Leo Lyons Photography

Refurbishment under way - please forgive the mess and broken links

exact date unknown
Birth of Sender Ancel

Sender (Alexandre) Ancel - Marcel and Simon's father - an artist. Possibly born in Tecuci. Died March 1916. Buried in the Jewish cemetery in Tecuci

24th August 1890
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Leia Haia Helfman is born

Possibly in Tecuci, Romania though some sources say she is Hungarian. Some sources give an alternative birthdate of 27/08/1890

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Sender and Leia marry

In Tecuci, Romania. exact date unknown

2nd July 1914
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Birth of Meier (Marcel) Ancel

In Tecuci, Romania. The older brother of Simon Rene - changed his name to Marcel as the threat to Jews increased

12th April 1916
Birth of Simon Ancel

Born in Tecuci, Romania.  - changed his name to Rene to try and avoid suspicion from the Nazis.

early 1920s
Immigration into France

Exact date not known. French nationality granted in 1923

23rd March 1925
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Marcel, Rene and Leia arrive in Belgium

Leia moved from Paris to Antwerp for work

20- 23rd August 1942
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Death of Leia at Auschwitz

Leia was arrested and held at Drancy, Paris (date unknown). On the 18th September 1942 she was put on a train to Auschwitz. It is believed she was murdered on arrival on 20th August (some sources give the date as 23rd August 1942)

13 December 1942
Rene (Simon) Escapes from France for Spain

Following a warning from Marseilles police, decides to attempt to cross the Pyrenees on foot with a companion

1st July 1943
Rene Ancel reaches the UK
Black & White photo of the ship Highland Princess at sea

Having boarded a ship in Gibraltar (HMS Highland Princess) he disembarks at Greenock, Scotland

21st - 29th July 1943
until 29th July 1943
Rene attends Patriotic School, Camberley

Foreign civilians arriving in the UK were interrogated at the Royal Patriotic School in Wandsworth

7/8th July 1944
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Rene is parachuted into France

Using the alias Rene Durville (codename Moisseneuse) Rene is dropped at Region 1 Gigny sur Saone (Saone et Loire) on Mission Cannelle to organise the Maquis and arrange parachute drops.
There are five men dropped all either SOE or BCRA

16/17th April 1948
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The incident at L'aerium de Chabannes

The director of L'aerium de Chabannes, a santorium for poor and malnourished children, is found dead. His mistress who works at the institute is arrested on suspicion of murder. On the night of the death Rene is having dinner nearby with the wife of the deceased

prior to june 1946 (exact date unknown)
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Rene visits Buenos Aires on a business trip

According to the BCRA files Rene approached the Embassy in Buenos Aires in June 1946 offering to courier any documents they wished to the Paris HQ as he was visiting France on business

October 1937
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Rene is called up for National Service

Rene is called up to join the 91st Infantry Regiment at LAON

16th January 1943
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Arrested in Spain

Held in Pampelune prison until 31/01/43 then under house arrest in Burguet and then Lecumberri until 16/04/1943. Then transferred to Miranda prison camp until