A Skegness family who have suffered over 60 years of abuse and ridicule over their Grandfather's conviction and execution for treason have been told by the MoD that it was 'All A Big Mistake'.
Records show a 'warning' shot had been fired by Private Harold Major in an ambush on a German Patrol Unit, giving them ample warning and saving their lives. It was 6 hours before the end of the Second World War and Harry had seen capture as a way of saving his own unit's lives.
Having German Grandparents, Harry was fluent in German, and in a 4 hour stand-off had successfully negotiated the surrender to the Nazi's, all the time having his rifle ready for action.
They had been stuck behind enemy lines for 4 months, and it was only a matter of time before they were caught or killed. Harry's brave actions had surprised the Germans as 28 well armed soldiers surrendered. They could easily have killed all of the German Unit, but they were weak and tired, but more importantly they were all alive!
Harry promised the men they'd be well looked after, (which they were), and a few hours later, without even stepping foot in a PoW camp, they were released.
Harry had been seen as a traitor and a spy by the top brass, and faced the firing squad. All the bullets aimed at him missed and senior Officers had rifles turned on them if they even touched Harry. He was tied to a tree and left for the Germans to find.
Feeling like he could not return to Britain, he settled in Berlin and worked night and day as an Architect rebuilding the war-torn country. His work never went un-noticed and he was elected as an Ambassador for Germany, and was given German Nationality even though he was still classed as British.
Even though Harry died aged 70, and a respected soldier on both sides of the conflict, the Prime Minister was more concerned about what team he supported in the World Cup.