Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Queen’s hatmaker who survived Holocaust killed in London road accident

    Herta Groves (Photo: screenshot USC Shoah Foundation Institute)
    Herta Groves (Photo: screenshot USC Shoah Foundation Institute)

    A Holocaust survivor who made hats for the Queen has been killed by a lorry in central London.

    Herta “Georgette” Groves, 96 , was pronounced dead at the scene after a lorry ran her over outside Wigmore Hall last week.

    Ms Groves was born in Vienna to middle-class Jewish parents. During her teenage years she helped other Jewish women obtain visas to escape Nazi-occupied Austria.

    She fled to the UK aged 19, leaving her family behind. Her father, Wilhelm, died from pneumonia after being forced at gunpoint to shovel snow. Her mother, Amelia, and sister, Alice, died in a concentration camp in 1942.

    In the UK, Ms Groves launched the London Hat Company and became well-known for making high-fashion headwear. She counted the Royal milliner as one of her clients.

    Ms Groves, who lived in St John’s Wood and was married twice, recorded her war experiences for Steven Spielberg’s Shoah Foundation in 1997. She said: “I didn’t speak about the Holocaust to anyone, when I gave speeches it was mostly about hats. The British gave us a chance to re-start our lives. We could rebuild everything here.

    “The message is the Holocaust can’t be forgotten — it needs to be remembered for future generations.”

    Ms Groves died from serious injuries after being hit by an HGV on April 27. The lorry driver was not arrested. A police spokesman said: “Police were called at 2.20pm to reports of a collision between a lorry and a pedestrian at Wigmore Street at the junction of Wellbeck Street.

    “Emergency services attended the scene and found the pensioner with serious injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene just before 3.30pm.”

UK News

Sabina Miller dies aged 95

JC Reporter

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Sabina Miller dies aged 95
UK News

Strip Jewish group of award, say Labour activists

Marcus Dysch

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Strip Jewish group of award, say Labour activists
UK News

Sacks defends Mike Pence speechwriting role

Marcus Dysch

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sacks defends Mike Pence speechwriting role
Community News

Yellow candles burn bright

Rosa Doherty

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Yellow candles burn bright
Comment

Why Holocaust Memorial Day is important

Boris Johnson

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Why Holocaust Memorial Day is important
Family

Thank you for my life

Nadine Wojakovski

Friday, December 15, 2017

Thank you for my life
UK News

Bill to end Holocaust restitution claims time limit

Marcus Dysch

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bill to end Holocaust restitution claims time limit
News Features

Heroes are honoured for keeping Jews safe

Ben Weich

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Heroes are honoured for keeping Jews safe
UK News

Harriet Harman urged to apologise after Holocaust joke

Marcus Dysch

Friday, November 3, 2017

Harriet Harman urged to apologise after Holocaust joke