While doing research for our exhibition last year Madeleine Resühr, one of our dedicated church wardens, became more than a little interested in the story of Mabel Wulff, who was caretaker of our church from 1924 until the late 1960s.
We knew very little about her – only that she was born in Newport, Wales, had a German husband and had saved the church from burning down during WWII when she put out the fires caused by incendiary bombs. Mabel Wulff was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1956 for her meritorious service during the war.
And so I started to look for her. I finally tracked her down in the town where she had been born as she had returned to Newport in the late ‘60s after her husband Max died. With the help of the Registry Office in Newport I was gradually able to piece together her story and found out from her marriage certificate who her husband was and could search for his background here in Hamburg. I also learned that they had two sons before WWI and came to Hamburg soon after the end of that war.
I was eventually able to contact Mabel’s grandson, Eddie Wulff, who still lives in Newport and he kindly shared with me stories and some wonderful old family photographs. She and Max endured many hardships and personal tragedy, often caught up in the political turmoil and the wars between their two countries.
Madeleine felt Mabel’s story should be told and you will find it in the booklet: Two Countries – Two wars, The English Church in Hamburg and an indomitable caretaker. Mabel Wulff, B.E.M.
The booklet is available in church for €6. All proceeds go to the church. Please see Madeleine in person or email us if you would like a copy.