Network Norwich and Norfolk > People > New book features Norwich Holocaust missionary hero


New book features Norwich Holocaust missionary hero 

A leading human rights lawyer has written a new book which includes the story of Norwich missionary and Holocaust hero Elsie Tilney, which he is now promoting worldwide.


Elsie Maude Tilney, 1893-1974, grew up in Norwich and was a member and missionary of Surrey Chapel Free Church

Elsie’s acts of bravery rescuing Jews from the Holocaust when she found herself in an internment camp in France, during World War II went unnoticed for many years.  Now Professor Philippe Sands QC, Professor of Law at University College London, has written and published a new book which features her story called ‘East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity’.   

Elsie Tilney’s extraordinary acts of bravery were unearthed when Professor Sands discovered that his own mother Ruth Sands had been rescued from Vienna and escorted to safety in Paris by Elsie in July 1939. He worked with Dr Ros Codling, the Surrey Chapel archivist, to put together the story of Norwich’s own Holocaust hero. 

In 2015 at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London Elsie was honoured as 'Righteous Among the Nations' by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority. Elsie Tilney is one of only 21 British citizens to be honoured in this way. 

Philippe Sands said: “I couldn’t help but think the community she grew up in imbued her with these values. It made me think of Norwich in a certain way. It is a special community.”

Mr Sands has so far promoted the book in America, Australia, Mexico, Japan, South Africa, Hong King and China.
Article extracts from EDP24, read more here

Read our previous story about Elsie's heroism.

Do you appreciate our service and stories?

The Network Norwich & Norfolk website has been published for over 13 years now and we have an established team of professional journalists covering the activities, organisations and churches which make up the county’s Christian community. Our whole purpose is to support that community by daily providing accurate, unbiased stories and features.

To pay for that service, we rely on our partner organisations, advertisers and readers to, in turn, support us financially. We want to keep the website free for everyone to access and continue to be able to pay for writers to produce the content you can enjoy every day.

We would like to ask you to consider supporting our work and suggest you might want to make a small regular donation of just £1 a week and become one of our 100 Friends, or a larger one-off or annual amount.

Because we are part of a registered charity we can reclaim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a tax-payer.

 Recommended reading 
Site Search

 Norfolk services........ 


Twitter-button  facebookbutton


Sign up for our
free e-newsletter

Send us your latest local news and events