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First British soldier to step into Hitler's bunker dies at 93

Hugh Lunghi, from Fleet, was one of the last surviving participants of the 'Big Three' meetings and had been an interpreter for Winston Churchill

Hugh Lunghi has died aged 93

A Fleet man thought to have been the first British soldier to have entered Hitler’s Berlin bunker has died aged 93.

Hugh Lunghi, who died on Friday March 14, was one of the last surviving participants of the “Big Three” meetings, interpreting for Churchill and other British officials in top level talks.

He worked at the Tehran and Yalta conferences between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and in July 1945 was in Berlin for the Potsdam conference between Harry Truman and Stalin.

Soviet troops guarding Hitler’s bunker in Berlin allowed Mr Lunghi to take a look.

Mr Lunghi was born on August 3 1920 at the British Legation in Persia, where his father, Phillip, was economic adviser. When he was 10 months old the family returned to Britain, where he learned Russian from his Anglo-Russian mother, Helena.

Mr Lunghi first married Helen Kaplan, with whom he had a daughter. He later married Renée Banks in April 1950. She died in 1992 and he is survived by their three daughters.

In 1960, the family moved to Fleet, where Mr Lunghi was a long-standing member of the church for many years at St Phillip & St James and also at All Saints.

A memorial service will be held at St Phillip and St James Church on March 29 at 10am.

See Thursday's News & Mail for a full obituary.

 
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