Category Archives: Passings

Bernard Lewis, Influential Scholar of Islam, Is Dead at 101

Bernard Lewis, an eminent historian of Islam who traced the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to a declining Islamic civilization, a controversial view that influenced world opinion and helped shape American foreign policy under President George W. Bush, died on Saturday in Voorhees Township, N.J. He was 101.

His longtime partner, Buntzie Churchill, confirmed the death, at a retirement facility.


‘Angel of Dieppe’ – Nun who stood up to Nazi soldiers to save British and Canadian soldiers’ lives dies

A French Augustian nun who became known as ‘the Angel of Dieppe’ for saving the lives of numerous British and Canadian troops following the disastrous Dieppe Raid during World War II has died at the age of 103.

On one occasion Sister Marie-Agnès Valois stood between a Nazi officer brandishing a pistol and a Canadian soldier and told the German if he shot the young man the bullet ‘would have to go through me’.

Another time she was asked by a wounded man to kiss him the same way his mother would have done. She granted his request just before he died.


Anna Chennault: ‘Steel butterfly’ who charmed US and China

To the Americans, she was a staunch anti-communist. But to the Chinese, she was a renowned war hero’s widow. And to the Taiwanese, she was a key lobbyist who ensured vital US support.

Born in 1923 in Beijing to well-educated and wealthy parents, she attended university in Hong Kong and later became a reporter for a Chinese news agency.

In 1944, she received the assignment that would change her life. She was sent to Kunming to interview US Maj Gen Claire Chennault, the leader of the Flying Tigers volunteer group of US pilots who battled against Japanese planes to protect China.