Date to be decided
A special train from London to Malvern & Oxford in tribute to Doreen Warriner. It is impossible to say how many lives this remarkable lady was directly responsible for saving in the winter of 1938/39, but the number certainly runs into the thousands - and not just children. She did receive an OBE for this in 1941, but of her work in Prague in 1938/39 the Dictionary of National Biography says of her: “She held the whole disparate volunteer rescue enterprise together by sheer force of personality.”
Warriner flew into Prague’s brand-new Ruzyne airport on 13th October 1938, having cancelled a planned trip to the West Indies with her Rockefeller Fellowship, where she had intended to study economic conditions. She arrived in Prague, she later wrote, with “no idea at all of what to do, yet only a desperate wish to do something”. This was barely two weeks after the infamous Munich Agreement, which legitimised Hitler’s occupation of the Sudetenland, leading to a huge refugee exodus of some 200,000 people. As events turned out she would progress from novice to veteran volunteer rescue worker in the space of five very short weeks and would go on to spearhead the Prague rescue effort, as described above. It is very likely that many of the values which motivated her actions were instilled in her by the institutions where she was educated, namely Malvern Girls’ College and St Hugh’s College, Oxford. A biography of her life will be posted here shortly (but see this…). She died of a stroke on 17th December 1972 in Amersham General Hospital at the relatively young age of 68 and is buried in Bloxham cemetery, near Banbury. R.I.P.
Further details will be posted here in due course, when available.