Search

St John’s Wood banker to recreate daring WWII raid for Royal Marines charity

PUBLISHED: 09:28 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:18 07 December 2017

Keith is doing the challenge to raise awareness of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust

Keith is doing the challenge to raise awareness of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust

Archant

A St. John’s Wood fund manager is attempting to recreate a daring Second World War commando raid in France, 75 years on, to raise awareness for some armed forces charities.

Keith Breslauer and disabled former Royal Marines will begin the challenge on December 7Keith Breslauer and disabled former Royal Marines will begin the challenge on December 7

Keith Breslauer, from Elm Tree Road is a patron of the Prince’s Teaching Institute and the Royal Hasler Company, a rehabilitation centre for members of the armed forces, named after one of the survivors of the original Operation Frankton raid, Herbert ‘Blondie’ Hasler.

Founder of Patron Capital, Mr Breslauer, along with several disabled former Royal Marines set off on December 5, attempting to do the same route undertaken by their forebears 75 years ago.

During Operation Frankton, a group of Royal Marines attempted to kayak 85-miles up the Gironde river, in France, to Bordeaux. Once there they were to attach limpet mines to cargo ships, and escape overland to Spain.

The group will trace the 100-mile walk that Mr Hasler, and fellow survivor Bill Sparks took to get to Ruffec, where they made contact with the resistance.

Of the ten men that attempted the raid in December 1942, only two survived. Six were captured and killed by the Germans, the other two died from hypothermia.

According to father-of-four Mr Breslauer, who has previously kayaked the reverse of the D-Day landings route from Normandy to Portsmouth, despite its failure, it still had its positives.

“It did a really important thing. It inspired the locals to resist and it was used as a positive message for the public and military.

“They argued that for D-Day they were able to re-organise their plans in reaction to what happened,” he said.

Despite his previous charity exploits, he admits this will be one of his toughest yet. “It will be hard, but you can’t feel too bad when a guy with a prosthetic limb is right next to you.”

Dr Tom Keene, who has done research into Operation Frankton will be accompanying the group on part of the journey and giving lectures at various points along the 100 mile walk.

Fitness fanatic Mr Breslauer, former chairman St John’s Wood synagogue, is training hard as he gets closer to December 7.

The trip will raise awareness of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust. “I come from a family big on doing things for others, and because I can do that, I do,” he said.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

15:35

Wage cuts for nurses covering sick leave and other increases in demand at Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital have been postponed after workers threatened to cancel shifts en masse.

15:00

Brexit uncertainty is one reason for a slowdown in Camden house prices, said a leading estate agent after new data showed that property values in the borough fell 0.8 per cent in August and 2.1pc in the last 12 months.

14:05

Tickets for a public meeting into the future of the Phoenix Cinema have sold out within days of it being announced.

13:57

Mitzvah Day volunteers from Hampstead were among those taking part in Sewa Day – a Hindu day of community action – in Kingsbury, Brent this weekend.

10:29

As part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, Haringey Police have been engaging with the community to raise awareness of the importance of reporting abuse and discrimination.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Community groups are celebrating after the owners of the “landmark” Alliance pub in West Hampstead had planning permission for extensive remodelling and redevelopment refused.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Twenty-five people, including eleven in Camden, have been charged with drugs offences after two-days of dawn raids in Camden, Islington, Brent and Lambeth.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Sardonic, sarcastic and funny are three of the words that have been used to describe the late-SOAS lecturer and King’s Cross local Prof Lawrence Saez, who died at the beginning of September.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now