The Catholic Herald UK marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 by taking a brief glance at just 10 of the lesser known heros. Sister Agnes Walsh is one of just 13 British men and women to be honoured as a Righteous Among Nations, or Righteous Gentile, by Yad Vashem.
1. The nun Agnes Walsh
Sister Agnes Walsh is one of just 13 British men and women to be honoured as a Righteous Among Nations, or Righteous Gentile, by Yad Vashem.
The Catholic nun was born Clare Walsh in Hull in 1896 and entered the Daughters of Charity in 1916, working first in Ireland and then in Palestine.
Following a fall she was sent to St Vincent de Paul convent in Cadouin in Dordogne, France, to recuperate and when war broke out she found herself in occupied territory.
In December 1943, during manhunts for Jews in the area, Pierre Cremieux, a French Jew, asked the nuns to hide his wife, seven-year-old son and four-month-old twins.
Sister Agnes, in spite of risks to herself if the Germans found out that she was English, pleaded with her superior, Sister Granier, to shelter the family until liberation.
The family stayed in touch with the nun after the war and their testimony led to her recognition by Yad Vashem in 1990 at 94. She died in 1993.
Curiously, in 2009 her name was the only one of the 13 to be omitted from a list of the rescuers, put together by the Holocaust Education Trust, who may be posthumously honoured by the British Government for their actions in saving Jewish lives. It was later included after The Catholic Herald alerted the trust to its error.