'Of course that's my Horace in photo of Himmler'
The widow of a prisoner of war says historians have got it wrong when they say a photograph of a soldier defiantly confronting Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler is not her late husband.
Hollywood producers are in the early stages of creating a film to tell the story of Horace Greasley, a Second World War soldier from Ibstock who repeatedly risked his life to be with his German sweetheart, Rosa.
When his obituary was published in The Telegraph in 2010, it included a striking photograph of Himmler – head of the SS, which ran the Nazi extermination camps – facing a PoW.
Since then, historians and researchers have disputed that it is Horace in the picture, most recently in a story in last week's Sunday Times Magazine.
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But his wife Brenda says she has no doubts that it is him.
"I'm sorry, but I just know it is," she said.
"I recognise his chest, his shoulders, his body.
"I have another picture of my husband at the time with no shirt on – a hard copy of it – and it matches the one of him with Himmler.
"If you study the photo of Horace with Himmler and the snapshot I have, and you look at the brow, and the nose, there's no getting away from it, it's most definitely Horace and I won't have it any other way.
"I mean, if anybody should know what my husband looks like without a shirt on, I should!"
Horace was a private with the 2nd/5th Leicestershire Regiment when he was captured on May 25, 1940, during the British retreat towards Dunkirk on the French coast.
He was held in a number of prisoner of war camps in what is now Poland and the Czech Republic, including one in Silesia, then part of eastern Germany, where he struck up a secret relationship with the quarry director's daughter, Rosa.
The pair continued to meet until Horace was liberated in 1945.
Hollywood producers became aware of the gripping story following the publication of the controversial photograph.
However, historian and journalist Guy Walters told the Mercury he "had no doubt whatsoever" that the soldier in the picture was not Horace, as he says it was taken in a different part of the world.
"One reason is the caption – this picture is held by the US National Archives and the caption details show clearly it was taken in Minsk (in Belarus) in mid-1941," said Guy, who has written books about PoWs.
"Secondly, we know the picture was compiled by a photographer for the Heinrich Hoffman firm.
"That is a picture of a Russian and he is wearing a Soviet army cap."
He also said the visit captured in the photograph features in a film shot in Minsk.
"The officers in that picture are the same officers with Himmler in the film," Guy said.
"It is absolutely impossible that the figure in that picture is Horace."
Despite his arguments, Brenda remains certain the picture is of her late husband.
She said Horace had told her that men from several different countries were in the camps and that they often wore other caps or uniforms.
"He said he remembered it happening. He remembered walking up to the fence and asking for more food and showing his ribs," Brenda said.
"They don't always get it right these historians, you know – they weren't there."