Franciscus Van de Gender inquest: Body of former anti-Nazi freedom fighter found on island in Thames — (The Mirror)

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The Mirror

By Damien Fletcher

The body of a former freedom fighter in Nazi-occupied Holland was found naked and washed up on an island in the River Thames, an inquest heard.

Franciscus Van de Gender, 91, had disappeared from home in the middle of the night a month earlier.

A coroner heard how the once-strapping man had been struggling with ill-health following an operation and was on anti-depressants.

His daughter Mieka, 56, said it was a “mystery” how he managed to leave the house in November without his deaf wife, 83, noticing.

She said: “I would not have thought he was capable of getting into the car, let alone driving it.”

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Phillips heard the former pastry chef and confectioner, who had worked at Fortnum & Mason in London and lived in Woodley, Berkshire, may have suffered a “medical episode” and fallen into the river.

Verdict: Accident