‘James Bond tame compared to Jack’
World war spy one of hundreds paying respects
A REAL-LIFE James Bond figure and a fellow war veteran were among the hundreds who paid their respects to the nation’s war dead last week.
Between 600 and 700 people gathered on Tuesday, November 11 at the Northwood War Memorial, in Green Lane, including Jack Mann and Cyril Sherwood, both long-standing members of the Northwood & Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS).
The pair, both aged 92, laid wreaths at the monument, as did guides, scouts, students and representatives of other local organisations.
During the Second World War, Mr Mann was part of a team that carried out special missions in Africa, Greece and Italy.
The team was established by Winston Churchill in response to the defeat on mainland Europe in the winter of 1939. Its members were the first ‘deniable’ secret operatives to strike behind enemy lines, meaning that, if caught, the British government could deny all knowledge of them.
The team’s story has been turned into a book titled Churchill’s Secret Warriors, which has been dedicated to Mr Mann. Producers from around the world are vying for the rights to turn the story into a film.
Mr Sherwood was a young officer serving in North Africa during the war.
He last laid a poppy wreath for The Association of Jewish Ex- Servicemen and Women (AJEX) at the Armistice Day parade in 1942, at El Alamein, in Egypt. The expedition proved to be a vital turning point in the war.
NPLS vice-president Brian Sass said the stories of both veterans made yesterday’s service especially poignant. Referring to Mr Mann, he added: “Apparently James Bond is quite tame by comparison.”
The event was organised by the Ruislip branch of the British Legion and attended by Nick Hurd MP and the commanding officers for all branches of the services based at the Northwood Headquarters, among other dignitaries there to remember those who died for their country.
A Royal Navy military band and a bugler played the Last Post as clergy of all faiths stood together for the occasion as the nation fell silent. Rabbi Lea Mühlstein, from Germany, concluded the service with the Priestly Blessing in Hebrew and English.
Go to www.getwestlondon.co.uk for a gallery of pictures.
Jack Mann (left) and Cyril Sherwood