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Artefact of the Month

HE FOUGHT FOR THE GERMANS AND THE BRITISH

Born in Berlin, Germany in 1898, Henry Hans Ernst Marwede was brought up by his grandmother and excelled at school in science and languages.

In 1916 he volunteered for the German Army Air Force and qualified as a fighter pilot. He achieved 12 victories against the Allies and was decorated with the Iron Cross. Towards the end of the First World War he was shot down and became a prisoner of war. Repatriated in 1919, he studied for six years at Berlin University where he achieved a Doctorate for research into electronic emissions. On leaving university he became a director of several companies and set up his own company which manufactured optical projection apparatus. In 1934 he decided he could not accept the political climate in Germany and left for Paris, from where he continued to run his business.

In 1939 he was listed for internment by the French but managed to avoid imprisonment by joining the French Foreign Legion where he became its chief electrical instructor in Morocco, North Africa. In 1943 the British Army recruited him and he became a vehicle and plant manager, serving with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers throughout the Italian campaign.

After the Second World War he became a British subject and resurrected his business interests. His last years were spent along the coast from Tangmere at Southwick. He was the last surviving Luftwaffe pilot from the Great War until he died in 1994.

MUSEUM VISITORS CAN SEE MORE ON THE ‘MARWEDE STORY’ IN A CABINET IN THE MUSEUM’S MIDDLE HALL.

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