Sleuth wins top award after finding heroes

Anthony Davis at Yad Vashem

Anthony Davis at Yad Vashem

A private investigator has received a top award after he successfully tracked down the families of five British soldiers who saved a Jewish girl from the Nazis.

Anthony Davis was named Investigator of the Year 2014 award by the Association of British Investigators, for helping five prisoners of war to be recognised as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.

In January 1945, 10 British PoWs hid Lithuanian-born Sara Matuson in a hayloft at a prisoner of war camp in Poland for four weeks. However, only five had been located and recognised by Yad Vashem.

Mr Davis began his search for the remaining five soldiers after hearing a radio programme about their story.

“Once I heard that, there was no way I wasn’t going to help,” he said.

“These guys were basic British soldiers who came across a girl who was practically dead. They could have left her. They risked torture and death by hiding her.”

The 62-year-old investigator, a member of the Shaare Hayim synagogue in Manchester, added: “The son of Willy Fisher burst out crying when I found him. He said: ‘I always knew my father should have been honoured for what he did’.

“To go to Yad Vashem and see the plaques paying tribute to the men was very emotional,” he said.

All 10 soldiers have now been formally recognised as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem and as British Heroes of the Holocaust by the UK government.

Last updated: 10:45am, May 2 2014