Born in Lvov, Poland, at the beginning of World War I, Henry Barclay’s youth was happily spent in the warmth of his Jewish family. When increasing anti-Semitism threatened their happy life, Henry was excited at being accepted to study in France, although sad at leaving his family behind. Storm clouds were gathering when his father visited him in Paris in 1937, but neither knew it would be the last time they would see each other. Henry’s beloved parents were later shot in the street in Cracow.
The war years saw Henry join the French Foreign Legion, train in Sidi bel Abbes, venture to Casablanca, and eventually leave the Legion to return to France. Fearing the arm of the Vichy Government’s anti-Semitism, he fled from Marseille across the border to Spain, was incarcerated for a time and finally shipped to Britain.
In London, despite the blitz, he was finally able to live and work as a free man. The promise of a better life brought him and his new bride to Melbourne, where he continues to live as one of the true quiet achievers.