Jewish refugee helps hand out awards to top students at Whitefield School

Head boy, Ahmed Kerwan and head girl, Vanessa Assombalonga presenting a gift of thanks to Mrs Franks

Head boy, Ahmed Kerwan and head girl, Vanessa Assombalonga presenting a gift of thanks to Mrs Franks

First published in News Times Series: Photograph of the Author by

A Jewish refugee who was forced to leave her parents in a frantic evacuation before the Second World War hosted a school awards evening last night.

Whitefield School welcomed Henrietta Franks, who handed out certificates awarding pupils for their academic successes including top GCSE results and GCE certificates.

Born in Germany, Mrs Franks was one of 10,000 children to be rescued from Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Poland and placed in British foster homes.

Mrs Franks told staff and pupils at the school in Claremont Road, Cricklewood, about her experiences as a Kindertransportee and her life since arriving in the United Kingdom. 

Headteacher Martin Lavelle said: “This was the kind of event that reminds one why one became a teacher in the first place.

"It was a wonderful celebration of all the achievements of our young people and a speaker who was able to bridge the years between herself and the students in a talk of resilience, fortitude and hope.”

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