Tribute to William Martin, 'The Man Who Never Was', on the 80th anniversary of the appearance of his body

Tribute to William Martin, 'The Man Who Never Was', on the 80th anniversary of the appearance of his body

Major William Martin

William Martin’s grave in the Soledad Cemetery.Huelva City Hall

The mayor of Huelva, Gabriel Cruz, the mayoress of Punta Umbría, Aurora Águedo, Leopoldo Sánchez Pallarés, president of the Major William Martin association, and an English delegation headed by Sarah Cowley, Minister Counselor of the British Embassy in Madrid, have participated in the traditional act where h surrendershomage in the cemetery to William Martin, ‘The man who never existed’, and that this year marks the 80th anniversary of the appearance of his corpse.

The act coincided with the premiere of the Marking Plan for the Tomb of William Martin in the La Soledad Cemetery –developed by the Department of Tourism, Promotion of Huelva Abroad and the University–, which has included the installation of a monolith with an information panel at the entrance, a plaque on the tomb itself and the signposting of the route, with eight indications marking the access path to the tomb.

In addition, it is indicated in a statement, the city already has ‘William Martin’ street “the man who never existed but who managed from Huelva to change the course of the Second World War“, granted by the City Council in 2022 to pay tribute to this unique British figure.

80 years ago – 30th April 1943. Operation MINCEMEAT was put into action. At 4:15 AM off the coast of Huelva, Spain, the British submarine HMS Seraph surfaced to deposit the body of ‘Major William Martin’, Royal Marines, in the sea. Attached to his belt was a briefcase containing…

— Jamie McTrusty (@JamieMctrusty) April 30, 2023

As the mayor pointed out this Sunday, “this event marked a turn in the history of the world from Huelva that we keep very much alive, after 80 years, remembering Major William Martin since 1943 and the decisive role it played in the development of contemporary history the figure of this Briton, whose grave can be visited in the La Soledad cemetery, where we have expanded the information so that all citizens are aware of this extraordinary event”.

In addition, with a street sign “we do justice to this British subject and continue to make progress in our task of value the British Legacyas a sign of Huelva identity, a tangible and intangible heritage that British culture gave us Huelva people, its influence on our customs, our way of seeing and organizing life, its logistical and business means, its infrastructures, even part of their language in a mix with the languages ​​of our province that have enriched our vocabulary”.

For this reason, Gabriel Cruz has assured, “we have to take advantage of this heritage, which is one of our greatest potentials and it is more than ever necessary that we get to know it, explore it, and use it for what it is: one of the most interesting vehicles for teaching to the world the greatness and wealth of the capital and its province”.

The incredible history by William Martin has also been brought to the big screen.

The president of the Major William Martin AssociationLeopoldo Sánchez Pallarés, stressed that the intention is to “continue working to promote cultural, sports and urban projects with which spread the story of William Martin, as we are currently doing with a cycle of talks in schools for schoolchildren; the cultural days, the William Martin regatta, which began in 2018 and other activities for the conservation, protection and dissemination of British heritage in its entirety”.

The mystery of the appearance of the corpse by William Martin gave the Huelva capital a leading role in universal history, by hosting an operation that played a relevant role and that still continues to arouse a lot of interest inside and outside our borders, with all the incentives to use it as a tourist resource linked to culture , an expanding formula that offers great economic benefits at the local level.

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