Faye Healey

From Kindertransportee to Lollipop lady – refugee who captivated children with her wartime memories


She was one of the 10,000  Kindertransport children who fled to England to escape the Nazis. Then 11 years old, Faye Healey  was saved by the rescue mission in May, 1938 after England agreed to drop its immigration laws and take in children during the nine months leading up to the outbreak of the Second World War. 

The journey from Poland to England took almost two days.  Due to a shortage of families in London Faye was sent to Liverpool,  the place she would call home for the rest of her life. She was welcomed with open arms by the Fox family. 

Faye Healey, who has died aged 92, told the Liverpool Echo in November 2012:  “I left Gdansk because the Nazis were getting very difficult and it was dangerous to live there. There were 70 of us from my school who boarded the train and at that age, you think of it more like an outing. It felt like an adventure. I certainly didn’t realise I would never see my parents again.

“My sister followed later as she had to get a sponsor from England because she was over 17.  
“When she was on the train she could hear gun-fire. She only just made it in time.”

Born Faye Amschanowski  in the Free City of Danzig, now Gdansk, Poland, her parents Sally and Herman owned a master tailor shop near the apartment where she lived with her older brother and sister.

Despite Poland slowly falling under the dark shadow of the swastika, Faye retains fond memories of her early childhood. She received a couple of letters from her parents but they soon stopped.
 “I never heard from my parents once the war broke out,” she told the Liverpool Echo: “ I have chosen not to think about what happened to them as you would be upset all the time. It’s there in the background but you don’t dwell on it as it would only send you mad.

“My sister made enquiries once the war ended but all they found was a list of people who died and my parents were on that list. No date or location. Nothing about my parents’  final months.
“In England we were constantly being evacuated. Everyone was just trying to survive. We didn’t know about the concentration camps, as they were only discovered after the war. I can’t even bear to think about them.”

Faye enrolled at Northway Primary School where she learned to speak English in just three months. She spent the next five years at High Field Senior School in Halewood before studying shorthand typing,  book- keeping and English.

She spent 20 years as a lollipop lady for Lander Road Primary School and St Elizabeth Primary School and was very popular with both the children and adults. Faye married Frank Healey on October 20, 1962, in Liverpool and moved to Litherland where they lived ever since. She became a naturalised British citizen in 1947, and made an emotional return to her birth place in 2012, accompanied by her husband Frank and children, a 50th wedding anniversary gift from them. 
On her return from Poland she told  The Echo: “It was the best present anyone could ever buy me.”
Her former apartment block had been destroyed by the war but she could still recognise her old street. “Of course the main difference was there are very few Jews there now – they were all murdered by the Nazis. Although the fanatics who were mesmerised by Hitler stole so much from me, they cannot take my memories.”

Faye joined the AJR and visited local schools and events, supporting Anne Frank Trust projects. In July, 2019, she addressed a seminar for councillors from across Merseyside  wider region and North Wales, organised by The Board of Deputies of British Jews, Merseyside Jewish Representative Council and the Jewish Leadership Council. Her story captivated everyone there. She regularly shared her memories with children at Liverpool Schools’ Parliament HMD events, accompanied by her husband. Her story was always well received and she would spend time answering a wide range of questions.

Faye is survived by Frank, her children Yvonne and David and grandchildren William and Maxime.

Faye Healey: born March 17, 1928. 
Died April 8, 2020

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