Bill Simpson

Bill Simpson a Lieutenant escaped in December 1943 with another Lieutenant, John Furnam and Joe Pollak a Czechoslovakian Jew and was brought to The Monsignor in Rome.

Furman and Simpson had been good friends with Sam Derry  when they were in the prisoner-of-war camp together.

Furman, Simpson and Pollak became involved in the organisation immediately and took over the risky job of guiding escapees to locations and delivering food supplies and clothes.

One of the many duties executed by Furman and Simpson was the distribution of turkeys, wine, cigarettes and special parcels at Christmas.

He commented of O'Flaherty's room:

"it was crammed with hundreds of small parcels, all wrapped in gaily coloured paper and tied with red silk ribbon"

When Furman and Pollak were arrested the delivery work fell to Simpson.

With Simpson's profile he was warned not to spend two successive nights anywhere. On 18th April, 1944 he was arrested while staying with the American Lieutenant, Dukate and taken to Regina Coeli prison. He had an identity of William O'Flynn, an Irish citizen employed in the Vatican library.  His release had been negotiated but he could not be located due to his false identity.

Simpson walked to freedom on the 30th May, 1944 when the prison gates were opened on the departure of the Germans.

Bill Simpson wrote a book called 'A Vatican Lifeline' who he dedicated to "those who beyond rational explanation rose during the Nazi occupation from submission to heroism without leaving home"