War had broken out in Europe, and now Britain was at war with Germany. Bella was a volunteer amulance driver in London. And one night the Red Cross held a benefit ball at the very fancy Dorchester Hotel to raise funds for the war, with guest of honor Winston Churchill.
Bella was invited to attend, along with several other ambulance drivers. The story goes that Bella, charming and resourceful, danced with Churchill. During their dance she told him about her brother, Alberto, who had fought Franco in the Spanish Civil War and been wounded, had escaped to France, and was now a refugee in Paris, desperately trying to join his sister in London, without success. She boldly asked him if he could help.
Incredibly, within a few weeks, her brother got to London from war-torn Europe. Within a year he had met and married a volunteer named Clarissa teaching English to foreign refugees like himself.
Did Churchill facilitate my dad's escape to England? I enjoy thinking that Bella was ultimately responsible for bringing my father and mother together.
Neil Costa [Sobrino]