Search

American filmmaker on the search for Norfolk Second World War veterans

PUBLISHED: 14:31 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:52 02 October 2018

WWII veteran, Len Mann, being interview by American film maker Rishi Sharma.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

WWII veteran, Len Mann, being interview by American film maker Rishi Sharma. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

An American filmmaker is on a mission to document as many Second World War veterans as possible before they die.

WWII veteran, Len Mann, being interview by American film maker Rishi Sharma.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYWWII veteran, Len Mann, being interview by American film maker Rishi Sharma. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Rishi Sharma has come to the UK from South California in the search of combat veterans to interview.

The 20-year-old has spoken to more than 900 veterans across the USA and Canada before bringing his camera to Norfolk.

Mr Sharma said: “I’m just trying to find as many combat veterans in the UK as possible.

“The main reason I have come is to meet the veterans who went to Dunkirk and far east prisoners of war, those are two groups of veterans I am really interested in meeting, but just any combat veterans would be a pleasure.”

WWII veteran, Len Mann, being interview by American film maker Rishi Sharma.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYWWII veteran, Len Mann, being interview by American film maker Rishi Sharma. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr Sharma is planning to meet people around the UK for the next two weeks.

He first arrived in the Isle of Man, before heading to Liverpool, Aberdeen, London and Lowestoft before making his way to Norwich.

His love of studying the Second World War started when he was a child. He read memoirs of American veterans and from the age of 16 he started to find their phone numbers to set-up interviews.

After graduating from Agoura High School, in California, he made the decision not to go to University but instead to travel the world documenting veterans.

WWII veteran, Len Mann, being interview by American film maker Rishi Sharma.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYWWII veteran, Len Mann, being interview by American film maker Rishi Sharma. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

His search gained national attention in the states after being covered in the media. This lead to Mr Sharma being offered a number of grants that have allowed him to continue his work.

Mr Sharma added: “I would call veterans and it was such a cool feeling to actually talk to the people that I’m reading about.

“I then started writing to retirement homes and interviewing all the World War Two members.

“In the US they did a story which was run on Armistice Day which enabled me to receive Oral History Grants and thousands of people reached out to me.”

WWII veteran, Len Mann, being interview by American film maker Rishi Sharma.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYWWII veteran, Len Mann, being interview by American film maker Rishi Sharma. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr Sharma was in Norwich to interview Leonard Mann, 94, from Sprowston. He was 19 when he joined the war effort as part of the Devonshire Regiment.

He has lived in Norwich all his life and became a butcher after leaving the army.

He landed on the beach at Normandy before pushing over the Rhine and on to Germany.

To contact Mr Sharma go to www.heroesofthesecondworldwar.org or call 07746934163.

Other News

An 11-year-old girl who went missing from a holiday park in Caister has been found safe and well.

Suffolk Police have named a 56-year-old from Redisham in Suffolk as the missing swimmer.

just now

Hundreds of people came together to raise a glass to Britain’s greatest naval hero at the annual Trafalgar Day Service in Great Yarmouth.

22 minutes ago

Fly-tipping waste including a kitchen cabinet was among the rubbish picked up during a beach clean in Gorleston.

Most Read

Tue, 18:54

Four police officers were forced to sit on a man to get him under control during a dramatic arrest in Great Yarmouth.

Read more
Great Yarmouth Police
Mon, 10:09

American fast food chain Taco Bell is launching in Great Yarmouth and now its location has been revealed.

Read more
Jonathan Newman
Thu, 17:29

Two cars have been involved in a collision in Gorleston High Street.

Read more
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service
Mon, 13:40

A teenager has been charged after a woman in her 60s was assaulted on the Great Yarmouth market place.

Read more
Norwich Magistrates Court
Tue, 13:01

A teenager who was found with a flick knife shortly after a man was slashed across the neck in Great Yarmouth has been jailed.

Read more
Martin Ivory

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 9°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy