A man who came to Falmouth as a refugee in 1940 is trying to track down the people who offered his family support when they first arrived, because he wants to leave them a sizeable sum of money.

Louis Garnade, 89, came to the UK when his family fled the horrors of World War Two, and boarded a boat in Bordeaux that was bound for Falmouth.

When he arrived Louis, alongside his family, was taken to a cinema in the town for holding while their credentials were checked, as many people feared spies would come over with the refugees.

While in the cinema a group of kind-hearted women brought the refugees refreshments, and this kind gesture had such an impact on Louis that he remembers it to this day – and now wants to say thanks.

Louis, a retired press photographer initially from Brussels, Belgium, said: “It was in June, around the 21st, that I came over from Bordeaux onboard a Dutch ship called the Nigerstroom.

“We escaped from Brussels when Germany shot into Belgium and Holland in 1940, because my mother’s brother was in the first World War and did major slave labour in Germany.

“Mum and dad had three sons, I was the youngest, and my parents were determined that wouldn’t happen to us.

“We kept thinking the war would end and the Germans would be wiped off, but that didn’t happen so when we get to Bordeaux my dad said, ‘What should we do now?'

“We saw a ship in the harbour and they offered us a permit to get onboard, and we then went to get food and water for the journey.

“We zigzagged because of the submarines, and the journey took three and a half days, it wasn’t rough.

“We arrived in Falmouth and we all walked through to the cinema and then they sorted out whether people had passports to authenticate who they were, because everyone was worried that spies were on board.

“We were in the cinema for a day then all the Dutch people were put on a train to London to start a new life.

“While we were in the cinema some people gave us food and drinks to keep everyone’s spirits up.

“I feel like no one had a chance to thank them and now I’m 89 I think the time has come for someone to say thank you, what they did was smashing.

“They were the first people that I met in England and they were really nice.

“I was only there for 24 hours but that’s 24 hours I will never forget.

“Now I’d like to leave the organisation a donation. I can’t do anything to an individual, but I want to leave a sizeable charitable donation to those who helped me.”

Louis suspects that the women may have acted on behalf of the Women's Royal Voluntary Service, but the organisation were unable to confirm whether they were involved or not.

Do you know anyone who helped refugees in Falmouth in June, 1940? If you have any information please email John at the Packet on john.bett@packerseries.co.uk.