Coventry & Warwickshire

Fundraising plea for Leamington Spa's Anthropoid memorial

The Czech Freedom Fountain Image copyright Richard terry
Image caption The names of the seven men who were parachuted from the UK into Prague are carved around the fountain, including Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, the men who carried out the assassination

Campaigners are hoping to raise £25,000 to help restore a fountain put up in memory of men who died during a World War II mission.

The fountain commemorates those who took part in Operation Anthropoid, a successful mission to assassinate Nazi police chief Reinhard Heydrich.

The Czech and Slovak soldiers who took part were based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, where the fountain is.

Their story was recently made into a film.

The fountain, with the names of the seven soldiers who took park carved around it, is in Leamington Spa's Jephson Gardens.

Army base

Fundraiser Carrie Saint said it had been commissioned and funded by former Czech and Slovak soldiers, but now was in urgent need of restoration.

During the war a refugee camp for Czech and Slovak solders had been set up in nearby Moreton Paddox, which is where the soldiers who took part in the mission had been based before the raid. The Free Czechoslovak Army had also been based in the town.

An exhibition telling the story of the parachutists is being held at the Leamington Pump rooms and a film, Operation Anthropoid starring Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan as soldiers Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis, was released in September.

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