Facing down the enemy – a young woman’s courage

It's International Women's Day, and it seems apt to celebrate Rike, who displayed remarkable courage on many occasions, not least when defending her home from invading Russian troops in 1945. Her story seems remarkably and sadly relevant today. Here's some of her story (taken from Loving the Enemy: building bridges in a time of war). … Continue reading Facing down the enemy – a young woman’s courage

Press release – “Loving the Enemy: building bridges in a time of war”

Next month, debutant author, Andy March releases the biography of his grandparents, Englishman Fred Clayton and German woman Rike Büttner-Wobst from Dresden, Germany, who rose above extreme suffering and defied the hatred and enmity of warring nations to build an enduring bridge of love. Andy March is a vicar in Coventry, who travelled as part … Continue reading Press release – “Loving the Enemy: building bridges in a time of war”

Coming soon … “Loving the Enemy: Building bridges in a time of war” – can you help?

It's been five years in the making, but on 6th November, "Loving the Enemy: Building bridges in a time of war" will finally be published. It's been an immense privilege to discover and and write the story of my grandparents, Fred and Rike, for theirs is a story that deserves to be told - one … Continue reading Coming soon … “Loving the Enemy: Building bridges in a time of war” – can you help?

The death of Götz Büttner-Wobst, 80 years on

Today, 21st September, is the 80th anniversary of the death of my great-uncle Götz, who became one of the first casualties of the 2nd World War. He was just 18.  Here is the story, as featured in my as-yet unpublished book, "Dreams of Dresden", which tells the true story of Rike and Fred, my remarkable grandparents. … Continue reading The death of Götz Büttner-Wobst, 80 years on

The bombing of Dresden – the nightmares come true

On 13 February 1945 Dresden was destroyed by Allied bombs. British and American planes brought death from the sky. 25,000 perished. This had a traumatic impact on both of my grandparents, Fred and Rike. Fred loved Dresden and the people of Dresden, and he had prophetic nightmares that the city would be destroyed by fire … Continue reading The bombing of Dresden – the nightmares come true

Building bridges and living reconciliation

2019 marks 60 years since Coventry and Dresden became twin cities. As part of the celebrations I was so pleased to be invited to come and read excerpts of “Dreams of Dresden” at the Kreuzkirche, Dresden yesterday (11th February) for their service, Prayer for Peace. Andy March traces the life of his grandfather Frederick Clayton. … Continue reading Building bridges and living reconciliation

“The redeeming act of my life” – the Kindertransport 80 years on

In 1934 Fred Clayton visited Vienna to brush up  on his German and to take in the culture of that city.  He stayed with a Jewish widow and her sons. Little did he know that this visit would shape his life.  They lost touch after some time, but then, after Kristalnacht in November 1938, he … Continue reading “The redeeming act of my life” – the Kindertransport 80 years on