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Today marks the 106th birthday of the remarkable Sir Nicholas Winton. In 1938, Winton took it upon himself to go on a ‘holiday’ to Prague, and through forgery, blackmail and bribes managed to send 669 children – mostly Jewish Czechs – to England before the Nazis moved in to enact their ‘Final Solution‘.

As an example of how many extraordinary historical stories we remain oblivious to on a daily basis, Winton’s story was unknown for the best part of 50 years – not least because he himself didn’t bother telling anyone about it. Even his wife, who only learned of what he had done after finding an odd scrapbook in their attic with information about the operation.

After learning of the story, in 1988 the BBC lured ‘Nicky’ to a taping of their show That’s Life “under false pretences”, and surprised him by reuniting him with a number of the children whose lives he had saved. Below you can find video of that moment.

Happy 106th good sir. A living example of how one person’s actions can make an extraordinary difference – we can but only try to emulate his good works.