Nightingale Road

Nightingale Road hostel was on a residential street in Clapton, east London. The hostel functioned from June 1946 until mid-1948 and it was home to 40 of the Boys. The house was bought by Zionist youth movement HeChalutz and was originally used to accommodate Kindertransport children.


The property is now divided up into flats.


David Herman recalls that the hostel was “a very lively place, always noisy, and with lots of activities going on.” Jewish philanthropist Leonard Montefiore, one of the founders of the CBF and the organiser of the Boys’ journey to Britain, was a frequent visitor.

The hostel closed in mid-1948 but the Boys located were reluctant to leave. Herman admits that he, Icu Sunog, Mick Zwirek and Jack Bayer refused to move out and returned home from work one day to find the hostel boarded up and their bags packed. They broke in through a window and slept there. The following day, they were met by local police who escorted them to new lodgings.

The Boys

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The Staff

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The hostel was run by Wolfgang David Gordon, who had worked in the Windermere reception centre, and his wife Bianca.

David Gordon had come to the UK before the Second World War from Berlin in Germany.