Coward by name, but certainly not by nature – Charles Joseph Coward was perhaps the only person who willingly smuggled themselves into a German concentration camp. In doing so, he helped save countless Jewish lives, and was later able to testify against those responsible for the inhuman treatment of so many innocent people during the Second World War.
His remarkable tale of bravery begins in May 1940, at the start of the Siege of Calais. Following a vicious German assault on the port, the Allies were driven back, fleeing from France through Dunkirk. Most escaped, but Coward – who was serving with the 8th Reserve Regimental Royal Artillery – was not one of them.