A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. ~Christopher Reeve
In May 1940, Nazi Germany marched into France. Within a month, France had fallen to the might of the Third Reich. With France occupied by the enemy, England was in danger. Now, only 21 miles at the narrowest point (150 miles at the farthest point) separated England from this deadly foe. Something had to be done. In June 1940, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) was established. Their mission was espionage; undercover operatives would subvert and sabotage the Nazi regime by blowing up bridges, factories, and trains, as well as cultivate local resistance and guerrilla warfare.
On this day, 27 December 1381, Edmund de Mortimer passed away. He was my 20th great-grandfather.
Born on 1 February 1352, Edmund was the son of Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March, and Philippa, daughter of William Montagu, 1st Earl of Salisbury, and Catherine Grandison.
When Edmund was only an infant, his father died. At that time, Edmund became a ward of the crown, which indicated that his mother had already died (possibly in childbirth or soon thereafter). Edward III (my 21st great-grandfather through his son Thomas of Woodstock, my 22nd great-grandfather through his son Lionel of Antwerp of Clarence, my three-times 19th and three-times 20th great-grandfather through his son John of Gaunt, and my 20th great-grandfather through his son Edmund of Langley) placed baby Edmund in the care of William of Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England, and Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel (my 21st great-grandfather through his granddaughter Alianore Holland and my 20th great-grandfather through his granddaughter Margaret Holland).
On 7 December 1295, Gilbert “The Red” de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford, 7th Earl of Gloucester, 3rd Lord of Glamorgan, 9th Lord of Clare, passed away. He was my 23rd great-grandfather through his daughter Eleanor, my 24th great-grandfather through his daughter Elizabeth, and my 22nd great-grandfather through his daughter Margaret. He was also my 24th great-uncle through his sister Rohese “Rose” de Clare (my 23rd great-grandmother).
Gilbert de Clare was born on 2 September 1243, at Christchurch, Hampshire. He was the son of Richard de Clare, Earl of Hertford and Gloucester, and of Maud de Lacy, Countess of Lincoln.