A retired actress who has spent six years documenting her family's escape from Nazi Germany says she believes everyone should take the time to write their story.
Recently-published author and grandmother-of-six Renee Tyack, from Brentford, is celebrating after completing They Called her Cassandra, a family history of how her Jewish parents survived persecution and successfully brought their young family to England.
"I sort of promised my mother I'd write this book some day," said Ms Tyack, of Lionel Road. "I think it is very important that stories like this are recorded.
"People are endlessly fascinating and unique. I encourage everyone to speak to their parents and grandparents and take down their stories while they have the chance."
Ms Tyack was born in Leipzig, east Germany, in 1934, and her autobiographical work combines her own memories of the family's ordeal with accounts from her surgeon father, Fred Bergmann, and her mother, Ruth.
Dr Bergmann's treatment was unusual because he was able to continue his work, under house arrest, even after many other Jewish doctors had been banned from practising.
But as the net tightened the family made the decision to flee to Britain, with the help of the Quakers, only narrowly escaping the tragic fate of millions of German Jews.
"Obviously, it was an incredibly difficult time for all of us but I was only five when we fled and Freddie was three years younger so my parents worked very hard to shelter us from what was happening," said Ms Tyack.
"Luckily, I have their letters and accounts from that time and of the months my father spent in an internment camp once we arrived.
"Later my mother often spoke about what happened. She told all my children and grandchildren so they would know and I think she'd be very pleased about this book."
Ms Tyack, who has lived in Brentford since the 1970s, worked as an actress and later a teacher before retiring in 2002.
She joined a creative-writing class and began researching the book, which has now been published by Book Guild Publishers.
It is available in book shops and online and Ms Tyack is already half way through her next work - a novel based loosely on her life as a housewife in the 1950s.