Bradford's helping hand

First published in Remember When? Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Leisure and Lifestyle Editor

A Remember When? article about Bradford’s Kindertransport refuge has prompted an e-mail from across the Atlantic.

In March 1939, a large house in Parkfield Road, Manningham, became home to a group of boys who had fled Nazi Europe on the Kindertransport, which brought 10,000 Jewish children to safety in Britain.

By the end of the war, all but one of the boys had lost his parents in the Holocaust.

Now 87 and living in Shipley, Albert Waxman was 14 when he came to Bradford, from Saarbrucken in Germany.

He was sent with 23 other boys to the Bradford Jewish Refugee Hostel, set up by Oswald Stroud, founder of worsted manufacturers Stroud Riley Drummond, on Lumb Lane.

After Kristallnacht, Jewish leaders persuaded the British Government to take in Jewish children.

One evening in November 1938, Mr Stroud highlighted their plight to the Bradford Committee for German Jewry.

“There must surely be some among us who can provide a home for one or two children. Just think of the joy such an action would bring to the sorely-tried parents who are at their wits’ end to know what is to become of their little ones,” he told the committee.

Mr Stroud suggested ways to help, including training youths in business or as domestic servants. His wife suggested a home for refugee children. So it was that the Manningham house was bought and furnished, funded by both Bradford’s Jewish community and non-Jews.

In 1989, 50 years after the boys came to Bradford, Albert organised a reunion at the former hostel, which became the Carlton Hotel.

Now Jamie Sharp has been in touch from America to say that his grandfather, Robert Eugen Scharff (later Robert Sharp), lived at the hostel as a boy.

“My grandfather arrived in Britain on a Kindertransport and resided at the Carlton Hotel in Bradford,” writes Mr Sharp. “He later served in the armed forces in the Pioneer Corps. He emigrated to the United States in the mid-1950s and settled in Baltimore.

“My grandfather never spoke of his experiences during the war and he passed away when I was quite young. I am trying to reconnect with his past.”

After reading our feature online, Mr Sharp wonders if anyone knew his grandfather in Bradford, or has any photographs of him.

Mr Sharp can be contacted on

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