Monday 21st May 1945, near Bremen in Germany.
“Himmler was arrested along with two others. He was using false papers under the name of Heinrich Hitzinger.
“The patrol which arrested him was made up of five men from 196 Battery, 73rd Anti tank, Royal Artillery.
“One of the men was my grandfather L/Sgt Patrick Mannion, of Newton le Willows.
“I know the name of three others out of five, so that leaves one unknown.
“I know L/Sgt Hay was a memberof the 196 Battery.That was his address when they signed up.
“I know he was not killed, but little else. So was he one of the other men?’’
Chris has supplied a photograph of the battery and wonders if L/Sgt Hay is on it.
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.
Do you know L/Sgt Hay?
If you have any information you can contact Chris by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you do, don’t forget to let me know as well.
Inspired by Chris’s stories, I have included some pictures of Peterborough in the Second World War.
There is a remarkable picture of a Nazi bomber which crashed in the city on February 23, 1940.
Do you remember if it was shot down and where was this picture taken?
There is also a picture of one of Peterborough’s most iconic buildings, the Lido which was damaged in the first air raid on the city on June 8, 1940.
Do you have any memories of that night?
There were many Americans based in the Peterborough area and another of this week’s pictures shows the city mayor Harry Farrow welcoming two US airmen outside the town hall.
Another picture shows servicemen enjoying a cup of tea in Market Place. as it was called then.
The picture has no date, do you know when it was taken and do you recognise any of the men in it?
The picture of a dapper group of men who were the head ARP (Air Raid Precaution) wardens for the city. The picture was taken in 1939. Do you recognise any of the men in it?
If you have any old pictures of the city, and any memories to go with them please get in touch, we’d love to feature them on this page. Contact Nigel Thornton on 01733 588714, email: email@example.com or write to Nigel Thornton, Peterborough Telegraph, 57 Priestgate, Peterborough.