Brave June Honoured at Last for Defying the Nazis; Warwickshire Woman Who Sheltered Jewish Man Hailed as a Hero of the Holocaust - 26 Years after Her Death

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Byline: Helen Thomas

A BRAVE Warwickshire woman who protected a Jewish man during the Second World War was yesterday posthumously honoured for her courage.

June Ravenhall, who died in 1984, was recognised as a Hero of the Holocaust at a ceremony in Downing Street.

A silver medallion, inscribed with the words 'In the Service of Humanity', was presented in her name, along with 26 other heroes.

Two were able to accept their awards in person, while the rest were presented posthumously. Mrs Ravenhall, whose first name was Elsie but was known as June, was born in Kenilworth and moved to Holland as a young woman with her husband Les. The couple started a business in The Hague and had three children, Margaret, June and Ron.

When the Second World War broke out, her husband was arrested and taken to a camp in Poland, while the rest of the family moved to Hilversum in the north of the country.

Mrs Ravenhall was approached by the Dutch Resistance and asked to hide a young Jewish journalist called Levi Velleman. She agreed and he lived with the family for three years. Next door to the house was an isolation hospital for people with TB and whenever Germans raided the Ravenhalls' home, Levi would sneak out of the back window and hide in the hospital.

After the war the family lost touch with Me Velleman, but Mrs Ravenhall's daughter June did meet up with him years later. …