These are The Telegraph's offerings, in the main. They tell us about England's very best and some others too. They care sometimes. The rest might or might not. There are more at Obituaries.
Rob Ford - Canadian Politician & Fun Loverob looks like a jovial soul. He was, he had fun, living for the moment & to Devil with the consequences. He makes one think better of a big country. The voters warmed to him and his high jinks; it was just the prigs, preachers and bores.
Major General Eberhardy MC
Spoke Malay & some Japanese, Judoka, Kendoka, fencing champion. Stood down from Arnhem, fought in Java, Palestine & Korea. Commanded 2 PARA. Join the Army and see the world.
Brigadier Stewart-Richardson Departs
Brigadier Peter 'Scrubber' Stewart-Richardson
Soldier and adventurer who built clinics in Afghanistan and was roughed up by the Taliban
Brigadier Peter "Scrubber" Stewart-Richardson, who has died aged 89, was a decorated Guards officer, a commander of a parachute company and an intrepid aid worker for the charitable organisation that he founded.
When Stewart-Richardson retired from the Army in 1981, his original plan was to join the Afghan Mujahideen in their fight against the Soviet invaders. But the British authorities would not give him security clearance and it was not until some time after the Soviet Union pulled out its forces that he was able to go to Afghanistan.........
In 1967 he took command of 10th (Volunteer) Bn The Parachute Regiment (10 PARA), based at White City, London. Attachment to 3 Para resulted in him becoming known to many in the Airborne Forces and he channelled his energies into ensuring that his unit could fight alongside its counterparts in the Regular Army....... Besides his courage and dedication to helping people, he was a kind and inspiring leader. [ Believe that if you want - Editor ].
Scruuber commanded 10 PARA; he was known, not loved.
Jack Chaffer MM RSM
From boy soldier, through the Second World War to the Tower of London he did well.
Lieutenant Commander Freddie Martin
He flew as an observer, nearly getting to attack the Tirpitz.
He did his real soldiering with a Sten gun, in Korea where cold meant very cold. Germany and Ireland came later. The Baader-Meinhof lot wanted him dead.
Major-General John Chester
Was in Borneo during the Confrontation. Ireland and the Falklands came later. He did rather well there it seems.
Group Captain Allan-Wright
The Last of The Few? What does he think about saving England, only to see it betrayed by The Enemy Within? His squadron destroyed 123 enemy aircraft.
Sir Mervyn Davies MC
Welshman in the London Irish, when they had a rather strange hat. Did well.
Major James Dunning
With the Commandoes. On the successful Lofoten raid. He survived Dieppe and Boulogne.
Robert Conquest - Historian Of Evil
Robert Conquest, historian - obituary
Historian who played a leading role in stiffening western resolve in the Cold War by chronicling the horrors of Soviet communism
Robert Conquest, the writer on Soviet Russia who has died aged 98, was a polemicist and a serious, published poet; but above all he was an historian, one of the outstanding scholars of his time, whose books did as much as any other man’s to alter our view of the communist experience.
Conquest personified the truth that there was no anti-communist so dedicated as an ex-communist. His career illustrated also what the Italian writer Ignazio Silone, another former communist, meant when he said to the communist leader Palmiro Togliatti that “the final battle” of the 20th century would have to be fought between the two sides they represented.
An honest man who told the truth while the BBC lied.
Squadron Leader Les Munro - The Last Dambuster Pilot
Squadron Leader Les Munro, who has died aged 96, was the last surviving pilot to have taken part on the Dambusters raid, which attacked the Ruhr Dams in May 1943.
Munro’s Lancaster was one of the first to take off on the night of May 16. Their target was the Sorpe Dam. Flying at very low level over the Dutch island of Vlieland, the bomber was badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire. The radios and electrical system were disabled but, crucially, so was the intercommunication system between members of the crew. Without this it was impossible to carry out the precise attack from a height of 60 feet, so with great reluctance, Munro turned for his home base at Scampton, near Lincoln, still with his “bouncing bomb” on board.
The raid against the Ruhr dams was successful, with the main targets, the Mohne and Eder Dams, both breached. But the cost was high with eight of the 19 Lancasters failing to return, with the loss of 53 airmen. The leader of the operation, Wing Commander Guy Gibson, was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Do we deserve men like him? Do we deserve politicians like the traitor Cameron?
Kyril Zinovieff - Russian Émigré
Kyril Zinovieff, who has died aged 104, was a first-generation Russian émigré who served in the British Army, spent his working life as a British civil servant, and became an acclaimed translator of works by Russian writers; as a child he caught sight of a laughing Rasputin and remembered Tsarist officers being shot outside his bedroom window in 1917 during the Russian Revolution............
Although the family fled into exile after the Revolution, when Kyril was seven years old, both he and Elena retained vivid memories of the last days of Tsarism — including a chance encounter with the “Mad Monk”, Grigori Rasputin, in 1916. Kyril recalled how, when walking in St Petersburg with their nurse, they saw a tall figure in black, “white teeth gleaming in a black expanse of beard”, emerge from a carriage. “ 'Look,’ said my nurse, 'Rasputin — smiling at us!’, ” Zinovieff recalled. “ 'Who,’ I asked, 'is Rasputin?’ ” By the end of the year Rasputin was dead, murdered by nobles who hoped to save Tsarism by ending his sway over the royal family. It did no good: A few months later the Bolshevik Revolution put an end to the imperial regime.
An interesting life.
Norman Poole 1 SAS
Jumped into France on D Day. Had a lively time of it.
The Dowager Marchioness Of Reading
Races stock cars and praised the heroism of the English football hooligan.
The Dowager Marchioness of Reading, who has died aged 96, was a society beauty of the 1930s and 1940s and a woman of independent spirit.
She was one of the first British women to get a pilot’s licence, competed on the prewar stock car racing circuit, and became a rally driver in the 1950s. In later life she became a campaigner for animal rights and an outspoken English nationalist.
As Harold Brooks-Baker, the former publishing director of Burke’s Peerage, once observed, Margot Reading had views “diametrically opposed to most sane people”. At no time was this more clear than in 1998 when, after the maverick Tory politician Alan Clark paid tribute to the “martial spirit” of English football supporters who had gone on the rampage in Marseille, she wrote a letter to The Spectator in which she observed: “We are a nation of yobs. Now we don’t have a war, what’s wrong with a good punch-up?”
In a later interview she elaborated on her views. “I love England so much and I just feel that the so-called hooligans are just sort of over-enthusiastic. How is it that we conquered the world and that our armies went over the top? It is because we are a nation of fighters … What an English tough guy does is to fight with his fists, which is a good clean fight… With so many milksops, and Left-wing liberals and wetties around, I just rejoice in the fact that there are people who keep up our historic spirit.”
What a sound lass.
Joshua Leakey VC
Happily, this one is not posthumous. He is a lance corporal of 1 PARA who saw action in Helmand.
Jerry Wiggin MP
Was all right, a major in the Royal Yeomanry.
Jumped with 9 PARA on to the Merville Battery on D Day.
Lee Kuan Yew
Ran Singapore rather well.
Squadron Leader Sweetman
Was a New Zealander who knocked out several V1s.
Professor Miller Palaeontologist
Professor Terence Miller was there on D Day and at Arnhem with the Parachute Regiment. Ian Smith didn't like him because of his attitude to blacks in Rhodesia. The Marxists didn't either.
Sonia d'Artois - SOE
She jumped into France to help les Maquisards, moved weapons, explosives, information, whatever.
Was a good time girl, a friend of Christine Keeler at the time of the Profumo affair, who survived unscathed, married a Jew and became a business woman.
John Maling MC
His father got a VC so it must be in the blood.
Anne Sorby ex MI6, ex SOE
She was with SOE out East helping very profitable black market operations. Seeing peasants crucified for stealing grain failed to amuse.
Sir Arthur Bonsall
Was a Bletchley man, then the boss of GCHQ. Did he know what was going on? Believe it. Did he babble? Presumably not.
Tommy Macpherson MC
Sir Thomas “Tommy” Macpherson, who has died aged 94, was awarded three Military Crosses, three Croix de Guerre (two Palms and Star), and several Papal and Italian medals during the Second World War; he subsequently had a successful career in business. He was also a first class athlete with a good brain, whence languages & and interesting time. It was not all fun though.
Tommy Collett RSM Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders MM
Abandoned by the American artillery in Korea, attacked by Allied aircraft, withdrawing was the option but not fun. An officer would have gotten much better than an MM. It is one of the worst things about the British Army.
Pierre Ryckmans was a writer who came under attack when he exposed the brutal reality of China’s Cultural Revolution to the West
Socialists hate the truth. When one of their false gods is exposed they move on to another. Mao came after Joe Stalin. Then it was Pot. Now? God knows.
She was part of Society. Helping the founders of Private Eye was one thing she did.
Wing-Commander Bob Foster
He flew in the Battle of Britain and Australia against Japs. He did well.
Tanky Challenor or as ARRSE put it Soldier Copper And Nutter
Tanky was with 2 SAS in Italy blowing up trains, escaping, causing havoc. As a policeman in Soho he took the war to the enemy, which was one reason why they put him in a lunatic asylum. We could do with more like him.
Tresham Gregg, Colonel of 3 RTR
Born in Dublin, educated in South Africa, lived in Germany, fluent in German. Heard little Adolf speak. Made Dunkirk, Greece, captured in Libya, escaped often, led partisans in Italy. He did things.
Mad Jack Churchill
Went to war with sword, bow and bagpipes. He got maybe the last operational kill with an arrow. He was a first class archer.
Bob was with the Home Guard, the secret part of it. They were tasked to stay behind after the Wehrmacht had invaded. The job was sabotage. It was quite a big outfit. At the time ALL records were destroyed to prevent them being compromised.
Mikhail Kalashnikov Dies Aged 94 RIP [ 24 December 2013 ]
Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov designed the AK-47, AKM, and AK-74 rifles. They made millions of them. They worked under military conditions i.e. mud. This is different to a more recent British offering, the SA80, which didn't work under any condition.
"I'm proud of my invention, but I'm sad that it is used by terrorists... I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work— for example a lawn mower."
"Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer... I always wanted to construct agriculture machinery."
"I created a weapon to defend the borders of my motherland. It's not my fault that it's being used where it shouldn't be. The politicians are more to blame for this."
Was an actor in The Professionals. He was also in 10 PARA but failed the Basic Parachute Course by breaking a leg. He appeared in The Bullshitters, a spoof.
Bhanubhakta Gurung Victoria Cross
Havildar Gurung VC, 2nd Gurkha Rifles.
Agansing Rai VC
Rai VC, Naik 5th Gurkha Rifles
Gaje Ghale VC
Captain Ghale VC, 5th Gurkha Rifles
Ganju Lama VC
Subedar Major Lama VC MM, 7th Gurkha Rifles
Ray Dolby PhD
Ray Dolby was the man in hi fi sound. Reducing the background hiss on audio cassettes was one of his best known achievements. He had a solid track record in electronics and 50 patents. More and better details at Ray Dolby ex Wiki.
Helie de Saint Marc
A maquisard who made it through Buchenwald, Indo-China & Algeria.
Ed Freeman, Medal Of Honour
Ed W. "Too Tall" Freeman (November 20, 1927 – August 20, 2008) was a United States Army helicopter pilot who received the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam War. During the battle, he flew through gunfire numerous times, bringing supplies to a trapped American battalion and flying dozens of wounded soldiers to safety. Freeman was a wing-man for Major Bruce Crandall who also received the Medal of Honor for the same missions.
Beyond his service in the Navy in World War II, he reached the Army rank of first sergeant by the time of the Korean War. Although he was in the Corps of Engineers, he fought as an infantry soldier in Korea. He participated in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and earned a battlefield commission as one of only 14 survivors out of 257 men who made it through the opening stages of the battle. His second lieutenant bars were pinned on by General James Van Fleet personally. He then assumed command of B Company and led them back up Pork Chop Hill.
The commission made him eligible to become a pilot, a childhood dream of his. However, when he applied for pilot training he was told that, at six feet four inches, he was "too tall" for pilot duty. The phrase stuck, and he was known by the nickname of "Too Tall" for the rest of his career.
In 1955, the height limit for pilots was raised and Freeman was accepted into flying school. He first flew fixed-wing Army airplanes before switching to helicopters. After the Korean War, he flew the world on mapping missions. By the time he was sent to Vietnam in 1965, he was an experienced helicopter pilot and was placed second-in-command of his sixteen-craft unit. He served as a captain in Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).
On November 14, 1965, Freeman and his unit transported a battalion of American soldiers to the Ia Drang Valley. Later, after arriving back at base, they learned that the soldiers had come under intense fire and had taken heavy casualties. Enemy fire around the landing zones was so heavy that the landing zone was closed to medical evacuation helicopters. Freeman and his commander, Major Bruce Crandall, volunteered to fly their unarmed, lightly armoured UH-1 Huey in support of the embattled troops. Freeman made a total of fourteen trips to the battlefield, bringing in water and ammunition and taking out wounded soldiers under heavy enemy fire in what was later named the Battle of Ia Drang. By the time they landed their heavily damaged Huey, Captain Freeman had been wounded four times by ground fire.]
Freeman was subsequently promoted to the rank of Major, designated as a Master Army Aviator, and was sent home from Vietnam in 1966. He retired from the military the next year. Freeman and his family settled in the Treasure Valley area of Idaho, his wife Barbara's home state, and continued to work as a pilot. He flew helicopters for another 20 years, fighting wildfires, conducting animal censuses, and herding wild horses for the Department of the Interior until his second retirement in 1991. By then, he had 17,000 flight hours in helicopters and 8,000 in fixed-wing aircraft.
Freeman's commanding officer nominated him for the Medal of Honor for his actions at Ia Drang, but not in time to meet a two-year deadline then in place. He was instead awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The Medal of Honor nomination was disregarded until 1995, when the two-year deadline was removed. He was formally presented with the medal on July 16, 2001, in the East Room of the White House by President George W. Bush.
He rated a VC, as well as a Medal of Honour. Snopes says that the story is true.
Lady Mosley knew everyone. admired naughty little Adolf, went to prison for her pains........ it goes on. Not every one is a Marxist front man. She had Moral Courage even if it was misdirected at times.
For more than a decade Margaret Thatcher enjoyed almost unchallenged political mastery, winning three successive general elections. The policies she pursued with ferocious energy and unyielding will resulted in a transformation of Britain’s economic performance.
The resulting change was also political. But by discrediting socialism so thoroughly, she prompted in due course the adoption by the Labour Party of free market economics, and so, as she wryly confessed in later years, “helped to make it electable”.
As for the effects of the Thatcher phenomenon upon British society, these were both more ambiguous and more debatable. Her remark “there is no such thing as society” was wrenched altogether out of the context of the interview in which it was made, and made to seem to be an advocacy of naked individualism, when she was really calling for more personal responsibility. Yet, rightly or wrongly, the 1980s came to be seen as a time of social fragmentation whose consequences are still with us.
Margaret Thatcher was the only British prime minister to leave behind a set of ideas about the role of the state which other leaders and nations strove to copy and apply. Monetarism, privatization, deregulation, small government, lower taxes and free trade — all these features of the modern globalized economy were crucially promoted as a result of the policy prescriptions she employed to reverse Britain’s economic decline.
Above all, in America and in Eastern Europe she was regarded, alongside her friend Ronald Reagan, as one of the two great architects of the West’s victory in the Cold War. Of modern British prime ministers, only Margaret Thatcher’s girlhood hero, Winston Churchill, acquired a higher international reputation.
The Telegraph messed this obit up by breaking it into little pieces. Sad but true. The idea that we have lower taxes come from the Telegraph. It is tosh.
Margaret Thatcher Let Us Down Big Time
A critical view which is not merely party political.
Major Ian Dawson
We are sad to learn of the death of Major Ian Dawson on 14th February 2013. Ian was commissioned into the Royal Scots and spent some time with the SAS before serving in 10 PARA as OC 3 Company and 44 Brigade as FAC. His Funeral will be at 12.00 on Friday 1st March at Lighthorne Church CV35 0AR, near junction 12 on the M40 for Stratford upon Avon, afterwards at the Antelope Pub nearby in Lighthorne.
Colonel Peter Goss
Colonel Peter Goss, who has died aged 88, was a highly experienced Intelligence officer whose career began in the Second World War and ran the course of postcolonial conflicts, the Cold War and national and international terrorism.
During this period, the missions of the armed services changed radically, as did equipment, communications and tactics. These changes were particularly marked in the intelligence and security spheres , drawing on the new possibilities afforded by satellite imagery and electronic eavesdropping, and the use of clandestine surveillance equipment by agents in the field charged with combating terrorism.
Peter John Goss was born on May 26 1924 in Streatham, south London, and went to Brentwood School in Essex, where he was above average at sport and languages (he later became fluent in Russian, French and Czech). In 1942 he enlisted in the Royal Norfolk Regiment, and the following year was commissioned into the 8th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army. He subsequently served with the 4th Battalion in Burma and took part in the battles of Arakan and Imphal.
His face fitted. He had lots of fun.
Edward Pool MC 7 PARA
In the early hours of June 6 1944, Pool, a platoon commander serving with the 7th Battalion the Parachute Regiment, was dropped near Le Port, a small village close to what is now Pegasus Bridge. His battalion had been ordered to hold the western approach to the bridge, which crossed the Caen Canal at Bénouville. Success would aid the bridge’s capture by the glider-borne “coup de main” company of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry .
At first light, Paras deployed in the area came under fire from a group of German snipers ensconced in the church tower at Le Port. An anti-tank grenade was fired, blowing a hole in the tower and silencing the snipers, but not before one of the Paras had been shot in the head. As the invasion forces consolidated their position during the ensuing days, more attacks were made by the battalion to dislodge pockets of defending Germans. On June 18, while trying to knock out a machine-gun post in the Bois de Bavent, Pool was hit in the leg, hip and groin, and a phosphorus grenade in his ammunition pouch was ignited by one of the shots.
He was dragged to safety by Sgt McCambridge and some riflemen, and endured weeks of great pain and semi-consciousness until he found himself back in a recuperation centre in England having lost a leg. He was awarded a Military Cross for his inspirational leadership and courage in holding an outpost on the western bridgehead for 21 hours while under constant attack by superior forces........
His father — the owner of a prosperous wholesale meat business — had died in 1942, and his elder brother had been killed during the war flying Spitfires; so it fell to Ted Pool to take over the enterprise. He had, however, a profound distaste for the abattoirs and the business was sold.
7 PARA did things.
Tony Rogers VM, RAF Pilot
Sadly, World War II Polish pilot, Tony Rogers has passed away. Tony had an incredible life and flew Lancasters, Spitfires and Wellingtons during the War. In later life he became a keen supporter of the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Vidal Sassoon, Jew, Barber And Thug
Vidal Sassoon, who has died aged 84, was at the cutting edge – literally and metaphorically – of hairdressing; his sharp, geometric, low-maintenance 1960s hairstyles revolutionised his craft, sounding the death knell for the stiff, set hairdos of the 1950s. An astute businessman, Sassoon made a fortune from his salons and products, and became a household name.
“I wanted to eliminate the superfluous and get to the basic angles of cut and shape,” he reminisced in Craig Teper’s 2010 film, Vidal Sassoon, The Movie. Indeed, the word “hairdressing”, associated with formally-arranged “helmet” hairdos of the post-war years, held in place with stiff perms and lacquers, was anathema to Sassoon, who wanted his smooth, flat hairstyles to emphasise the face.
A Peter Pan-like figure, Sassoon kept forever youthful by practising Pilates and yoga. But besides an interest in aesthetics and physical wellbeing, he also had a deep-rooted sense of justice [ which did not extend to Palestinian Untermenschen - the Nazi term for subhumans - Editor ]. He fought against anti-Semitic yobs rampaging around east London after the Second World War and set up a research centre for gathering information about anti-Semitism. He was also generous to charities, such as the Katrina Fund, which gives money to victims of the hurricane that devastated New Orleans.
The Wikipedia write up at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vidal_Sasoon tells us that Sassoon went to Palestine to rob the locals. Human rights are universal, according to Jews, until their self interest gets in the way. Sassoon was just another fast talking, murderous thug.
Jimmy Storie - The Last Of The First - SAS
Jimmy Storie , who has died aged 92, was the last surviving member of “The Originals”, the handful of men who first joined “L” Detachment, the unit that under the leadership of David Stirling developed into the Special Air Service Regiment.
Have pistol, will travel: Storie (right) and a fellow 'Original' in the desert in 1941
The force’s mission was to operate many miles behind enemy lines, attack airfields and convoys, blow up planes, destroy fuel dumps and derail trains. Based at Kabrit, near the Nile, they lacked even the most basic supplies and Storie took part in an unofficial raid on another camp in which tents, stores and rations were appropriated (together with a piano and easy chairs from an officers’ cinema). There were, however, failures of equipment and on one occasion two men jumped to their deaths during parachute training. Storie said that he did not sleep much that night. In November 1941, Storie took part in a raid on two German airfields at Gazala and Tmimi, Libya. The men parachuted into a sandstorm. As Storie said afterwards, one man who broke his back had to be left with a bottle of water and a revolver. There was no possibility of saving him. Barely a third of the original strength returned to base; the rest were killed or captured. In attacks thereafter, L Detachment drove to its targets in Jeeps. Storie took part in numerous raids with David Stirling and Paddy Mayne, officers whose exploits became almost legendary. In one period of two weeks, 100 enemy aircraft were destroyed. In one raid, they dodged sentries and crept on to an airfield, placing bombs with delayed-action fuses on the fighter aircraft lined up on each side. Then they got into the hangars, which were full of Junkers, and set more charges. The door of the guardroom was bashed open and grenades thrown in.
He was there when it mattered.
Lieutenant Colonel John Williams DCM
John Williams joined the Parachute Regiment as one of the first "boy" bandsmen in 1949, aged 15 years. By 1961, after transferring to Regimental duty, he was a W02 and had spent a considerable amount of his service in the Middle and Near East. It was for his conduct during the Borneo campaign in 1964/65 that he won his Distinguished Conduct Medal.
In March 1965, 2 PARA, under command of Lt. Col. Eberhardie, relieved the 1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. B Company's forward base at Plaman Mapu was a strong point of linked trenches defended by two 3 inch mortars and three GPMGs, supported by 105mm guns but overlooked by the border ridge 1000 metres away. The Company had just received a young platoon direct from training.
The small and vulnerable outpost posed an attractive target and increased enemy activity within the Company's area soon became evident. On the night of 27 April, when the new platoon was deployed in the forward base, a battalion of Indonesian parachute troops launched an attack at 1.15 am in pitch darkness. This first assault succeeded in taking part of the position, including one of the mortars. Amid considerable confusion, CSM Williams, bare to the waist, organised a speedy counter-attack. Running over open ground laced with fire the ad-hoc force engaged the assaulting enemy in a savage close-quarter battle and forced them back................
Despite appalling head injuries, and being blinded in one eye, he continued to move casualties, re-supply ammunition and encourage the remaining soldiers. A third and final assault just before dawn was not pushed home with the vigour of the preceding two and the Indonesian forces began to withdraw. CSM Williams organised and led a clearance party with volunteers from the remaining soldiers. Upon return to the camp he was immediately ordered to a casevac helicopter by the doctor. CSM "Patch" Williams was awarded a DCM for his bravery and leadership that morning. The Indonesian forces never again attempted a concentrated attack across the border.
John Williams was my first RSM. I knew then that he was going to be the best. The Army confirmed it by making him a lieutenant colonel. His own, rather good account of that battle is at Personal Account of the Battle of Plaman Mapu by John 'Patch' Williams
George Moodie 9 PARA
George joined the Royal Scots in 1943 while living in his home town of Edinburgh. He volunteered for the airborne soon after and upon completion of training was posted to the 9th Parachute Battalion of the 6th Airborne division. He was one of the few who actually took part in the attack on the Merville Battery on D Day as part of Lt Alan (twinkle toes) Jefferson's assault group. He stayed with the battalion until 1948, taking part in The battle of the Bulge and The Rhine crossing and operations in Palestine. On returning to the UK he was posted to the P.C.A.U at Upper Heyford where he met a young parachute packer, Hilary Sloane, they married on Xmas eve 1949. In Feb 1950 he left the army and tried civvy life but re-enlisted in 1951, the recruiter thought he was a new recruit so he was given a new army number by mistake. Once more he joined the Royal Scots for six weeks, insisting on going back to the Paras he was sent back to depot, doing the entire P course again with other returning veterans. He was once more posted to P.C.A.U at Abingdon, it was here in 1953 he took part in the filming of The Red Beret, doing the jumping scenes from the balloon and aircraft. After another stint at depot he was posted to 3 Para, serving in the middle east in Jordan, Egypt and Cyprus. He missed the last combat drop during the Suez crisis due to the birth of a new son. He stayed with 3 Para and HQ until 1966. He then served as an M.O.D. police sergeant until retirement in 1985. He now lives back in his native Scotland with Hilary and is a member of Fife branch P.R.A. George and Hilary had 8 children, 5 boys and 3 girls, sadly one girl died in infancy. All five sons joined the army, the eldest with The Duke of Wellingtons Regiment and the others all joining The Parachute Regiment. The two girls followed mum into the R.A.F.
He was involved.
Tex Banwell joined the British Army in 1931, serving with the Coldstream Guards with whom he saw action against the Pathans and Kashmiris in the mountains on the North-West Frontier. His career during the Second World War progressed to most every style of special forces unit in existence, beginning in 1942 when he joined the Long Range Desert Group, a unit which was not intended to commit sabotage like the SAS that it evolved into, but to spy on enemy troop formations extremely deep into enemy territory. Dressed like Arabs, the Group operated from the most inhospitable desert regions, where even the natives did not go. In 1942 Banwell was captured at Tobruk, but soon escaped in a German half-track. Sometime later he joined the Commandos and was again captured in an operation on Crete, but once again he succeeded in escaping, this time with a fishing boat which he sailed to North Africa. He joined the 10th Battalion when the 4th Para Brigade began the process of assembling in the Middle East, and was posted to No.4 Platoon of A Company..........
He was ordered to reveal the names of the members of the Dutch Resistance he had been in contact with, and his refusal to talk led to him twice being brought before a firing squad. However the threat of execution was a bluff which he successfully rode out, and so Banwell was sent to sit out the war at Auschwitz concentration camp, where for the next four months he existed on a serving of water and sauerkraut per week. The Red Army reached Auschwitz in March 1945, by which time Banwell's weight was down to 90 pounds, half what it should have been.
Returning home, Banwell continued to serve in the army until during the 1970's, and was likely to have been amongst Britain's most senior parachutists. At the 25th anniversary of Arnhem in 1969, Banwell stood alongside present day paratroopers in a Dakota and jumped once more over Ginkel Heath, formerly DZ-Y. It was his 650th jump, and far from his last because he felt the experience of parachuting kept him "mentally alert". He donated his battle dress jacket to the Airborne Museum Hartenstein, where it is presently on display.
Tex got about, he really did.
PS He rates a Wikipedia obit, Grauniad obit, New York Times obit, Herald obit plus a mention in Holland at war against Hitler: Anglo-Dutch relations, 1940-1945 by Michael Foot, pp. 117-118
Dennis Ritchie, The UNIX Designer Dies [ 14 October 2011 ]
As co-inventor of Unix and the programming language C, he had a key role in shaping today's computing environment
The American computer scientist Dennis Ritchie, who has died aged 70 after a long illness, was one of the co-inventors of the Unix operating system and the C programming language. Unix and C provided the infrastructure software and tools that created much of today's computing environment – from the internet to smartphones – and so have played a central part in shaping the modern world.
The origins of Unix go back to the 1960s, long before the microchip and personal computers had been invented. The nearest thing to personal computing was the so-called computer utility. This consisted of a large mainframe computer that was used simultaneously, and at great expense, by a couple of dozen users sitting at typewriter terminals...........
An important man who made a difference but he is getting far less notice than Steve Jobs who has just flaked out.
Was a good economist, a decent man and an Austrian. He believed that it was people that mattered. He was not a fan of Capitalist Swine.
Patrick Leigh Fermor
Leigh Fermor was the architect of one of the most daring feats of the Second World War, the kidnapping of the commander of the German garrison on Crete, and also the author of some of the finest works in the canon of English travel writing........
Though he at first kept to his aim of travelling "like a tramp or pilgrim", sleeping in police cells and beer halls, by the time he reached Central Europe his charm led to his being passed from Schloss to Schloss by a network of margraves and voivodes. The architecture, ritual and genealogy of each halt were later recalled with a loving eye........
On the outbreak of war Leigh Fermor first joined the Irish Guards but was then transferred to the Intelligence Corps due to his knowledge of the Balkans. He was initially attached as a liaison officer to the Greek forces fighting the Italians in Albania, then – having survived the fall of Crete in 1941 – was sent back to the island by SOE to command extremely hazardous guerrilla operations against the occupying Nazis.
For a year and a half Leigh Fermor, disguised as a Cretan shepherd (albeit one with a taste for waistcoats embroidered with black arabesques and scarlet silk linings) endured a perilous existence, living in freezing mountain caves while harassing German troops. Other dangers were less foreseeable. While checking his rifle Leigh Fermor accidentally shot a trusted guide who subsequently died of the wound...........
Dressed as German police corporals, the pair stopped the car belonging to General Karl Kreipe, the island's commander, while he was returning one evening to his villa near Knossos. The chauffeur disposed of, Leigh Fermor donned the general's hat and, with Moss driving the car, they bluffed their way through the centre of Heraklion and a further 22 checkpoints. Kreipe, meanwhile, was hidden under the back seat and sat on by three hefty andartes, or Cretan partisans.
Brains and brawn make a splendid combination. Knowing all of the right people helps too.
Martin Birnstingl - an honest Jew who did not swallow the claim that David Kelly was not murdered
Martin Birnstingl, who died on January 21 aged 86, was a leading vascular surgeon and a passionate campaigner for human rights who employed his medical expertise on many occasions to challenge the official line.
In the 1960s he travelled to Hanoi during the American bombing of North Vietnam and collected evidence of the use of indiscriminate anti-personnel weaponry by the United States military, including so-called "pineapple" bombs, which on impact sprayed out pellets over a huge area, maiming or killing hundreds of civilians. The "Ham and High" printed his report, and in 1967 he gave evidence to Bertrand Russell's unofficial "International War Crimes Tribunal". His experience and campaign against the war led to his making an appearance in Peter Brook's 1968 drama-documentary about British responses to the war, Tell Me Lies.............
In 2004 he was one of the group of physicians who challenged Lord Hutton's decision to classify documents about the death of chemical weapons expert Dr David Kelly and took issue with Hutton's conclusion that Kelly's death was a suicide.
Birnstingl and his colleagues maintained that it was "highly improbable" that the primary cause of death was haemorrhage from transection of a single ulnar artery, as stated in the Hutton report. In 2010 the incoming coalition government made the proceedings public, although the verdict remained unchanged.
Some Jews tell some of the truth some of the time.
Traverso was a young lieutenant in the Savoy Cavalry which, in June 1942, was shielding the southern flank of the German summer offensive. The fighting intensified as, approaching the River Don approximately 125 miles north of Stalingrad, the 600 men of the Savoy Cavalry arrived at Isbuschenskij. There, on the evening of August 23, an Italian patrol encountered a Soviet rearguard of 2,000 men supported by mortars and machine-guns. The regiment’s monocled commanding officer, Count Alessandro Bettoni, winner of two Olympic golds in equestrianism, ordered his men to take defensive positions before settling down to dine off the regimental silver. The following morning, after breakfast, Bettoni gave the order to attack across a plain thick with sunflowers. Officers, wearing red neck ties, slipped on white gloves for the occasion. They wielded captured Cossack swords, which were heavier, and thus more destructive, than Italian sabres. Such was the thirst to take part in what was – even then – recognised as an unusual event, that Traverso’s commander rode off to join the four cavalry squadrons, each of 150 men, which formed the main thrust of the attack.........
At this crucial point the third squadron launched a second diagonal attack, similar to that which had opened the battle, and Soviet resolve crumbled. As the smoke cleared, their losses stood at 150, with a further 500 captured. The Savoy Cavalry had lost fewer than 40 men. “You were magnificent,” a German officer remarked to the Italians afterwards. “We no longer know how to do these things.”
The Poles did their charge against Wehrmacht tanks but that would have been 1939. This came later - and worked.
The Regiment was formed in 1692 so it had plenty of practice.
Lieutenant Colonel Ron Reid-Daly
Commander of the Selous Scouts who waged a ruthless war against insurgents in RhodesiaLieutenant-Colonel Ron Reid-Daly, who has died aged 81, was the colourful and outspoken founder and commander of the Selous Scouts regiment, whose unorthodox tactics during Rhodesia's bush war against nationalist insurgents were as effective as they were controversial.
A very good man in his way but brutal.
Herivel was one of a number of bright young mathematicians recruited from Cambridge by Gordon Welchman when he set up Hut 6 to break German army and air force Enigma ciphers in January 1940, and he arrived at Bletchley on January 29 1940. Aged only 21, he had been one of Welchman's students at Sidney Sussex College.
After being trained on how to break Enigma by Alan Turing, Herivel was put to work, and soon proved his worth by finding an imaginative way of breaking the Enigma ciphers by hand – this became known as the Herivel Tip, or "herivelismus", and relied on lazy operators setting up their machines in the morning according to the daily keys and carelessly doing as little as possible before sending their first message.
Brains are the reason why we are not still swinging round in trees - in some cases.
A libertarian, he entered into Margaret Thatcher’s circle and to an extent the public consciousness in 1984 when helping rebel miners to thwart the year-long strike called by Arthur Scargill and the NUM. A larger-than-life figure, he attracted enemies as easily as he did friends. The occasionally preposterous sense of mystery he cultivated about himself belied a man who was erudite, sensitive, generous and had a devoted circle of friends...........
The property boom of the late 1960s earned Hart his first million, but his extravagance ended with the bust of the mid-1970s, debts of £959,229 and an appearance in the bankruptcy court in 1975. The court heard that Hart kept two mistresses, each of whom had his child, in separate London flats, paying them each £250 a month as well as money for things like telephone bills and school fees.........
The official receiver castigated his “delusions of grandeur” and took exception to the fact that many of Hart’s creditors were small tradesmen (including, reporters were delighted to discover, his gamekeeper’s tailor).
A libertarian who rode to hounds and shot so he can't have been all bad. In fact he was better notwithstanding being a Jew. He really lived. There is no mention of his pornographic film starring Maggie and Scargill. For that you need to read Private Eye.
Gerry Rafferty, the singer and songwriter who died on January 4 aged 63, had a smash hit in 1978 with Baker Street, a world-weary classic based on his experiences busking in the London Underground as a struggling young musician......
But it was the haunting Baker Street — with its searing saxophone riff — that propelled Rafferty into the pantheon of British rock legends. The song has remained a staple of soft-rock and easy-listening stations for more than 30 years — by 2004 it was reckoned to have received four million airplays — and at the time of his death continued to earn Rafferty around £80,000 annually in royalties.
Famously publicity-shy, Rafferty refused to promote the song in the United States, where the album from which it was taken had topped the bestselling charts and gone platinum. Instead he turned inwards, recording only sporadically and leading the life of an increasingly eccentric multi-millionaire rock recluse, last performing in public more than seven years ago.........
His Irish-born father was a heavy-drinking miner and lorry driver who died when Gerry was 16. Inspired by his Scottish mother, who had taught him Irish and Scottish folk songs as a boy, and heavily influenced by the music of The Beatles and Bob Dylan, the young Gerry started to write his own material..
Pop music is a dangerous business. Count the number of performers who have come unstuck and know. John Lennon [ gun shot wounds ] was just one.
Havildar Lachhiman Gurung VC
Havildar Lachhiman Gurung, who died on December 12 aged 92, won the Victoria Cross while serving with the Gurkha Rifles in Burma in 1945; in recent years he had been a prominent figure in the campaign led by the actress Joanna Lumley to allow former Gurkhas to settle in Britain..........
When the Japanese arrived, the two Gurkha companies were surrounded and their lines of communication cut. On the night of May 12, Rifleman Gurung was manning the forward post of his platoon almost 100 yards ahead of the main company. At 1.20am, more than 200 Japanese attacked the company position. The brunt of the assault fell on Gurung’s section and, in particular, on his post, which dominated a jungle track leading up to his platoon’s position. Had the enemy been able to overrun it and occupy Gurung’s trench, they would have secured control over the whole of the field before them.........
The following morning, of the 87 enemy dead found in the company’s immediate locality, 31 lay in front of Gurung’s section. The Japanese made repeated attempts to break through, but the 4th/8th held out until May 15, when they were relieved.
His VC was hard earned.
Lionel Queripel VC
Lionel Ernest Queripel VC (Winterborne Monkton [ very near Maiden Castle ], Dorset July 13, 1920 - Arnhem, the Netherlands September 19, 1944) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Lionel Queripel came from a well established and highly decorated military dynasty; his father, Colonel LH Queripel who was a CMG and had been awarded the DSO had served during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 and later in Mesopotamia, France and Russia during the First World War. His grandfather who was awarded a CB and great grandfather were also soldiers.
By 1400 hrs on 19th of September the confusion and heavy casualties saw Captain Queripel acting as commander of a company comprising of the men of three parachute battalions. As they advanced along a main road on an embankment towards Arnhem they came under continuous machine-gun fire. At one point, the fire became so heavy that the company was split up on either side of the road and suffered considerable losses. Captain Queripel immediately began to reorganise his troops, crossing and recrossing the road while doing so, under extremely heavy and accurate fire from a strong point consisting of a captured British anti-tank gun and two machine guns. Whilst carrying a wounded sergeant to the regimental aid post under fire he was himself wounded in the face. Having reorganised his force, Captain Queripel personally led a party of men against the strong point holding up the advance. Despite the extremely heavy fire directed at him, Captain Queripel succeeded in killing the crews of the machine-guns and recapturing the anti-tank gun enabling the advance to continue. Later Captain Queripel was ordered to defend some woodland near the Wolfheze level crossing which was vital to the allied advance (Wolfheze is about 12km to the northwest of Arnhem Bridge but only a few hundred metres from the Drop and Landing Zones used). By this time he had received further wounds in both arms, was cut off with a small party of men and took up a position in a ditch. Disregarding his injuries and the heavy mortar and machine gun fire, he continued to inspire his men to resist with hand grenades, pistols, and the few remaining rifles. On at least one occasion he picked up and threw back an enemy stick grenade which had landed in the ditch. As the enemy pressure increased, Captain Queripel decided that it was impossible to hold the position any longer and ordered the men to withdraw. Despite their protests, he insisted on remaining behind to cover their withdrawal with his automatic pistol and a few remaining hand grenades. This was the last occasion on which he was seen.
Arnhem was the graveyard of too many Englishmen.
Staff Sergeant Barkway
Got there on D Day piloting a glider. He did well in taking Pegasus Bridge.
Bill Millin - Lord Lovat's piper on D Day
Millin began his apparently suicidal serenade immediately upon jumping from the ramp of the landing craft into the icy water. As the Cameron tartan of his kilt floated to the surface he struck up with Hieland Laddie. He continued even as the man behind him was hit, dropped into the sea and sank.
Once ashore Millin did not run, but walked up and down the beach, blasting out a series of tunes. After Hieland Laddie, Lovat, the commander of 1st Special Service Brigade (1 SSB), raised his voice above the crackle of gunfire and the crump of mortar, and asked for another. Millin strode up and down the water’s edge playing The Road to the Isles.
Bodies of the fallen were drifting to and fro in the surf. Soldiers were trying to dig in and, when they heard the pipes, many of them waved and cheered — although one came up to Millin and called him a “mad bastard”.
He was a fine upstanding figure of a man.
Bill on D Day. Those are the pipes, not a Bren Gun
Group Captain Dennis Lyster DSO, DFC
On the night of May 15/16 1940, Lyster’s Hampden bomber of 83 Squadron was one of 99 aircraft that took off to strike industrial targets in the Ruhr following the German advance into the Low Countries – the first attack of the conflict on the factories feeding the German war machine. Within a few days, the Hampdens were called on to assist the beleaguered British Expeditionary Force in France and Lyster bombed elements of the German advance including the railway system used to bring up reinforcements. Following the Dunkirk evacuation, the bomber force commenced a campaign against German industry, ports and oil installations.
Lyster attacked Scharnhorst at Kiel on July 1, but once the Battle of Britain was under way the Hampdens were increasingly allotted targets associated with an anticipated German invasion of England. Lyster laid mines at the entrance of the port of Lubeck, bombed the docks at Stettin and Hamburg, and the submarine base at Lorient.
A toughie with important work to his credit.
Claude de Baissac
Claude Denis Boucherville de Baissac, known as Claude de Baissac or by his codename David (born 28 February 1907, Curepipe, Mauritius - died 22 December 1974) was a Mauritius-born agent in the Special Operations Executive (SOE). He organised the important French Resistance network SCIENTIST, in south-west France from August 1942 to March 1943 and in Britanny from February 1944 onwards. His elder sister Lise was also an SOE agent.
His first mission came on 30 July 1942, when he and his radio operator Peulevé were parachuted in from a Halifax near Nîmes to set up and head the SCIENTIST network. However, they were dropped from too low an altitude and landed badly - de Baissac broke his ankle and Peulevé was so badly hurt he had to return to England. In the following months, de Baissac developed the SCIENTIST network in the Bordeaux region, receiving reinforcements in the form of Roger Landes (codenamed Stanislas, his new radio operator, dropped on 2 November) and Mary Herbert (codenamed Marie-Louise, his liaison officer, landed by boat on 8 November). Certain resistance group concentrated their efforts for a joint attack on the submarine pens in the port and other operations in the Landes countryside.
De Baissac worked closely with Francis Suttill and his Prosper-PHYSICIAN network in Paris, before briefly returning to London on the night of 17/18 March 1943 in a Lysander to announce that the network had 11,000 men at its disposal.
In May 1943, Suttill warned de Baissac that he thought Henri Déricourt, a member of SCIENTIST, was working for the Germans just before de Baissac was parachuted back in at the full moon with new instructions. The parachute drops of men and supplied intensified, but on 23 June the Gestapo captured Suttill and hundreds of other agents and Resistance workers from Prosper-PHYSICIAN and other networks and attached groups. The SCIENTIST network was caught up in PHYSICIAN's fall and on the night of 16/17 August, Claude, Lise and Nicholas Bodington returned to England by Lysander, with Roger Landes (Aristide) replacing Claude at the head of SCIENTIST until November 1943.
In February 1944 de Baissac was parachuted in to Mayenne with an all-Mauritian team made up of his sister Lise, captain Jean-Marie Renaud-Danticolle (codenamed René) and the radio operator Maurice Louis Larcher (code named Vladimir). His new mission was to amalgamate, arm and energise the Resistance groups in the region stretching from Caen to Laval. When D-Day came, he joined George Starr and his WHEELWRIGHT network in the south-west.
Interesting times. www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SOEbaissacC.htm is a rehash with a bit more detail.
Lieutenant General Peter Walls
Lieutenant-General Peter Walls, who has died aged 83, was the last commander of Ian Smith's Rhodesian armed forces; his otherwise distinguished military career ended in humiliation when he became involved in the political turmoil that surrounded Robert Mugabe's accession to power in Zimbabwe in 1980.
Walls seemed to adapt readily to the prospect of black majority rule. At Mugabe's request he undertook to help supervise the moulding of his own armed force with the motley legions of guerrilla fighters who had emerged from the bush after the protracted and ugly war.
But Mugabe was soon increasingly perturbed by reports that Walls was plotting a coup against him and his new regime. When he summoned Walls to ask him why he was planning to kill him, the general denied the reports vehemently, offering the most obvious evidence that any plotters were nothing to do with him: "If they had been my men you would have been dead."
The mood of suspicion prevailed, and Walls found his position in the new Zimbabwe untenable. He took himself into exile in South Africa, where he found groups of his disgruntled former Rhodesian security forces openly accusing him of having personally thwarted two attempts by special forces to assassinate Mugabe shortly after he had been elected.
A further bitter blow was the revelation that Ian Smith, a man he had supported throughout the lead up to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) and who had appointed him to lead the Rhodesian forces through the war, had been blaming Walls for many of the failures of the transition and had actually accused him of "traitorous activities".
Peter Walls was born in Rhodesia in 1927 into family with military tradition. His father, George, had been a pioneer pilot in the colony and had volunteered for service with the Royal Air Force shortly after its formation. When Peter left Plumtree school, one of the most distinguished in Rhodesia, he already had his sights set on an army career.
He volunteered for the British Army during the Second World War and attended the Staff College at Camberley, which welcomed students from the Commonwealth. When the war ended he joined the Black Watch and was appointed Assistant Adjutant in the Highland Brigade Training Centre.
He resigned his commission when the Army decided to transfer him, choosing, in his own words, "to return to my beloved Rhodesia rather serve in any regiment other than the Black Watch". He could not stay away from soldiering for long, joining the Southern Rhodesian Staff Corps in the rank of corporal. With his experience and application he was promoted rapidly through the ranks and was soon commissioned again.
He went to Malaya during the military operations against the communist insurgency from 1951 to 1953 as a commander of what was known as "The Far Eastern Volunteer Group" (which became "C" Squadron of the British SAS). It was composed entirely of Rhodesian officers and men, who gained much valuable experience in fighting a guerrilla war in wild and hostile terrain.
Walls continued to shine, and in 1964 assumed command of the 1st Battalion, the Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI), a unit of tough young professional soldiers which was to become famous in the bush war. He was the ideal commander for "troopies", as the soldiers of the RLI were known. Walls was tall, broad-shouldered and a man of action who liked to lead from the front.
He was also a convivial and personable man who surprised those who served under him with an amazing memory of names and family circumstances. The sentiment in favour of UDI was growing among whites, alarmed by what they perceived as determination by the colonial power to hand over power to black majorities throughout its African territories.
Walls shared the mood, and allowed his men to wear paper hats inscribed with the words "RLI for UDI" on them, an act which won him a rare reproach from Brigadier Rodney Putterill, his commander at the time. The move made him even more popular, particularly among the politicians of the newly-elected Rhodesian Front party led by Ian Smith. When the first tentative incursions were made by nationalist guerrillas crossing from Zambia, the RLI went into action with swift success.
In 1972 Ian Smith approved the appointment of Walls as General Officer Commanding the Rhodesian Army, a promotion that came as no surprise. Smith liked Walls and, as a former RAF pilot himself, had known his father. In any event, he was preparing for his momentous declaration of independence and needed an army commander he could trust to support him.
Walls was quick to realise that UDI would mean an intensification of the guerrilla war from neighbouring countries, specifically from Zambia and Botswana by Joshua Nkomo's largely Matabele ZIPRA, and from Tanzania and Mozambique by ZANLA, drawn from the majority Shona people. He put his troops on full counter-insurgency readiness.
He knew from his Malayan experience that a key element in any anti-guerrilla war strategy would be the gathering of intelligence from within the enemy ranks. He summoned his old friend and colleague from the Malayan emergency and the RLI, Ron Reid-Daly, and asked him to form the Selous Scouts, a unit that ostensibly would be for tracking but would operate clandestinely behind and within guerrilla ranks.
It was a crucial move as, the following year, following a bloodless coup in Lisbon, Portugal withdrew from its two vast African territories, Angola and Mozambique, leaving Rhodesia's eastern and western borders open to mass infiltration by black nationalist forces trained and fully equipped by the Soviet Union and Cuba. Efficient and experienced as they were, the Rhodesian forces knew that sooner or later they would be overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the nationalists, backed by a world which perceived them to be gallant freedom fighters opposed to an oppressive white supremacist regime.
Walls was made head of Joint Operations Command (JOC) in 1977 and, as Rhodesia desperately tried to bolster its numbers, assumed command of more than 45,000 men. It was not enough, and he knew it. Many farms were attacked, villages were infiltrated throughout the rural areas, landmines were laid in the dirt roads and military convoys were attacked with rocket-propelled grenades. Two civilian airliners were brought down by SAM-7 missiles. The bush war turned increasingly ugly, with atrocities being committed by both sides.
For a time, Rhodesian special forces attempted to take and hold key areas of Mozambique to halt the unceasing flow of guerrillas into Rhodesia. Walls, typically, once parachuted into an area of northern Mozambique at Christmas with a consignment of roast turkey for his men. The turkey helped to bolster the troops morale – as did the fact that the general landed in a large deep puddle and emerged covered in mud.
Ian Smith and his Rhodesian Front party also realised that their only hope of survival rested in political negotiations. With Margaret Thatcher in power in Britain, anxious to rid herself of "this tiresome Rhodesian problem", Smith sought British mediation in the hope of political salvation.
The resulting Lancaster House conference resulted in a British interregnum in Rhodesia, with Lord Soames as governor backed by a team of top Foreign Office officials and a small force of British troops. Walls, as head of the highly-trained and experienced Rhodesian forces, found himself drawn inexorably into the political process.
Contingency plans for the elections which resulted from the Lancaster House agreement were drawn up by the military in consultation with the Lord Soames. The hope was that Bishop Muzorewa, the moderate Shona politician who had surprisingly won a previous election, would be able to hold Mashonaland while Joshua Nkomo, the moderate leader of the Matabele people, would comfortably hold his homeland in the west of the country.
The officially-approved safety net beneath this hastily-arranged scheme was that Robert Mugabe would be "eliminated" should he win the election. But the contingency plan was never implemented in the confusion that arose after Mugabe's ZANU party swept the board with a convincing majority.
Walls immediately wrote to Mrs Thatcher calling for a new election, claiming that the imperfect "assembly point" plan for guerrillas to gather and hand in their weapons had not worked and that the insurgents had infiltrated most rural areas. His plea was in vain. Mrs Thatcher wanted the long-running issue solved quickly, and Lord Soames was instructed to embrace and welcome a new black leader of an independent Zimbabwe.
Salisbury was suddenly awash with recriminations among white political and military leaders and most of the white population. As Mugabe's guerrillas rode through the streets of the capital brandishing their weapons, Walls became a main target for the blame. The beleaguered general decided that the best option was to opt immediately to serve the Mugabe regime by organising the amalgamation of the rival armies, believing this would offer the best future for the many thousands of professional officers and men who had fought for him for so long and with much sacrifice.
Mugabe, in the spirit of reconciliation he affected at the time, agreed. Walls went on national television to warn that troublemakers among his former forces "will not be tolerated". It was too late. Disaffected Rhodesian security forces fled to South Africa and elsewhere, along with many thousands of whites. Mugabe, who as new president of Zimbabwe was inundated with various "intelligence" reports, became convinced that Walls was secretly organising a coup and fired him.
Peter Walls went into exile in South Africa, settling at Plettenburg Bay, a fashionable resort on the Western Cape coast. He never wrote his memoirs but remained in seclusion with his second wife until he collapsed and died on July 20 while on his way to a holiday in the Kruger National Park. He is survived by his wife and by four children from his first marriage.
Should you take the Daily Quislinggraph at face value? I am dubious. It gave us down right malicious commentary on Sir Ian Smith. As to buying it: Never again.
Michael Foot R.I.P. ex The Spectator
Michael Foot, who died on Wednesday, aged 96, was a wonderful man. A major politician and an accomplished writer, he stood firmly in the great British tradition of literary radicals. There was something defiantly unmodern and unspun about him, but this was the point of Mr Foot: he was a leader who saw politics as a battle of ideas. The idea of spin was utterly alien to him. From his early days in journalism and the New Statesman, to Tribune magazine, which he edited after the war, to his last days, he maintained his intellectual integrity. This was what guided the radical Labour manifesto of 1983. It was, electorally, spectacularly unsuccessful. But it was, nonetheless, a work of immense honesty.
Conservatives often remind themselves that, much as Foot’s campaign was derided in 1983, he returned to parliament more MPs than now sit on Tory benches. His campaign also contained a set of clear principles — all too rare a thing in modern politics. His was an era where people became MPs because of what they believed, rather than to acquire power for its own sake. The books Foot loved were not simply political tracts but novels and poetry. It is hard to think of another frontbencher who would or could have produced A Vindication of Byron. His vast intellectual breadth and brilliant, spontaneous oratory could not strike a greater contrast to the all-too-homogenous political class of today. His was a politics of passion and authenticity. For him, elections were battle of ideas. It is a type of politics which has steadily drained from the current Westminster scene. And we are the poorer for it.
A generous tribute from The Spectator who did not agree with Mr Foot's politics but knew decency when they saw it. Paul Foot, his nephew was a Private Eye man and also honest.
Johnnie Johnson DSO, DFC
The highest scoring RAF fighter pilot to survive the war, Johnnie Johnson shot down 38 enemy aircraft in the skies over Western Europe between June 1941 and September 1944. This tally is remarkable on two counts. Johnson began his operational career after the end of the Battle of Britain, which provided such a rich harvest of combat victories for many of his peers as the Luftwaffe's air fleets attacked virtually day after day. Kills were much harder to obtain on the fighter sweeps over enemy territory which succeeded the battle, operations for which the Spitfire was much less suited than it had been to the role of air defence in the summer of 1940. In addition, all Johnson's victories, with the exception of a quarter share in a Messerschmitt 110, were against single-seat fighters - easily the most formidable opponents.
A first class man. He did well after going out.
Patrick Porteous VC
COLONEL PAT PORTEOUS, who has died aged 82, won the Victoria Cross on August 19 1942 when serving with No 4 Commando in the Dieppe raid.......... No 4 Commando, in which Porteous was serving, was the only unit to capture its objective. The Canadians, in the centre of the assault, had never been in action before, and to their dismay found that their tanks were unable to negotiate the stony beach; they were cut to pieces by fire from carefully sited strongpoints that had been tunnelled out of the cliff..... No 4 Commando, commanded by the intrepid Lord Lovat, numbered 252 soldiers. It landed three and a half miles west of the main attack and advanced in two sections.........
During the initial assault on the battery, Porteous found himself with the smaller of the two detachments. He was shot at close range by a German, the bullet passing through his hand and his arm. Undaunted, Porteous, using the other hand, shot his assailant dead. Next, Porteous saved the life of a sergeant by disarming his attacker and despatching the German with his own bayonet. In the meantime, the larger detachment had been held up, its two officers killed and the troop sergeant seriously wounded.....
Without hesitating, and in the face of withering fire, Porteous dashed across open ground to take charge of this section. He rallied them, and then led a bayonet charge which carried the battery. Porteous was the first to reach the guns, and as he did so was severely wounded for a second time, being shot through the thigh..... After recovering from his wounds taken at Dieppe, he returned to duty and landed in Normandy, near Ouistreham, on June 6 1944 as second-in-command of No 4 Commando.
D Day and Dieppe made for a lively war.
Lieutenant Colonel Cecil Merritt VC
The Dieppe Raid in 1942, in which Lieutenant-Colonel "Cec" Merritt won the Victoria Cross for gallantry and inspiring leadership, was subsequently judged a military disaster and needless waste of lives, especially Canadian lives. Even so, it was a terrific fight and those who survived looked back on August 19 as a day of awesome courage and sacrifice........
By then alert to the situation, the German defenders targeted the bridge with machinegun and mortar fire. Initial Canadian attempts failed to storm the bridge, leaving it covered with dead and wounded. Merritt led the next rush forward, waving his steel helmet with the rallying shout "Come on over. There's nothing to it!"
His audacity took the enemy by surprise; one group of men followed him over the bridge and others used the girders to cross. Merritt soon had most of his surviving men on the far bank, but shortage of mortar ammunition and lack of communications to the destroyers to call for supporting fire made any further advance impossible.
Meanwhile, the company landed on the west bank of the Scie had reached its objective and sent a success signal to the operation command ship. This and one from Lord Lovat's Number 4 Commando were the only two success signals sent in the entire operation.
Finding all moves towards his objectives blocked by concrete "pillboxes", Merritt led an attack on each in turn, personally killing the occupants of one by throwing grenades through the enemy's firing ports. When the last enemy strongpoint had been silenced, Merritt had been twice wounded and his battalion reduced to fewer than 300 men..........
Merritt was sent to prison camp Oflag VIIB at Eichstätt in Bavaria. Together with 64 others, he escaped through a 120ft tunnel during the night of June 3-4, 1943. Only a handful reached safety. Merritt was recaptured and sentenced to 14 days' solitary confinement. He remarked after being freed: "My war lasted six hours.
First class men were wasted.
As deputy head until 1980 of the Israeli external security service, the Mossad, Kimche was deeply involved in Operation Wrath of God – the plot to assassinate the terrorists who had killed 11 members of the Israeli team at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Kimche ensured that, rather than eliminating the terrorists with a straightforward sniper's bullet, Mossad used more sophisticated methods (booby-trapped mattresses or telephones) that both burnished the agency's own reputation and struck fear into potential future targets.
Cunning, clever, devious, dangerous. In other words a Jew.
Brest was an important naval base, and information about shipping movements was vital to the Allied war effort. By establishing contacts in the dockyard, Andrée was able to pass on information about naval installations, as well as about troop movements and the results of Allied aerial attacks. These were mainly directed at the harbour area, but many bombs missed their target and fell on the town. No one blamed the Allies. She recalled one man whose house had been destroyed leaping with joy when he found that his precious radio, on which he listened to the BBC, had survived intact. On another occasion she came across a group of teenage boys singing "What joy, Tommy, now that we are united at last" to a well known tune, as British bombs rained all around.
During her three years with the Resistance – during which she was known first as Agent X and then as Agent Rose – Andrée helped save the lives of more than 100 Allied pilots. Her team used torches to guide Allied planes to improvised landing strips and smuggled fugitive airmen aboard submarines and gunboats on remote parts of the coast, often feeling their way in the dark past German coastal shelters.
The work was extremely dangerous. Any family found harbouring an Allied airman risked being shot and in 1943 Andrée herself was forced to leave Brest after a comrade (who had been forced to watch his family being tortured by the Gestapo) informed on her.
Bravery is what it took and what she had.
Profumo's story is of a man who made one terrible mistake but sought his own redemption in a way which has no precedent in public life either before or since. No one in public life ever did more to atone for his sins; no one behaved with more silent dignity as his name was repeatedly dragged through the mud; and few ended their lives as loved and revered by those who knew him.
Profumo's transgression came when the Tories had been in power for 11 years. He was then a promising Secretary of State for War, married to the actress Valerie Hobson, star of the film Kind Hearts and Coronets and one of Britain's leading actresses of stage and screen in the 1940s and 1950s.
How many politicians today would apologise, far less be sincere about it? Not a lot. Most are robbing us and flaunting their ill gotten pay offs.
Major General John Cowtan MC
In May 1942, Cowtan was serving with 232 Field Company RE (232 FR) in North Africa. On May 31, he was taken prisoner near Gazala during a major Afrika Corps offensive. He was sent to a prison camp near Bologna and, after the Italian Armistice in September 1943, avoided being transferred to Germany by hiding in the roof of one of the camp buildings for 12 days.
He then slipped out of a side door and moved south to Monte San Vicino where he joined a resistance group consisting of 14 Yugoslavs and six escapers. In the three months from November 1943, Cowtan and a comrade lay low. They then made several attempts to cross the German lines but were handicapped by the weather.
It was lively but not fun.
Tul Bahadur Pun VC
Pun was 21 years old, and a Rifleman in the 3rd Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles, in the Indian Army during World War II when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the .
On 23 June 1944 at Mogaung, Burma (now Myanmar), during an attack on the railway bridge, a section of one of the platoons was wiped out with the exception of Rifleman Tul Bahadur Pun, his section commander and one other. The section commander immediately led a charge on the enemy position but was at once badly wounded, as was the third man. Rifleman Pun, with a Bren gun continued the charge alone in the face of shattering fire and reaching the position, killed three of the occupants and put five more to flight, capturing two light machine-guns and much ammunition. He then gave accurate supporting fire, enabling the rest of his platoon to reach their objective.
A brave man. He was used by Joanna Lumley, a fool or rogue to whip up support for allowing Gurkhas to settle in England after a mere four years service. Some did and were badly cheated.
Lieutenant-Colonel Andy Unwin
In January 1964, barely a month after Kenyan independence, there was a threat of mutiny in the army barracks outside the town of Nakuru. Unwin, then a major and the CO of the Military Training School, took his most trusted soldiers to the armoury, where he instructed them to take arms and act against any fellow soldiers who might mutiny.
He liked Africa and stayed on afterwards. He knew Idi Amin.
Knut Haugland Of The Telemark Raid And Kon Tiki
Adventure stories rarely come more epic than that of Knut Haugland, the Norwegian resistance fighter who died on Christmas Day at the age of 92. His exploits were already the stuff of legend even before he joined Thor Heyerdahl's crew aboard his balsa wood raft, Kon-Tiki. Together they not only conquered the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean using only the most primitive of technologies – but in doing so, they helped rejuvenate the crushed spirit of human endeavour in the bleak aftermath of the Second World War. A heavily decorated commando who escaped three times from the clutches of the Nazis, his bravery and endurance gave rise to one of the most enduring legends of the Second World War – one retold in spectacular style in a Hollywood movie.
Some men are just so much better.
Sir Edward Fennessy
Sir Edward Fennessy, who has died aged 97, was a radar pioneer whose outstanding work during the Second World War was followed by a successful business career as managing director of Decca Radar, and later as deputy chairman of the Post Office.
Perhaps it is unkind to say that the radar of those days was not very good but it was the first of its kind and has gotten much better since. Navigation in those days was underwhelming but that was not quite his thing.
Lt-Col Ian Feild
In 1953 Feild, an officer in the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry (DCLI), was seconded to the Kenya Police Special Branch and posted to HQ east Africa Command. He and Frank Kitson (later General Sir Frank Kitson) were involved in setting up an intelligence network for operations against Mau Mau. Spending long hours on patrol by day and night, Feild and his comrades built up a first-rate organisation. They recruited “pseudo-gangs” of reformed terrorists who were essential “camouflage”, but there was always the danger that they would turn on their new masters.
They used pseudo gangs later in Rhodesia and very effective they were. Top Secret by Ron Reid Daley is the book on that one and the Selous Scouts.
Mark Donaldson VC
Mark Gregor Strang Donaldson VC (born 2 April 1979) is the first recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia, awarded for gallantry, the highest award in the Australian honours system. He is the first Australian recipient of a Victoria Cross since Keith Payne in 1969. Trooper Donaldson was a member of the Australian Special Air Service regiment when he exposed himself to enemy fire to protect injured troops and then rescued an interpreter under heavy enemy fire in Oruzgan province during Operation Slipper, the Australian contribution to the War in Afghanistan. He was awarded the medal by Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce, in a ceremony in Canberra on 16 January 2009.
Happily this one is not an obit. He lived to tell the tale. He also showed that colonials give medals to men while the British Army saves most of them for officers.
Of 10 PARA. RIP
Corporal Budd VC
In the first incident, on 27 July, Corporal Budd's section was on a patrol when they identified and engaged two enemy gunmen on the roof of a building in the centre of Sangin. Without regard for his own safety, Corporal Budd led an assault where the enemy fire was heaviest. His gallant action allowed a wounded soldier to be evacuated to safety where he subsequently received life-saving treatment.
On 20 August 2006, A Company, 3 PARA was located in the southern Afghanistan town of Sangin. Cpl Budd and his platoon were ordered to hold a small, isolated coalition outpost - dubbed a platoon house - to protect engineers blowing holes in a compound 500 metres away. The site was subject to almost daily Taliban onslaught for months.
On the day, there were three sections on patrol, a total of 24 men, spread out in a head-high cornfield around the compound. Budd spotted four Taliban approaching, at a distance of 50 metres. With hand signals, Budd led his section in a flanking manoeuvre round to the cornfield's outskirts to try to cut them off, but they were spotted and the Taliban opened fire on the troops. A further group of Taliban opened up fire from a wall further back. The British soldiers took heavy fire, kneeling or lying down trying to take cover. One soldier received a bullet in the shoulder, and another was shot in the nose.
Realising his section were taking heavy fire and were likely to be killed, Budd got up and rushed straight through the corn in the direction of the Taliban, now just 20 metres away. Budd opened up on them in fully automatic mode with his rifle, and contact was immediately lost, but the Taliban fire lessened and allowed the rest of his section to withdraw back to safety so the casualties could be treated.
After withdrawal, Budd was declared missing in action and most of A Company was sent back to find him. Apache and Harrier air support was called in to beat the Taliban back. An hour later, Budd was found beside three dead Taliban. It was clear he had killed the three Taliban, but had himself been killed in the process.
Budd was badly wounded and had no pulse. The company sergeant major recovered his body on a quad bike, but he was declared dead on arrival at the platoon house. On 29 November 2007 an inquest found that Budd's death was probably the result of friendly fire. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces Museum at Aldershot, Hampshire, in England.
The Telegraph didn't bother to write him up but then he was not an officer.
Margaret Duchess of Argyll - aka Marge Of Arge
Margaret Duchess of Argyll, who has died aged 80, was one of the most photographed and publicised beauties of the 20th century and a seemingly indomitable social figure. But between 1959 and 1963 she was involved in a sensational and sordid divorce case, when her second husband, the 11th Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell and Hereditary Master of the Royal Household in Scotland, sued her for divorce on grounds of adultery.
The court case lasted 11 days, and its piquant details included the theft of a racy diary, in which the Duchess listed the accoutrements of a number of lovers as though she was running them at Newmarket. The 50,000-word judgment, in which the Duke was granted a decree, was one of the longest in the history of the Edinburgh court. The Duchess was found to have committed adultery with three men named in her husband's petition and with a fourth, unidentified figure. A pair of photographs was produced in court showing the Duchess, naked save for three strings of pearls, engaged in a sexual act with a man whose face was not shown and who passed into folklore as 'the Headless Man'...........
Springett [ her maid ] fell out with the Duchess after being found unconscious on the floor of Her Grace's bedroom, with an empty bottle of her whisky lying close by. The Duchess dispatched solicitor's letters instructing Springett to desist from calling her a 'Mayfair whore' and a 'silly old bitch' in front of guests.
Sensational, lurid, disgraceful but it was not in my newspaper. At all events I knew nothing at the time. On the other hand the Profumo case was all over the headlines and nearly broke Harold MacMillan's government. Now it seems that Marge was a total ratbag and far worthier case for publicity.
PS She looks rather savage in the mug shot.
Bhanubhakta Gurung VC
Havildar [ Sergeant ] Bhanubhakta Gurung, who has died aged 86, was awarded a VC when serving as a rifleman in the 3rd Battalion of the 2nd Gurkha Rifles in Burma on March 5 1945........
"On approaching the objective, one of the sections of the company was forced to the ground by a very heavy light-machine-gun, grenade and mortar fire, and owing to the severity of this fire was unable to move in any direction.
"While thus pinned down, the section also came under accurate fire from a sniper in a tree some 75 yards to the south. As this sniper was inflicting casualties on the section, Rifleman Bhanbhagta Gurung stood up and, while fully exposed to heavy fire, calmly killed the enemy sniper with his rifle, thus saving his section from suffering further casualties."........ One Japanese soldier remained inside, holding up 4 Platoon's advance with the machine gun. Bhanubhakta crawled in and, prevented by the cramped space from using his bayonet or kukri, beat the gunner's brains out with a rock...........His three sons also served in the 2nd Gurkhas. Bhanubhakta suffered from asthma for many years and for the last four years of his life was housebound at his youngest son's house at Gorkha, where he died on Saturday.
Their loyalty is something utterly alien to politicians in England.
Ganju Lama VC
Ganju Lama, who has died aged 75, was awarded a Victoria Cross in Burma for his action on June 12 1944 when B Company, 7th Gurkha Rifles, were checking a Japanese attack, supported by tanks, in the Imphal and Kohima area...........
Rifleman Ganju Lama, the No 1 of the PIAT (Projector Infantry Anti-Tank) - which launched a 3 lb grenade on his initiative - crawled forward through thick mud, bleeding profusely, and engaged the tanks single-handedly. In spite of a broken left wrist and two other wounds, one in his right hand and one in his leg, caused by withering cross-fire concentrated on him, he succeeded in bringing his gun into action within 30 yards of the enemy tanks. He knocked out first one, and then another, the third tank being destroyed by an anti-tank gun. Despite his serious wounds, he then moved forwards and engaged with grenades the tank crews who were now attempting to escape. Not until he had killed or wounded them all, thus enabling his company to push forward, did he allow himself to be taken back to the Regimental Aid Post to have his wounds dressed.
He was from Bhutan rather than Nepal but a brave man among the brave none the less.
Captain Gaje Ghale VC
On May 24 a large force of Japanese were attempting to make an advance into the Chin Hills, where the 2nd/5th Gurkhas were part of the defence force. The Japanese occupied a vital tactical point, the key to the position, on Basha East Hill, the approach to which was a long bare knife-edge ridge which in some places was as little as 15ft wide............ On May 25, Gaje Ghale was given the task of taking the position........ A Japanese grenade wounded Gaje Ghale in the chest, arm and leg. Though covered with blood, he ignored his injuries and continued to throw grenades with his other arm. After prolonged hand-to-hand fighting the position was captured. The Gurkhas succeeded in holding it in the face of heavy fire from the Japanese trying to retake it..... Gaje Ghale later received the VC from Field Marshal Lord Wavell in Delhi at a parade beneath the walls of the Red Fort in the presence of a crowd of 5,000. He was later decorated with the Star of Nepal in Kathmandu by the Prime Minister of Nepal.
Do we deserve the loyalty of such men while Parliament is full of swine?
Eddy George, Governor of the Bank of England
George was a supreme technocrat, and was only the second person ever (after Lord O'Brien of Lothbury) to have come to the governorship through the ranks of the Bank of England itself, rather than from elsewhere in the City. His style was in marked contrast to that of the patrician Robin Leigh-Pemberton (Lord Kingsdown) who preceded him: if Leigh-Pemberton looked every inch the lord-lieutenant he was, George – hunched, stocky, chain-smoking – simply looked like a hard-working bank manager.......... George nevertheless commanded worldwide respect as "Steady Eddie" (and sometimes "Hard Eddie"), the banker's banker, a man who knew every nut and bolt of the financial system and was never deflected from his essential role in combating inflation in the British economy.
He sounded sensible and nice on the wireless. He worked through some rather nasty times.
I. J. Good
Irving John "I.J." Good (9 December 1916 - 5 April 2009) was a British statistician who worked as a cryptographer at Bletchley Park. He was born as Isidore Jacob Gudak to a Jewish family in London. In his publications he was called I. J. Good. He studied mathematics at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating in 1938. He did research work under G. H. Hardy and Besicovitch, before moving to Bletchley Park in 1941 on completing his doctorate.
At Bletchley Park, he was initially in Hut 8 under the supervision of Alan Turing; he worked with Donald Michie in Max Newman's group on the Fish ciphers, leading to the development of the Colossus computer. After the war ended, he worked at the University of Manchester and then at GCHQ until 1959. He then had a variety of defence, consulting and academic positions. He was a prolific author of technical papers.
When a Jew is good he can be very good. When he is bad he can be very good at being bad.
PS He is mentioned at Alan Turing Scrapbook - the Origins of Artificial Intelligence
On the night of September 24 1942, Lise de Baissac (as she then was) and Andre Borrel - code-named Odile and Denise - were dropped over the Loire valley. De Baissac's mission was to form a new circuit, called "Artist", based at Poitiers, where she could provide a secure centre for agents in need of help and information...... With typical sang froid, she chose to live next to the Gestapo headquarters. It was in a busy street, she explained afterwards, and on the way to the station; visitors, even at night, were unlikely to attract attention.
In the first weeks, she bicycled through the country lanes looking for possible landing and dropping zones, and building up contacts who would be prepared to help her. "I was very lonely," she said afterwards. "I discovered what solitude was. Having false papers, I never received a letter or a telephone call."
She was never caught which means luck and skill. Being bilingual always meant being in line for Secret Squirrel.
Squadron Leader Jock Cassels DFC
Squadron Leader Jock Cassels, who has died aged 86, completed 119 operations as a bomber pilot over Occupied Europe, including 27 against Berlin – on his 13th visit to the "Big City", his Mosquito was so badly damaged that he was forced to head for Sweden, where he crash-landed.
A tour was 30 operations and a lot of men didn't make it. Almost 4 tours is humungous.
Wing Commander Jack Hoskins DFC
Wing Commander Jack Hoskins, who has died aged 92, played a pivotal role seeking out and destroying Axis convoys to North Africa which were loaded with essential supplies for Rommel's forces engaged against the British Eighth Army – air attacks which proved crucial in the Allied victory in the African campaign. In later years he was a member of the nuclear planning staff at NATO............
A priority target for the Wellingtons was Rommel's fuel supply. As the Battle of Alamein got under way at the end of October 1942, the Axis tried to run two tankers into Tobruk. A daylight attack by another squadron had failed, and Hoskins took off to reach the convoy at dusk. He successfully intercepted the two tankers and homed in a strike force, which was able to sink both ships as they were about to gain the safety of the harbour. This loss of critical fuel was a major setback for the German Panzers.
A lively war but a lucky one. He lived to tell the tale.
Major-General Michael Hicks
Commander in Northern Ireland who led his men with dignity and authority during Bloody Sunday
Chief Petty Officer Bill Stone
Chief Petty Officer Bill Stone, who died on January 10 aged 108, was the last man to have served in the Royal Navy during both world wars.......... Shortly afterwards Stone witnessed the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow. The 10th of a farm labourer's 14 children,..... two years later, he walked to Kingsbridge to join the navy. But his father, who had four brothers and three sons at sea, refused to sign his papers. While other farm labourers joined the Army, never to return, young Bill drove a water cart and, later, a steam roller before getting his chance when he was called up two weeks before his 18th birthday.
He was a jovial soul and remembered the happy things.
William 'Buster' Swan DCM
An officer would have been in for a DSO if not a VC. That is the British Army for you.
Air Commodore Pete Brothers DSO, DFC
Air Commodore Pete Brothers, who has died aged 91, flew throughout the Battle of Britain and was one of the RAF's most distinguished fighter pilots, credited with destroying at least 16 enemy aircraft......... As the Battle of Britain opened in July 1940, the squadron was operating Hurricanes from Biggin Hill and was soon involved in furious fighting. Flying three, sometimes four, times a day, Brothers shot down seven fighters and a bomber over Kent before the end of August. On one occasion he returned home after a particularly difficult day to learn from his wife that a bomb splinter had come through an open window and shattered the mirror as she was applying her make-up. Years later he observed: "It was then that I decided the war had become personal."
A rather good man I think.
Lieutenant-Colonel Eric Wilson, VC
Eric Wilson won the first Victoria Cross to be awarded in the campaigns in Africa during the Second World War. His story is one of persistent yet seemingly nonchalant gallantry as, by his lights, he was simply doing what he was trained to do. He stuck to his precious guns to the bitter end and so certain was the brigade staff that he had been killed in the enemy’s final attack he was awarded a posthumous VC. But he survived to fight in two more campaigns......
On release from the Italian PoW camp he volunteered to join the Long Range Desert Group operating round the flanks of Rommel’s Afrika Korps in the Western Desert. His knowledge of desert conditions proved a useful asset but, at the end of the North African campaign, he went to Burma as second-in-command of a battalion of The King’s African Rifles.....
He joined the staff of the London Goodenough Trust for Overseas Students, where his fluency in Kiswahili, Gikuria and Chinyakusa stood him in good stead. He was the honorary secretary of the Anglo-Somali Society, 1972-77, and again from 1988 to 1990.
Determination helps when things get nasty. The climate was no help to anyone. He must have liked the heat.
Mark Felt - aka Deep Throat
Mark Felt, the former FBI deputy director who died on December 18 aged 95, was Deep Throat, the source for newspaper stories linking President Richard Nixon to a burglary in 1972 at the Democratic Party's offices in Washington DC's Watergate complex.
The outrage and hate from the media contrasts with their total commitment to covering up for Obama, the illegal president.
Major Robert Furman
Major Robert Furman, who has died aged 93, oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and played a vital part in the American struggle for nuclear supremacy when, in 1943, he was ordered to discover how far the Germans had advanced in developing the atomic bomb. He began by interviewing scientists on campuses across the United States and was appointed the personal handler of Niels Bohr, the Nobel prize winner who had worked on the understanding of atomic structure and had recently escaped from occupied Denmark. Furman was particularly impressed by the ability of Bohr and his associates to play chess without using a board.
A useful man.
Jimmy James MC
Jimmy James, who has died aged 88, won the Military Cross in 1943 during the battle for the island of Leros and subsequently became deputy under-secretary of state at the Home Office. In November 1943, following a German attack on the Aegean island of Leros,..... On November 15 James, the intelligence officer, was part of the reconnaissance group which was following up a company attack on Rachi Ridge, near Leros town, when they were held up by snipers firing from houses lining the road. James ran forward under fire and found a secure position from which the group could observe the attack. Then, with a private from the Intelligence Section, he cleared the houses and disposed of the snipers. For his gallantry, he was awarded an MC [ and the private? - Editor ].
Officers get medals and men get nothing; snobbery in action.
Major Michael Stilwell
Commando officer who was badly wounded while leading a daring assault on a German stronghold.
Robert Mark used him to lean on bent coppers in the Met. Mark was the last chief in London to give serious reason to believe that he was not corrupt himself.
Boris Fyodorov, who died on Thursday aged 50 following a stroke, founded one of Russia's leading investment banks and served, briefly, during the Yeltsin era as finance minister and deputy prime minister. Fyodorov came to symbolise Western-style economic reform, but was unusual in speaking out against corruption and demanding the introduction of Western-style corporate governance. At a time when the commanding heights of the Russian economy were being sold at a knock-down price to Yeltsin cronies, his reforming zeal made him powerful enemies and proved his undoing.
An honest politician in Yeltsin's time was a rare beast. He would have been the only one.
Leading Seaman Gordon Cleaver BEM
Leading Seaman Gordon Cleaver, who has died aged 75, was the hero of the Pearl River Incident in 1953 when, with half his shipmates killed, he took command of his patrol boat to bring her into British waters off Hong Kong. On Sept 9, 1953, Cleaver, who had just been made up to a leading hand in Harbour Defence Motor Launch 1323, was watching traffic at the mouth of the river on the Hong Kong boundary with China. Her captain, the South-African born Lieutenant GCX Merriman, had just inspected a junk when he saw a warship, flying the Communist Chinese flag, coming downriver............
Ignoring the order Merriman turned away and increased to full speed when a large calibre shell smashed into ML 1323's engine room without exploding. As the crew sheltered in the lightly armoured wheelhouse, Cleaver entered the engine room to find a large hole in the port side and opposite an unexploded shell, which he carried on deck and dropped over the side.
An officer would have been considered for a VC. The seaman got a paltry medal and the Royal Navy is a bunch of snobs.
Professor Sir Brian Pippard
Professor Sir Brian Pippard, who died on September 21 aged 88, was Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge..... As a physicist Pippard made numerous contributions to research in low temperature physics and semiconductors. These included his proof of the existence of the Fermi surface in metals – an abstract boundary derived in part from the nature of the crystalline lattice, which is useful for predicting the thermal, electrical, magnetic and optical properties of metals, semi-metals, and semiconductors.......... his father became Professor of Engineering........ One of his projects included the design of an aerial for equipment to follow the trajectory of mortar shells, equipment which was first used by troops in the 6th Airborne Division in the Rhine Crossing, though subsequent rapid troop movements prevented its full deployment.
If you really understand what he did you are probably in the business too. His father was a capable man. Brains are in the blood.
John Burrows, who died on August 28 aged 96, was a Japanese military expert at Bletchley Park, the wartime code-breaking organisation, and went on to become Chief Inspector of Schools during the 1970s. Before being sent to Bletchley, Burrows had been a sergeant on the intelligence staff at Singapore and was witness to the shambles of the British defence of Malaya during the Japanese invasion, which coincided with the attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941.......
"All the able generals were collected in the Middle East, and it was the duds who were shipped out to the Far East, some of them with no understanding of reality at all. It was cloud-cuckoo land and to someone like myself who had come from wartime Britain it was unbelievable." "When I joined the Army, I was a teacher of modern languages," he said. "I admitted to a working knowledge of German and was immediately posted to Singapore."
They keep fairly quiet about Singapore. It was a major blow to our prestige and gave Japs ideas above their station which are causing problems to this day.
Colonel Don Blakeslee
Colonel Don Blakeslee , who has died aged 89, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and the RAF before transferring to the USAAF, where he was considered one of the finest combat fighter leaders of the Second World War......... A forceful, no-nonsense man, Blakeslee left his pilots in no doubt of what he expected of them when he addressed them for the first time: “We are here to fight,” he began. “To those who don’t believe me, I would suggest transferring to another Group. I’m going to fly the arse off each one of you. Those who keep up with me, good; those who don’t, I don’t want them.”
In just four months his aggressive leadership led to the Group’s achieving its 500th “kill”....... By his own admission Blakeslee was not a very good shot, and he flew very close to his adversary before opening fire. He was credited with 15 and a half victories, but when there was a multiple claim he always allowed junior pilots the credit. Many believe that he destroyed at least 30 enemy aircraft.
Effective in the air and private on the ground. A good man.
Test pilot for de Havilland and Rolls-Royce who notched up time in 84 different aircraft and had two narrow escapes. He had lots of fun though.
Huntsman with the Belvoir for 27 years who was the leading exponent of hunting pure-bred Old English hounds.
Refugee who became a pioneer of the modern hedge fund and a prominent philanthropist. He was a Jew who made a lot of money and spent a lot on charities. He was born Jack Nachtgeist in Germany. Such often like to hide their origins.
WO2 Gary O'Donnell
Bomb disposal officer whose technical expertise saved many lives in Iraq and won him the George Medal.
Mathematician who made a significant contribution to the study of probabilty [ sic ] and fractals.
Group Captain Tony Barwood
RAF doctor who improved the ejection seat and became an international expert on aircraft escape systems.
Was a novelist and film maker with a good background. His books were prone to have reading lists at the back. One such was State Of Fear which gives first class sources regarding the Global Warming boondoggle.
Flight Lieutenant Charley Fox DFC
Canadian Spitfire pilot who destroyed or damaged 22 locomotives, 153 vehicles, at least four aircraft and Rommel's car. He did 224 sorties including 3 on D Day.
MI5 agent who for two decades worked at the heart of the British Communist Party. They paid her pension until she died.
Amos E Joel
Electronics engineer who worked on early digital computers and made mobile phones connect on the move. He an MIT man and worked at Bell Laboratories. 70 patents mean rather special.
Writer and broadcaster whose interviews with ordinary people created a chronicle of American life. Also a Jew with brains.
Colonel Charles Greenwood MC
Colonel Charles Greenwood, in May 1944 Greenwood, then a captain, was serving with 22 Field Regiment Royal Artillery (22 FR). On the night of May 11, he was forward observation officer with the leading company of 1/6 Battalion East Surrey Regiment in their attack on an important tactical feature at Monte Cassino. He was able to get his party on to the objective but they then found themselves in a highly precarious situation. For the next 36 hours, while under constant sniping, shelling and attack from mortars, Greenwood, by quick calls for fire, saved the infantry in what was an almost untenable position. When their last officer was wounded he took charge and continued to consolidate the defences. He was awarded an immediate MC in the field........... His uncle serving with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, had won a VC in France the previous year.
Having a VC in the family implies that it is the blood.
Lieutenant-Colonel Cliff Norbury MC
On March 24 1945, 6 Airborne Division landed east of the Rhine; Norbury, then a major, was serving as DAQMG. Both the other A/Q staff officers were killed and he had the task of setting up Rear Divisional HQ while under heavy fire from artillery, mortars and small arms as well as organising the supply of the fighting units......... In 1942 his unit became the 9th Battalion the Parachute Regiment [ 9 PARA is no more - Editor ] and the following year he was posted to HQ 6th Airborne Division, first as Staff Captain Q and then as DAQMG. He then took part in operations in Normandy (he was mentioned in dispatches), the Battle of the Ardennes, the Rhine Crossing and the advance to the Baltic.
Derek didn't say that the Rhine Crossing that lively and he was there.
Group Captain Jim Mitchell DFC
Group Captain Jim Mitchell, who died on July 30 aged 92, earned a DFC and Bar as a bomber pilot during the Second World War, then faced a different kind of danger when he flew on a rescue mission to the High Arctic in 1950............
Following training in Canada and then becoming an instructor in England, Mitchell joined No 9 Squadron, flying Lancasters. His first bombing operation, on July 3 1943, was an attack on Cologne; he was next involved in two more in the devastating "firestorm" raids on Hamburg. Over the next few months he attacked most of the major industrial targets in the Ruhr as well as on Berlin, Leipzig and Magdeburg. His first DFC was awarded in April 1944 for displaying "high skill, fortitude and devotion to duty".
After some 20 operations, Mitchell joined the Pathfinder Force with No 83 Squadron. From early 1944 he marked targets at many German cities before the squadron attacked pinpoint targets in France in preparation for the Normandy landings, and then was deputy master bomber on several of these raids. Awarded a Bar to his DFC, he was assessed as a cool and courageous captain, who had set a sterling example to all in the squadron. He had flown 49 operations over enemy-occupied territory at the height of the strategic bombing campaign when casualties were at their worst.
He was not just anyone. There are old pilots and bold pilots but not many who are both; they are competent as well as lucky.
RAF navigator who hunted the Tirpitz while serving with the Dam Busters........... There are not many of them left. There weren't that many who got back either.
Yuri Nosenko, who died on August 23 aged 80, was a KGB intelligence officer who defected to the West at the height of the Cold War; after initial doubts about his authenticity, the CIA came to consider him one of its most valuable, if troublesome, defectors........... Nosenko offered to provide the Americans with information, saying that he hoped to defect some time in the future, and that he wished to acquire medication for his asthmatic daughter, Oksana; but his principal objective was to replace funds which he had misappropriated from the local rezidentura which he had then blown in a local nightclub.
Drinking and fornicating can lead to problems. Was the whole Secret Squirrel thing a waste of time and money? The product I saw was fairly pathetic.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Has Departed Us
MOSCOW - Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize-winning Russian author whose books chronicled the horrors of dictator Josef Stalin's slave labour camps, has died of heart failure, his son said Monday. He was 89........... Through unflinching accounts of the years he spent in the Soviet gulag, Solzhenitsyn's novels and non-fiction works exposed the secret history of the vast prison system that enslaved millions. The accounts riveted his countrymen and earned him years of bitter exile, but international renown.......... His non-fiction "Gulag Archipelago" trilogy of the 1970s shocked readers by describing the savagery of the Soviet state under Stalin. It helped erase lingering sympathy for the Soviet Union among many leftist intellectuals, especially in Europe. But his account of that secret system of prison camps was also inspiring in its description of how one person - Solzhenitsyn himself - survived, physically and spiritually, in a penal system of soul-crushing hardship and injustice........
During the 1990s, his stalwart nationalist views, his devout Orthodoxy, his disdain for capitalism and disgust with the tycoons who bought Russian industries and resources cheaply following the Soviet collapse, were unfashionable. He faded from public view..... Born Dec. 11, 1918, in Kislovodsk, Solzhenitsyn served as a front-line artillery captain in World War II........
The author's last book, 2001's "Two Hundred Years Together," addressed the complex emotions of Russian-Jewish relations. Some criticized the book for alleged anti-Semitic passages. But the author denied the charge, saying he "understood the subtlety, sensitivity and kind-heartedness of the Jewish character."
Yeltsin's successor Putin at first had a rocky relationship with Solzhenitsyn, who criticized the Russian president in 2002 for not doing more to crack down on Russia's oligarchs. Putin was also a veteran of the Soviet-era KGB, the agency that, more than any other, represented the Soviet legacy of repression.
But the two men, so different, gradually developed a rapport. By steps, Putin adopted Solzhenitsyn's criticisms of the West, perhaps out of a recognition that Russia really is a different civilization, perhaps because the author offered justification for the Kremlin's determination to muzzle critics, to reassert control over Russia's natural resources and to concentrate political power.
He proved the power of the truth over evil. He also serves with the guns, unlike draft dodging war criminals such as Blair, Brown and Bush. The writer brushes lightly over Two Hundred Years Together [ with Jews that is. They constituted six of the seven oligarchs who robbed Russia of 85% of its assets. ] The truth is everywhere in chains ]
Robert A Heinlein
Robert Heinlein was also a writer, just like Solzhenitsyn. They would have agreed about liberty if nothing else. Their heritage lives on.
Roger Landes MC
Landes, who was French by birth, was dropped south-west of Orléans in October 1942 with instructions to make contact with Claude de Baissac, head of SOE's Bordeaux-based "Scientist" circuit. When de Baissac was flown to Britain in July 1943, Landes took control of the network just as a Gestapo crackdown led to arrests, including that of the wife of a local resistance leader, Mme Grandclement. Fearing for his wife's life, and suspicious of communist influence within the Maquis, the Right-wing André Grandclement agreed to help the Germans, forcing Landes to escape through Spain.
Being on your own must have been rather trying.
Vice-Admiral Sir Tony Troup DSC
Vice-Admiral Sir Tony Troup,..... became the youngest-ever submarine captain when he took command, at 21 years 10 months, of the training submarine H32 in June 1943. Just a few months later he was given command of Strongbow, based at Trincomalee, Ceylon. Operations had been largely restricted to patrols, air-sea rescue and the landing and recovery of agents; but Troup sank the 800-ton coaster Toso Maru off Phuket with a single torpedo on his first eastern patrol. He then sank or drove ashore nine junks, a tug and two lighters with gunfire and by boarding and placing demolition charges.
The next patrol, however, brought mixed results. On October 11, in the Malacca Strait, Troup attacked a merchant ship which was being escorted by two sub-chasers, firing five torpedoes at a range of 3,000 yards. Two exploded prematurely and the others missed; then, before he could renew the attack, he found himself in shallow water.
He did have an interesting time of it.
During the Second World War Ruth's husband, David Greenglass, had worked as a machinist on the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, New Mexico. He was said by prosecutors at the trial to have been persuaded by his sister, Ethel Rosenberg, and her husband Julius, to give them top-secret data relating to atomic weapons, which Julius then transmitted to Moscow. Both couples were avowed Communists.............
Fuchs confessed that he had been passing information to the Soviet Union since the Manhattan Project. It was clear that he had not worked alone and, during subsequent investigations by the FBI, suspicion fell on David Greenglass.
Greenglass was called in for interrogation and confessed. He claimed that the Rosenbergs had also been members of the spy ring and agreed to testify against them. It was important for the prosecution that Ethel Rosenberg should be implicated as it was thought that her husband might be persuaded to spill the beans if he felt he might spare her execution.
Most of the traitors were Jews. They have a penchant for treachery but the Daily Telegraph does not say so. It was owned by a Zionist thief.
Jesse Helms, the Republican senator for North Carolina who died on Friday aged 86, was one of America's most outspoken custodians of traditional conservative values; his robust attitudes on race, Aids, Communism and federal funding of art he considered obscene made him a household name. When he was first elected as a southern senator in 1972 Helms's eccentricities were tolerated, even found amusing. For his first 20 years he railed against the "muck of decadence, civil rights campaigners, hippies, taxes, "striped-pants bureaucrats" in the State Department and the like, but had few real achievements to his credit..........
In contrast to his public reputation, in private Helms as known as a courtly southern gentleman with impeccable manners, unswervingly loyal to family, friends and employees. Yet he also had a quick temper which could flare up when things were not going his way, or when people disagreed with him, a temper which he sometime employed to good effect.
A rather sad obit. He was not that effective; a pity.
Squadron Leader Larry Curtis DFC
He flew more than 70 bombing operations during the Second World War and had the very unusual distinction for a wireless operator of earning two DFCs. He had already completed two bomber tours when he arrived on No 617 Squadron in July 1943 as one of the replacements for the men lost on the Dam Busters raid. He joined the crew of the Australian Mickey Martin (later Air Marshal Sir Mick Martin), who was described by his CO, Leonard Cheshire, VC, as "the greatest bomber pilot of the war". Curtis flew on the squadron's first bombing operation after the Dams raid, a low-level attack by eight Lancasters on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. The new CO was shot down and several aircraft were badly damaged. Low cloud thwarted those who got through, and Martin and his crew made 13 attempted attacks before releasing their bomb; the canal, however, remained intact.
Throughout that winter No 617 attacked precision targets, including the V-1 flying bomb sites in the Pas de Calais. On the night of February 12 1944 Curtis took off on his twelfth sortie with Martin. The target was the Antheor viaduct on the vital coastal rail link between Italy and the south of France, and it was at the extreme range of the Lancasters. On arrival, Cheshire and Martin were to illuminate the target from low level to allow the rest of the force to drop their bombs.
He did have a lively war.
David Caminer, who died on June 19 aged 92, was an early designer of computer software and one of the brains behind the world's first office computer. In the late 1940s Caminer was working in the systems research office of the J Lyons bakery and catering firm when the board commissioned its engineers to design and build the world's first working computer for business use. Completed in 1951 and named LEO (for Lyons Electronic Office), it was this machine that Caminer used to introduce software systems and concepts that transformed the way companies worldwide manage data...........
David Caminer was born David Tresman on June 26 1915, the son of a Jewish tailor in the East End of London. His father was killed in the trenches during the First World War, just before David's third birthday, and his mother subsequently married a man called Caminer. Educated at Sloane School in the Fulham Road, David became a fiercely radical idealist and passed up his chance to go to university because, he once explained, the Depression had made him too politically conscious............ During the Second World War Caminer served with the Green Howards, losing a leg at the Battle of Mareth in the Tunisian desert in March 1943.
Lyons were an enterprising outfit.
Lieutenant General William Odom
Lieutenant-General William Odom, who has died aged 75, was one of the pre-eminent Sovietologists and Russian speakers in the American armed forces during the Cold War.......... Odom was the staunchest supporter of Brzezinski in urging Carter to be more robust in his dealings with the Eastern Bloc. He duly became known in some quarters as "Brzezinski's Brzezinski".
The balance tilted decisively in Brzezinski's and Odom's favour after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Two documents drafted by Odom proved critical. In September 1980 Brezezinski forwarded Odom's memorandum to Carter recommending a decisive shift away from a "de facto policy of strategic retreat in the world to a policy of strategic and regional competition with Soviet power"..........
From 1972 to 1974 Odom was assistant army attaché at the Moscow embassy. Although constantly trailed by Soviet military intelligence, or the GRU, he nonetheless managed to smuggle out a large portion of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's archive, including the author's membership card for the Writers' Union and Second World War military citations; Solzhenitsyn subsequently paid tribute to Odom's role in his memoir Invisible Allies (1995).....
Odom's well-known forthrightness did him little apparent harm. In 1981 he was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff of the US Army for Intelligence. Four years later he became Director of the National Security Agency, the multi-billion-dollar global signals intelligence organisation based at Fort Meade, Maryland, which dwarfs the CIA in size and budgets.
An important man in his day. It sounds as though he got it right. The truth may well be more complicated.
Group Captain Tony O'Neill
Bomber pilot who switched to fighters for the Battle of Britain and flew night fighter sorties against the Japanese.
Pharmacist who patented 46 inventions, including a plastic disposable hypodermic syringe and a tranquilliser gun.
Stanley Southworth MM
Wartime NCO whose outstanding courage under enemy fire in the Libyan desert earned him the Military Medal. The worst thing about the British Army is the snobbery that gives better medals to officers than men.
Historian who challenged the popular conception of British national unity during the Second World War.
Arthur 'Robbie' Burns DSO
On the afternoon of October 8 1944, 1st Battalion the Duke of Wellington's Regiment was ordered to attack Monte Cece, north-east of Florence. This feature, about 2,000ft high with sheer slopes, was strongly held by the Germans and stood in the path of the main Allied axis of advance. C Company led the advance with A Company, commanded by Burns, then a captain, in support. With heavy rain and the mud knee-deep in places, conditions over the precipitous terrain were close to impossible.........
For his inspiring leadership in a critical situation, Burns was awarded an immediate DSO. Private Burton, a member of his company, won a Victoria Cross in the same action.
Italy was not a fun place to be then. Beaches were places for landing under fire as Denis Thatcher knew all too well.
Professor WH Greenleaf
Critic of collectivism in British government. He was at least sympathetic toward libertarian ideas. When some one claims that he knows how to run your life better than you do it is time to ask why.
Lieutenant 'Polly' Perkins DSC
Motor torpedo boat captain awarded two DSCs who used an operation in Norway to harvest Christmas trees.
Soldier, explorer and naturalist who fell foul of the Foreign Legion in the Sahara and studied owls in Iceland. He proved that various deserts had once been fertile.
Wing Commander Jimmy Dell
Wing Commander Jimmy Dell, who has died aged 83, was one of Britain's foremost test pilots; he used his outstanding skills as an RAF fighter pilot to test the Lightning, as well as the highly advanced TSR 2 bomber which was cancelled by the Labour government in 1965.
Its cancellation dealt a massive blow to the British aircraft industry, and the sense of anti-climax, and in some quarters anger [ make that thoughts of treason - Editor ], was intensified when the government ordered the destruction of all the airframes, plans and the jigs. Dell always thought that the aircraft would be a world-beater, and considered it a great privilege to fly it.
Leading huntsman who rode with the Quorn and was considered a distinctive and iconic exemplar of the Shires tradition.
Michael Cole , who has died aged 79, was one of the first scientists to make his mark as an entrepreneur in the years after the Second World War; during his career he survived near-bankruptcy to establish one of the fastest-growing manufacturing businesses in Britain. There was then a huge demand for research into the properties of metals for use in weapons, space exploration and nuclear fuels, but the best research results could be obtained only by working on single crystals, which were unavailable commercially....
He became interested in global warming theories and believed that many of the assumptions around man-made CO2 emissions and climate computer modelling were highly questionable.
He was a Jew with brains. Such can do a lot of good. They also do a lot of evil.
Brian Keenan, who died on Wednesday aged 66, was a linchpin of the IRA and one of the most ruthless and formidable members of its leadership;..........
........ Instead he seems to have been inspired by a fanatical commitment to revolutionary Marxism, to which he had been converted in the 1960s. He was a formidable political animal – highly intelligent, fluent in at least four languages, and he possessed organisational and technical skills of a high order.
Keenan joined the Provisional IRA in the late 1960s at the start of the "Troubles". By 1971 he had become quartermaster of the so-called Belfast Brigade, and over the next few years he masterminded a campaign of bombings in the province. A factor in his promotion was his fluency in Arabic, which enabled him to attend training camps in the Middle East and to buy arms, explosives and ammunition from terrorist organisations and rogue states worldwide. He made contacts with the PLO, with the Stasi in East Germany and with Colonel Gaddafi's Libya. He arranged the first arms shipment from Libya in 1972.
Brains and drive make a lot of difference for better or worse.
Larry Levine, who died on May 8, his 80th birthday, provided the technical expertise behind Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound" recordings in the 1960s; as Spector's principal recording engineer from 1962 to 1966, he contributed to classics such as the Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling, the Ronettes' Be My Baby, the Crystals' Da Doo Ron Ron and Ike and Tina Turner's River Deep, Mountain High. Spector and Levine made their records at Gold Star's Studio A in Los Angeles. The studio was low-ceilinged, small (22ft by 32ft) and often had to accommodate as many as 20 musicians at a time, thus giving the producer the ideal acoustic environment for the sound he wished to achieve.
Spector is still living in the shadow of a murder charge, facing a retrial over the shooting of a 40-year-old nightclub hostess in 2003.
Larry was the man who made some nice very pieces sound just the way they did. Phil Spector was not merely abrasive he was trigger happy too.
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough
On the outbreak of war he converted to flying boats, and in 1940 he operated with No 240 Squadron from the Shetland Islands. Flying over the northern North Sea he flew in support of the ill-fated British Expeditionary Force to Norway and on searches for German ships seeking to break out from the Baltic........
Promoted to wing commander at the age of 24, he commanded the captured Italian airfield at Mogadishu, Somaliland, where Wellingtons conducted anti-submarine operations. On his return to Britain in May 1944 he became chief instructor at a flying-boat training unit and was mentioned in dispatches.
Promotion came fast in those days. So did death. He didn't do really exciting things. So it was promotion instead.
Lieutenant-Colonel Douggie Moir
Lieutenant-Colonel Douggie Moir, who died on May 6 aged 89, was taken prisoner in 1940 and made a series of escape attempts from German PoW camps, including Colditz............ Later, when he was being moved by cattle-truck to Warburg, he and a brother officer squeezed through a hatch window and jumped clear of the moving train.
They were at large for several days, but were then given away by a local and returned to Warburg. Moir was soon assisting in the planning for another escape attempt, which involved some 60 officers scaling the perimeter wire with makeshift ladders while fellow prisoners fused the lights and created distractions to confuse the guards.
A lively man and a practical man.
Robert Vesco, whose death in Cuba at the age of 71 has been confirmed by Cuban burial records, was a swashbuckling Wall Street financier and con man whose escapades included looting millions of dollars from a Swiss mutual fund, drug trafficking, money laundering, making an illegal contribution to Richard Nixon's 1972 presidential re-election campaign, attempting to set up his own mini-state in the Caribbean and plotting to bribe US officials to allow Libya to buy American military planes.
An interesting life but a bit too exciting for me.
Flight Lieutenant Nicky Ross DSO
Flight Lieutenant Ross, who has died aged 90, was one of Bomber Command's most experienced heavy bomber pilots; he completed three tours of operations over enemy-occupied northern Europe, flew on Leonard Cheshire's No 617 Squadron and attacked numerous targets with Barnes Wallis's 12,000-lb Tallboy "earthquake" bomb.............
An avid gardener, he also enjoyed tinkering with old Jaguars and he had a passion for Scotch. A kind, generous and extremely modest man, he once described his time in the RAF as "the best six years of my life".
Some were lucky. A lot were not.
Major David Liddell MC
On December 23 1943 Liddell was in command of a company detached as reinforcements to 5th Battalion the Essex Regiment which was ordered to capture the village of Villa Grande, near Termoli on the Adriatic coast of Italy. Patrols had reported that the position was held in strength by the formidable German 1st Parachute Division.
Liddell's company attacked at first light. His men gained a foothold in the village, but the platoons became separated by 100 yards of bullet-swept ground. The leading platoon had suffered severe casualties, and when Liddell came up with reinforcements they were pinned down by heavy machine-gun fire.
Liddell charged the machine-gun post single-handed, knocked it out with hand grenades and enabled his men to continue the advance. During the engagement his batman was killed beside him and he himself was wounded in the eye. He continued, nevertheless, until he had linked up with the isolated platoon.
He had a lively war and a brother who got a VC.
Diana Barnato Walker
Diana Barnato Walker, who died on April 28 aged 90 , occupied an almost legendary position in the world of aviation: as well as being one of a handful of “Atagirls”, women who served during the war as ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) pilots delivering newly-built and battle-ready aircraft to airfields all over southern England, in 1963 she became the first woman in the world to break the sound barrier.
The diminutive socialite granddaughter of a South African diamond millionaire, before the war Diana Barnato was well known in London for her high spirits and for late nights spent at the Embassy or 400 Club in London. She was also known for the Bentley which she was given for her 21st birthday - a gift from her doting father, the motor-racing champion Woolf “Babe” Barnato.....................
On another occasion, “skimming happily along in a Spitfire”, she suddenly found herself in thick cloud, “but I couldn’t bale out! My skirt would have ridden up with the parachute straps and anyone who happened to be below would have seen my knickers!” Instead, to the astonishment of those on the ground, she managed to nurse her aircraft down, breaking through the cloud at tree-top height and banking sharply to avoid a patch of woodland, to make a perfect landing in heavy rain on the tiny grass airstrip of what turned out to be the Navigation and Blind Flying Establishment at RAF Windrush............
One evening in 1963 in the mess at RAF Middleton St George, the Wing Commander Flying, John Severgne, idly suggested that Diana might like to fly one of the RAF’s new supersonic Lightnings. She jumped at the chance and on August 26 1963, following clearance from the Ministry of Defence, she took off and reached a speed of Mach 1.65 (1,262 mph), making her the first woman to break the sound barrier.
She really did live. Being a Master of Fox Hounds is rather special in this foul year of Our Lord. She was the granddaughter of a very successful Jewish crook until he came unstuck.
Philipp Von Boeselager
Philipp Von Boeselager, who died on Thursday aged 90, was the last surviving conspirator in two failed attempts to assassinate Hitler during the Second World War, including the July 20 plot for which most of his co-conspirators were executed. Boeselager was one of eight Wehrmacht officers who planned to shoot Hitler and the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, on a visit to the eastern front in March 1943, but the plot was called off in Himmler's absence.........
Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg and other officers involved in the plot were rounded up and shot the same day, while others, including thousands of their relatives, were tortured and executed; but Boeselager, who had obtained the explosives, escaped detection.
A pity that he didn't succeed. We have plenty of politicians equally worthy of deposing. They know it too. That is why their security is so heavy.
Deborah Palfrey - Suicide Or Murder?
Deborah Palfrey, who has died aged 52, was known as "the DC madam"; for more than a decade she ran a call-girl ring in Washington DC which was alleged to attract clients from the heart of the American establishment. The girls she employed at "Pamela Martin & Associates" were required to be university-educated, well-mannered and capable of holding an intelligent conversation about current affairs.............. Deborah Palfrey was found hanged at her mother's house at Tarpon Springs, Florida, on Thursday.
Suicide is a way out and rather a pity. Releasing her list of clients should have been the master stroke but the establishment closed ranks. They didn't hesitate when it came to dropping Eliot in it even though he is a Jew. Murder is a political tool and a very effective one. Dead men tell no tales as Vince Foster will not tell you ever since he got sorted out by the CIA/FBI/Mossad. See Eliot Spitzer Was Screwed for the context.
Mark Wyndham MC
Mark Wyndham, who died on April 15 aged 86, won a Military Cross in the desert and later worked in industry for his cousin, the novelist Henry Yorke, before becoming a notably successful chairman of the Children's Society and a founder of the 999 Club, a charity at Deptford............
When war came he joined up, and was commissioned in the 12th Royal Lancers............... In March of that year, while on patrol, he was wounded; and throughout this period he performed reconnaissance movements that, in the words of a senior officer, showed "the utmost dash and gallantry", taking his vehicle as close to the enemy as possible, even though out gunned and suffering from inferior British armour.
On June 7 1942, when Wyndham's squadron was providing reconnaissance for the 22nd Armoured Brigade near the Rigguel ridge, he noticed an enemy concentration south of the ridge, almost entirely hidden. Spotted by the Germans, Wyndham found himself under heavy shell-fire for some 45 minutes, during which time he managed to gain information about the size of the enemy force and the exact location of its batteries.............
A lot of men had interesting times then and showed that they not just anybody.
Wg Cdr Paddy Barthropp DFC
Wing Commander Paddy Barthropp, who died on April 16 aged 87, was one of the RAF's most ebullient and colourful characters; he fought in the Battle of Britain, escaped twice from prisoner-of-war camps and later became a test pilot and a winning jockey in Hong Kong............
Throughout that summer he was constantly in action, and was credited with destroying two enemy fighters, probably destroying two others and damaging two more. On numerous occasions his Spitfire returned damaged by anti-aircraft fire. In August 1941, after completing 150 operations, he was awarded a DFC and sent to a fighter training unit as an instructor.
Another good one gone.
Bruce "Titch" Wyllie, who has died aged 85, was a rear-gunner ("tail-end Charlie") in Lancasters with 57 Squadron of Bomber Command, whose very first operation was the famous Dresden Raid. It was not until half a century had passed that Wyllie could be prevailed upon to speak of his wartime past. When finally he did, he recalled a number of harrowing, terrifying but ultimately hugely rewarding experiences........
His other sport of the 1930s, shooting, taught him the concepts of swinging through a target and firing slightly ahead of it to allow for the speed of the moving lead. Unbeknownst to him at the time, these were soon to prove invaluable...........
With the appallingly high casualty rate suffered by Bomber Command, Wyllie considered the whole of the rest of his life to be an unexpected bonus, and he enjoyed it to the full.
Some were lucky. A lot weren't.
Sydney Dowse MC, the Great Escaper
Sydney Dowse, who died on Thursday aged 89, was one of the principal constructors of the tunnel used in the Great Escape; he was among those who got away, and was at large for 14 days before being recaptured and sent to the "death camp" at Sachsenhausen, where he dug another tunnel to gain a few more days of freedom.
Dowse had been in captivity for just over a year when he arrived in May 1942 at Hermann Goering's "escape-proof" camp, Stalag Luft III, at Sagan. He made two unsuccessful attempts before further efforts by the prisoners were put on to a more formal footing by the formation of an escape committee under the chairmanship of Roger Bushell, known as "Big X"..............
Although Dowse spent most of his time underground, he also befriended a German corporal who worked in the censor's office at the camp headquarters. Through this contact he obtained numerous authentic documents, which were passed to the escape committee for copying, and much valuable military intelligence. He even managed to persuade the corporal to provide him with a tailored suit, which he subsequently wore for his escape.
A first class man. A pity that we don't have men like him running England rather than the traitors and communists that have wormed their way in.
Sergeant Dougie Wright MM
Sergeant Dougie Wright, who has died aged 88, earned a Military Medal and a legendary reputation as a fighting soldier with Lord Jellicoe's 1st Special Boat Squadron in the Greek islands. In April 1944 he distinguished himself in a close-quarter attack on an enemy post on Ios, which resulted in no SBS losses but five enemy casualties. He was also involved in two dramatic attacks on a radio station on Amorgos. In the first he found himself under the command of Anders Lassen, a Dane (later to win a posthumous VC) who hated Germans and usually killed them; but on this occasion Lassen did a deal with a captured wireless operator by which he took the man's dog as well as the station's code books, while Wright took the German's Greek mistress.
The worst thing about the British Army is the snobbery that gives VCs to officers and lesser medals to the men who do the fighting. What a useful man to have on your side.
Bill Curling, who died on April 1 aged 96, was "Hotspur", the racing correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, from 1946 to 1965 and wrote half a dozen books about racing; before the Second World War, during which he served in destroyers, he was from 1936 to 1939 the racing correspondent of the Yorkshire Post.
Bryan William Richard Curling was born on November 15 1911 at Bitterne, near Southampton, the elder son of Captain Bryan Curling, who won a DSO during the Great War and retired in the rank of brigadier-general. In later life Bill would recall how as a small boy he rode his father's polo ponies when they were out in Egypt.................
In younger days he played squash; later, he stuck to shooting, stalking, fishing and sailing from his holiday cottage at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. He was a member of the Bembridge Sailing Club for more than 50 years.
Eton, destroyers, racing and shooting; a good life.
Charlton Heston, the Oscar-winning actor known for his larger-than-life movie roles, has died at the age of 84. In a career spanning 60 years, Heston lavished the world with a seemingly inexhaustible roster of resolute screen heroes, from Michelangelo to Moses, El Cid to Judah Ben-Hur..............
To his detractors, Heston could be an inflexible, monolithic presence, weighed down by his own mantle of heroism and pious sense of virtue. Others took a more charitable view. [ The Grauniad has a very fair share of supercilious, left wing, homosexual scum - Editor ] Assessing the actor's cultural impact, the critic Pauline Kael hailed him as "a god-like hero; built for strength, he is an archetype of what makes Americans win. He represents American power - and he has the profile of an eagle."........
It could be argued that Heston gave his last great performances at these NRA rallies. Brandishing a rifle on the stage, the actor would strike a pose reminiscent of the one he held while parting the Red Sea as Moses, and then challenge critics to pry the gun "from my cold, dead hands".
Charlton served for real; he flew from England as a gunner during the war years but the Graun doesn't see fit to mention that. They don't like honest men.
Charlton Heston II
A rather better obit albeit with a left wing sneer or two thrown in.
Pedro Zaragoza,......... is credited with turning Benidorm into a destination for mass-tourism..................... In 1953 - on the principle that "you couldn't stop it" - Zaragoza authorised the wearing of bikinis at Benidorm. No one in the country had attempted this, and there was uproar. As members of the Civil Guard scuffled with scantily-clad girls on Benidorm's beaches, the local archbishop threatened to excommunicate Zaragoza, who decided to appeal directly to Franco.
Pushing for the bikini was the master stoke. Today they even go topless in Marbella.
Major-General Sir Desmond Langley
Career soldier who later became Governor of Bermuda and hosted Anglo-American summits for two British prime ministers. Did he ever hear a shot fired in anger? He definitely had a lot of fun.
Pearl Cornioley - SOE
Pearl Cornioley outfoxed the Nazis by - among other tricks - concealing secret messages in the hem of her skirt and helping airmen escape to safety, according to records unsealed at Britain's National Archives on Monday...........
The records shed light on a woman who quickly adapted to life as an agent but never forgot about her family in Britain, requesting in handwritten notes that officials in London send her mother and sisters timely birthday and Christmas presents.
She escaped France ahead of the Nazi invasion and returned to Britain via Spain. Upon returning to Britain, she worked briefly at the Air Ministry in London but used her French to gain a slot as a Special Operations Executive agent - one of about 40 women to serve. The Air Ministry became part of the Ministry of Defence in the 1960s while the Special Operations Executive evolved into the Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6. [ Written by an ignoramus - Editor ]..........
She parachuted into France initially posing as a cosmetics saleswoman to deliver coded messages to members of the French Resistance. Following the capture of her leader, she assumed control of the cell in the north Indre department of the Loire River valley, about 55 miles (90 kilometres) south east of the Normandy beaches.
She interrupted the Paris-Bordeaux railway line more than 800 times and attacked convoys in June 1944, the same month of the D-Day invasion. All told, she led 3,000 French Resistance fighters in a host of guerrilla warfare missions.
She did well.
Pearl Cornioley II
Pearl Cornioley, who died on February 23 aged 93, was a wartime agent in France with the Special Operations Executive (SOE)...... Pearl Witherington joined the WAAF, but became increasingly frustrated by her pen-pushing post at the Air Ministry, and presented herself at the SOE headquarters in Baker Street, London, demanding a job.
She was taken on, and embarked on seven weeks' training in armed, and unarmed, combat and sabotage - "Having been in the Girl Guides proved very helpful," she recalled. "We learned to use explosives and did a lot of firearms training. I was quite a good shot."........
In the event of capture - as with all the SOE agents operating in France - her instructions were to remain silent under interrogation for at least 48 hours, in order that her comrades should have the opportunity to escape.
Women do things too from time to time.
Air Commodore Kit North-Lewis DSO DFC
Commodore Kit North-Lewis, who has died aged 90, led his squadrons of rocket-firing Typhoon fighters in the fierce fighting during the Normandy campaign and the advance through Holland to Germany......... On August 7 a major German counter-attack, spearheaded by five Panzer divisions, was identified moving against just two US infantry divisions. The Panzers had already captured three important villages and were threatening to cut off the US Third Army near Mortain as it began moving into Brittany. A shuttle service of Typhoons was established, and by the end of the day they had flown more than 300 sorties, three of them led by Lewis.
He did well.
Captain Robert Franks DSO
Captain Robert Franks, who has died aged 95, was an officer in destroyers and also fought a vicious, little-known river war in Burma.......
Drifting upstream on the tide on a moonless night, he saw several large, camouflaged craft. He whispered "Action Stations" and closed to about 80 yards range, surprising and destroying an enemy convoy. He returned with what he thought were the first Japanese prisoners on this front.
On March 7 Franks again moved upstream, this time to establish himself permanently in the Mayu river. His force endured continuous artillery fire ("new and very unpleasant to us sailors"), and during the day hid from aircraft in the shelter of chaungs [jungle covered inlets]. At night, however, it was able to dominate the river and, after several fierce night-time battles, managed to halt the Japanese river traffic.
He really did do things.
Neil Aspinall, 'the fifth Beatle', dies aged 66
Neil Aspinall, who has died aged 66, was the Beatles' original road manager and went on to run the group's business empire for 40 years; he became their chief confidant and, although not the only contender for the title of the fifth Beatle, perhaps deserved the accolade more than most.
For some 20 years following the break-up of the group in 1970, Aspinall applied his astute business acumen to fighting lawsuits on their behalf and unravelling the tangled skein of their financial affairs. His flair for figures helped to transform them into the wealthiest entertainers in the world, with a estimated combined fortune of £2 billion.
Epstein robbed them blind I thought but I am glad that someone played straight with them.
Lazare Ponticelli - The Last Of The First
The last French foot-soldier of the first world war chose to go uncelebrated.
The approach of the death of Lazare Ponticelli therefore caused something of a panic in France. This derdesders, “the last of the last”, was for a while the only man in the country who remembered the first world war because he had fought in it. The suburb of Kremlin-Bicetre, where he lived, had like most other communities in France a memorial to the war dead. But, more important, it had Mr Ponticelli, who up to his 111th year appeared every November 11th in his flat cap and brown coat, lean and bright-eyed, gamely managing the few steps required to lay his small bunch of carnations there. The most astonished and serious observers were always children, to whom—if they wanted—he would tell his stories...........
It was as important to him as it was to them to underscore the horror and futility of it. More than anything, he was appalled that he had been made to fire on people he didn't know and to whom he, too, was a stranger. These were fathers of children. He had no quarrel with them. C'est complètement idiot la guerre. His Italian Alpine regiment had once stopped firing for three weeks on the Austrians, whose language many of them spoke; they had swapped loaves of bread for tobacco and taken pictures of each other. To the end of his life, Mr Ponticelli showed no interest in labelling anyone his enemy. He said he did not understand why on earth he, or they, had been fighting.
He was a man of the Légion étrangère. The Telegraph didn't bother to write him up. A parochial lot.
Tim Denny DFC
Tim Denny, who died on February 24 aged 87, was a wartime air observer who rescued a gunner from a burning bomber and was awarded the DFC and Bar; he later forged an international reputation as the leading expert on lavender and the distillation of essential oils.
At the Bridstowe estate in Tasmania, a lavender plantation founded by his father in the 1920s, Denny propagated new more productive strains, developed improved husbandry techniques, designed and built the world's first lavender-harvesting machine and designed steam distillery equipment which improved both the quality and yield of lavender oil and the productivity of the stills...............
His proudest claim, however, was to have designed the "Yak Pack", a portable still that could be carried up a mountain by a yak for essential oil production in remote regions of Bhutan.
Flyer, engineer, innovative farmer; he was versatile. A man should be versatile.
Eminent physicist who stood accused in later life of selling out to commerce.
A first class man. When accusations are made it is always worth asking who is feeding us the dirt and why. A lot of men in the science racket are place men with nothing original about their work.
John Prott MM
Gunner John Prott, who died on February 22 aged 88, was awarded two Military Medals for unusual courage and unfailing presence of mind during the fighting in north-west Europe............
On July 19 1944 Prott was driving a tank serving as an artillery observation post for 3rd Royal Tank Regiment at the village of Bras, on a ridge south of Caen, when his commander was shot in the face by a sniper and the tank caught fire. Although still under small arms attack, Prott tried to douse the flames before helping down the officer and two other wounded. He then climbed back up to rescue another crew member, only to be hurled to the ground when the turret exploded............
When billeted in a country house before the invasion he and a comrade found a comfortable sleeping place beside a large fireplace. But its warmth attracted so many others that the two tossed a bulging sandbag on to the fire, saying "There, boys, that'll give you heat", and then watched the room being rapidly vacated as two dozen thunder flashes went off.
Private soldiers don't get the recognition in the British Army that they deserve and they would in New Zealand or Oz. They deserve better officers too. Then there is the matter of politicians and treason.
Lord Pym MC
The Lord Pym, who died yesterday aged 86, was a classic casualty of the shift in Conservative Party attitudes from paternalism to laissez-faire liberalism. In a Commons career spanning more than a quarter of a century, Francis Pym served with distinction under four prime ministers, making his name in the Whips’ office. But it was under the fourth of those leaders, Margaret Thatcher, whom he served as Defence Secretary, Leader of the House and Foreign Secretary, that he made his greatest impact;..........
He was educated at Eton and Magdelene College, Cambridge. In 1942 he was commissioned into the 9th Lancers, joining his regiment in North Africa just before El Alamein, in which he took part as a troop leader. He was appointed adjutant just before the fall of Tunis in March 1943, and landed in Italy that September; he served as adjutant until the end of the war and did not miss a single day’s action. He was twice mentioned in dispatches, and in 1945 was awarded an MC.
One of the better Tories, I think. Too many of them are men on the make.
Squadron Leader Charles Patterson DSO DFC
Squadron Leader Charles Patterson, who has died aged 88, took part in many daylight low-level bombing raids, including three of the most audacious of the war, exploits which earned him a DSO and a DFC........ his air officer commanding, Air Vice Marshal Basil Embry, selected him to fly a Mosquito specially modified to carry a cine camera in the nose of the aircraft. It was his task to follow the bomber force and to arrive over the target five minutes later to film their results as he dropped his own bombs. Flying at very low level in broad daylight was always hazardous, but Patterson ran the additional risk of being shot down by the German flak batteries that had been alerted by the 20 or 30 bombers just ahead of him.
He was a fine horseman, and hunted with more than 40 packs in England and Ireland......... A cultured, articulate and patriotic man who was fiercely loyal to his country and to his friends,..........
A first class man who never married; a waste.
"The King of Porn", as Raymond was dubbed, was an avuncular figure who claimed that he was an honest entertainer. But some argued that his prurient productions and publications whetted the public's appetite for darker material, and that Britain's moral decline began in 1958, when Raymond circumvented the laws prohibiting striptease by opening a private club, the Revuebar, his flagship and life-long base. The club could be joined on the door, and within two years it had more than 45,000 members. Its neon sign - the first in Britain to offer STRIPTEASE - became a Soho landmark.
He cheered people up and gave Puritans something to moan about.
Brigadier John Prendergast DSO MC
Brigadier John Prendergast, who has died aged 97, won a DSO and two MCs in an adventurous military career which spanned more than 30 years. In May 1937 Prendergast was serving with the Tochi Scouts in North Waziristan. They were leading an advance on the village of Gariom with the objective of blowing up two of the towers as a punishment for harbouring the wily Fakir of Ipi when they came under heavy fire from rebel tribesmen............
His service reads like a roll call of forgotten regiments. Interesting times and better too in some ways.
Anthony Blond, who has died aged 79, was a gentleman [ believe that if you want - Editor ] publisher from an age when business was conducted in dusty garrets and promising authors were given small retainers to allow them to find their muse.
Charismatic, daring and outrageous, Blond collected talents as diverse as Harold Robbins and Jean Genet, Spike Milligan and Graham Greene. He was the first to spot the potential of Jennifer Paterson (of the Two Fat Ladies), and was an early director of Private Eye, of whose bank account he was a guarantor.
Of the 70 or so writers to whom Blond gave their first chance, he became most closely associated with Simon Raven [ well worth a look - Ed. ] , whose books he published throughout his literary career............
As well as publishing, Blond also became involved in the founding of Piccadilly Radio and stood unsuccessfully as Labour candidate for Chester at the 1964 general election. A member of the National Council for Civil Liberties, he opposed censorship of any sort.
An interesting man but it was well to keep your back to the wall round him.
Lieutenant-General Dan Shomron
Architect of the raid on Entebbe in 1976 and later Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces
Lieutenant-General Dan Shomron, who died on Tuesday aged 70, was a leading figure in the Israeli Defence Forces of which he eventually became Chief of Staff; as the commander in charge of Israel's paratroopers and infantry, he planned and led the daring military operation at Entebbe, Uganda, to rescue 105 hijacked hostages in 1976. On June 27 1976 Air France Flight 139 from Tel Aviv to Paris, carrying 248 passengers and a crew of 12, was hijacked by two armed gunmen from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and two Germans from an organisation called the "Revolutionary Cells".
Competent - Who Dares Wins. Surprise is a useful weapon
Sir David Orr MC
David Orr, who died on February 2 aged 85, was chairman of Unilever, Inchcape, the British Council and the Globe Theatre Trust; as a young engineer officer in Burma during the Second World War he was awarded a Military Cross and Bar.....
In mid-April they reached the village of Kanhla, south of Yamethin, where a bridge over a deep chaung, or gully, had been demolished and was covered by enemy fire. The chaung made an effective anti-tank obstacle and the advance was halted. Lt Orr went forward in a bridge-laying tank and supervised the installation of a scissors assault bridge across the 30ft gap under heavy rifle and mortar fire; it was laid straight and evenly, although it was impossible for anyone to direct the operation from outside, enabling the fighting tanks to cross quickly.
A man of parts; he did things before, after and during.
Squadron Leader 'Hawkeye' Lee DFC
Squadron Leader "Hawkeye" Lee, who has died aged 92, was a Hurricane pilot sent to France on the day the Germans invaded France in May 1940; during the month that followed, as his squadron fought against much superior odds, he shot down five enemy aircraft before being forced to bale out of his own. Lee's squadron, No 501 (County of Gloucester), was on standby to reinforce Norway when it was rushed to an airfield near Rheims on May 10, the day the Germans started their Blitzkrieg. In the first three days Lee accounted for three enemy bombers as the German army advance continued. The squadron flew three or four patrols a day but was forced to retreat to Le Mans, where it gave cover as the British and French forces were evacuated from Dunkirk. During this period Lee shot down two more bombers as they attacked the "little ships".
On June 10 he attacked a formation of Heinkels, but exhausted his ammunition without any apparent effect. As he turned away, his Hurricane blew up and he baled out, hitting the tailplane of his aircraft. He was injured in the hand and leg, and 10 days later was put on a boat for England from St Malo. He was mentioned in dispatches.
Would men try as hard today with a corrupt government behind them?
Lieutenant-Colonel Ken Scott MC
Lieutenant-Colonel Ken Scott, who has died aged 89, was awarded the first of his two MCs for his part in an SOE operation to sabotage the Asopos viaduct in Greece in 1943...........
The approaches were heavily wired and mined, and guarded by about 50 men equipped with searchlights and machine guns. The destruction of the viaduct, however, became a priority with the military planners, since it would cut the railway supply line through Greece to Rommel's army in North Africa for several months.
By moonlight the four men carried the charges to the bottom of the ladder. While their comrades kept guard, Scott and McIntyre climbed to the top platform and hauled up the explosives. They could hear the Germans patrolling above their heads for the whole of the hour and a half that it took to fix and connect the charges to the main girders.
The SOE did well sometimes.
Major Frank Courtney MC
Major Frank Courtney, who has died aged 91, won an MC and Bar during the Second World War, then stayed on in India after independence to become a symbol of the Raj at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club. Courtney refused to learn Hindi, continued to correct Parsees' English and never said Mumbai for Bombay. But he joined the club only in 1953, when it became the last in the country to admit Indians, and he expected no deference - though he once struck a fellow member who had insulted his wife.
He earned his first MC as a forward transport officer in an attack on the Vichy French at Mouaddmiye, Syria, on June 18 1941. As the Fusiliers came under heavy fire, Courtney gathered the vehicles together, appointed relief drivers and by personal example inspired the continuation of the advance. When the remains of the column were subjected to further small arms and tank fire later that morning, he aided its temporary commander in restoring a confused and difficult situation.
He did much to restore the self-esteem of the expatriate community by rescuing the UK Citizens' Association from decline, setting the Bombay Ex-Servicemen's League on a sound footing and serving as a trustee of the Breach Candy hospital. He was appointed OBE in 1980. Frank Courtney's wife predeceased him. He kept a home in Britain, but Bombay remained his chief residence. He rented a flat for 27 rupees (£3.20) a month, and retained a cook-bearer to minister to his needs.
He was there when it mattered, unlike the shysters and con men who constitute Her Majesty's Government.
Jack Lyons, who has died aged 92, would have been remembered chiefly as a great patron of the arts were it not for his involvement in the Guinness scandal [ Rather like Adolf's involvement in the Second World War - Editor ]. This resulted in his being convicted of theft and false accounting, reproached by the trial judge for "dishonesty on a major scale" and stripped of his knighthood by the Queen.
Lyons was a Jew and a thief; one of the Guinness Four. Three and a half of whom were Jews. All four were thieves.
Badri Patarkatsishvili - Jew And Thief On The Run
Badri Patarkatsishvili, the Georgian [ sic ] billionaire who was found dead at his Surrey mansion on Tuesday night aged 52, a month after running unsuccessfully for the Georgian presidency, was one of the "oligarchs" who made a fortune from the privatisation of state-owned industries during the Yeltsin era and eventually found a haven in Britain,..........
In June 2001 Patarkatsishvili was charged in his absence with attempting to organise the escape of Berezovsky's associate Nikolai Glushkov from prison. In October 2002 he was charged with fraud in connection with a subsidiary of Avtovaz.
At first he was welcomed in Georgia. He was courted by the country's president Eduard Shevardnadze, who repeatedly rejected Russian calls for his extradition, and by the then opposition leader Mikheil [ sic ] Saakashvili......
Patarkatsishvili's relations with Saakashvili deteriorated, by his account due to the coverage given by Imedi to opposition parties, though allies of Saakashvili suggested that the real reason was that Patarkatsishvili found himself blocked in his efforts to gain total control of Georgia's economic and business life.
A man with 120 body guards who thought he wanted more has upset people who matter. The Telegraph draws a light hand over his guilt. He colluded with Berezovky, another Jewish crook.
Ian Michie, who has died aged 79, was an investment banker and field sportsman, and the brother of James, the classical poet, and of Donald, the distinguished scientist in the field of artificial intelligence and a code breaker at Bletchley Park, both of whom predeceased him last year....
Educated at Marlborough, where he was captain of house and a school prefect, Ian Michie was commissioned into the King's Royal Rifle Corps (60th Rifles) after passing out equal second from the officer cadet training unit at Eaton Hall...... Field sports - particularly stalking, shooting and fishing - played a large and significant part in his life, accompanied by a love of golf and skiing. His semi-autobiographical book on these subjects, Passions Shared, was well received by his many friends.
Brains and brawn make a good combination.
Major-General Ronnie Buckland
Major-General Ronnie Buckland, who has died aged 87, had a varied career which took him to many of the world's trouble spots. As an officer of the Household Division, Buckland had a most unusual career in that he never served at the MoD, HQ London District or at his regimental HQ; his time in the Army was largely spent as an officer at the "sharp end" or with field formations....... Having accompanied his battalion to Normandy in July 1944, he was seriously wounded in its first operation and was out of action for six months.
He spent nearly 14 years abroad, serving in most of the trouble spots: Palestine, Tripolitania, Malaya, Egypt, Cyprus and British Guiana. He ended his career with five years at Salisbury as Chief of Staff Army Strategic Command and Major-General in charge of Administration, HQ UK Land Forces.
Join the Army and see the world; meet interesting people and kill them.
Joshua Lederberg - Jew And Nobel Prize Man
Joshua Lederberg, who died on February 2 aged 82, shared the 1958 Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine (with Edward Tatum and George Beadle) for establishing that bacteria engage in sex, a discovery that laid the foundations for modern genetics and biotechnology.
When Lederberg began his researches after the Second World War, bacteria were thought to reproduce by cell division, producing clones identical to the parent organisms. But the discovery by Oswald Avery that deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, was the material that encoded the genetic information for life, inspired him to test that hypothesis..........
Brains are the reason why we are not swinging in trees.
Anthony Sumption DSC
Anthony Sumption, who died on January 8 aged 88, served in submarines during the Second World War before embarking on a successful career as a lawyer and in the City.
Sumption had an extremely good brain, and as a lawyer he used it to address the complexities of the taxation system, developing various strategies - then perfectly legal - which earned many of his clients in the City large fortunes. In the process he, too, prospered.
Doing things in submarines would have been interesting. Beating the tax system is still perfectly legal although more difficult. The details are different of course.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Indian guru to the Beatles who built a business empire based on transcendental meditation
Indian guru to the Beatles who built a business empire based on transcendental meditation. It sounds as though he might even have believed his own tosh.
George Habash, the Palestinian guerrilla leader who died in Jordan on January 26 aged 80, earned an entry in the grim annals of Middle Eastern politics as one of those responsible for introducing the world to international terrorism. As chief of the Marxist-leaning Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the second largest group within the PLO after Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, Habash "pioneered" the use of airliner hijackings to call attention to the cause of his people.
The Telegraph makes him sound like a rebel without a cause. He was up against the world's most dangerous murderers and political manipulators, the Zionist Jews who stole Palestine and showed us that Adolf could be outdone.
Charles Elwell, who died on January 11 aged 88, was the MI5 officer responsible in 1961 for breaking the Portland spy ring, run by the KGB officer Konon Molody (Gordon Lonsdale), which passed naval secrets to the Russians. A year later Elwell had similar success with John Vassall, the KGB spy at the Admiralty who was blackmailed into passing secrets after taking part in a homosexual orgy in Moscow..........
But in March 1942, having successfully disembarked two SOE agents in Holland, Elwell and his Dutch companion were unable to launch their dinghy through the surf and he was taken prisoner. An attempt to escape resulted in his being sent to Colditz...........
He lived in interesting times.
Squadron Leader 'Jimmy' James
Squadron Leader "Jimmy" James, who died on January 18 aged 92, was an inveterate escaper during his five years in captivity during the Second World War. James: the refusal to accept incarceration, he said, it was 'our contribution to the war effort'
James was one of the few to escape execution after the Great Escape, and joined two others at the notorious death camp at Sachsenhausen, from where he made another daring escape by tunnel, only to be recaptured 10 days later. He had already made a number of unsuccessful escape attempts by the time he arrived at Stalag Luft III, near Sagan, in the spring of 1943. Plans were being made to dig three tunnels, and he was soon recruited to the organisation and appointed to the security team.
A great escaper and on the Great Escape.
Group Captain Dudley Honor DFC
Group Captain Dudley Honor, who has died aged 94, flew during the Battle of France and as a fighter pilot in the Battle of Britain before going to the Middle East; shot down in the latter stages of the German invasion of Crete, he spent six days in the mountains before reaching the coast where he was picked up by an RAF flying boat.....
Nine kills is respectable. He pranged a few as well so he was lucky.
Bobby Fischer, Chess Champion And Jew
Chess legend Bobby Fischer has died. Despite having a Jewish mother, Fischer was famous for his vitriolic antisemitism..........
In sporadic interviews on Philippine radio during the past five years, Fischer has used almost every question to launch into another diatribe about the global Jewish conspiracy directed against him and the need for an extermination of all Jews. The f——-g Jews want to destroy everything I’ve worked for all my life,” Fischer said during a January 1999 interview with Baguio City’s Bombo Radyo. “There was no Holocaust. The Jews are liars. It’s time we took off the kid gloves with these parasites.”..........
Fischer has developed a straightforward narrative of a Jewish world conspiracy, [ So have a lot of other people - It is just a matter of looking at the evidence - Editor ]
He had the brain. Jews often do. The evil goes with it all too often.
Issy Smith VC
Smith was born in Alexandria, the son of French citizens Moses and Eva Shmeilowitz, who were of Polish origin. His father was employed by the French Consulate-General as a clerk. Aged 11, Smith embarked as a stowaway aboard a vessel proceeding to London. Undaunted by this unfamiliar environment, Smith attended Berner Street School, Commercial Street, and worked as a deliverer in the East End, then an impoverished ghetto where Yiddish was the predominant spoken language. Persecution and extreme deprivation had compelled millions of Eastern European Jews to migrate to Western Europe, the Americas, and elsewhere. By the time of Issy Smith's arrival, Jewish immigration to Britain had peaked and was further curtailed by the enactment of the Aliens Act in 1905.
Why were they being hassled? Depend on a Jew not to tell the truth about why he is hated. To be fair, this one served well.
Rear-Admiral Joe Bartosik
..........was the only Pole to reach Flag rank in the Royal Navy, earning a reputation in the process as a latter-day Captain Bligh........... As second gunnery officer in the 35-knot destroyer Blyskawica, he was credited with shooting down two Luftwaffe aircraft during the Norwegian campaign. In May and June 1940 he took part in Operation Dynamo, the successful evacuation of the beaches at Dunkirk. Later Blyskawica, one of the few ships that could keep up with the liner, escorted the Queen Mary.
An interesting life. There was not much to go back to in Poland after the war. Poles are prone to be a pain even when they are not in positions of authority.
Former CIA operative who exposed more than 2,000 western agents around the world. Given the CIA' s track record of evil which includes decades of torturing people and major narcotic trading it is difficult to argue that his treason was misdirected.
Sir Edmund Hillary
Sir Edmund Hillary, who died late yesterday aged 88, made his name as the first conqueror (with Norgay Tenzing) of Everest; just as impressive, though, was the use he made of his renown over the remainder of his life. On the one hand there were feats of exploration - to the Antarctic and South Pole from 1956 to 1958; in other parts of the Everest region in the early 1960s (including a search for the Abominable Snowman, or yeti). In 1968 he drove jet boats up the violent rapids of Nepalese rivers; in 1977 he took them up the Ganges................
He cheered us up at time when it mattered. A decent man as well.
George MacDonald Fraser
George MacDonald Fraser, who died on Wednesday aged 82, revived in a long-running series of novels the career of one of fiction’s most infamous characters, Flashman. the fag-roasting bully of Tom Brown' Schooldays, Thomas Hughes’s 1857 tribute to Dr Arnold’s Rugby, was last seen being expelled for drunkenness. Age had not improved him. Fraser’s appropriation in 1969, Flashman, joyously confirmed him as a thoroughgoing rotter and cad of the first water.................
Our best writer has left us; a pity. He made the middle brow writing industry look like the pretentious third raters that they are. He will be missed.
John Groves, who died on Boxing Day aged 85, was a journalist-turned-civil servant and headed the Government Information Service in the early Thatcher years, having earlier served as director-general of the Central Office of Information.....he decided to serve in the Army and joined the Queen's Royal Regiment. In 1943 he was commissioned in the newly-formed Reconnaissance Regiment (formerly the 5th Gloucesters).
The regiment sailed for France in June 1944, but Groves's ship was sunk by an acoustic mine off the Normandy beaches; there was heavy loss of life. Groves was one of the volunteers who returned to the sinking ship to bring ashore the vehicles from the forward holds...... Groves fought with the regiment throughout the subsequent campaign in Belgium, Holland and Germany and was mentioned in dispatches. Later he was promoted to the rank of captain and spent the summer of 1946 as a War Office observer officer in Berlin.
He sounds like a good man.
Lt-Cdr 'Fuzz' Fyson DSC
Lieutenant-Commander 'Fuzz' Fyson,...was involved in covert operations during the Second World War; after leaving the Navy he became a successful craftsman in wood.
From early 1944 to May 1945 Fyson was based on Corsica and in Italy commanding the secret and elite No 2 Combined Operations Pilotage Party (COPP). He reconnoitred the coast of Elba before its liberation by Free French forces and later moved to Bari, where he led covert operations in the Aegean and Adriatic. Then, in March and April 1945, he took part in Operation Roast, the assault by 2 Commando Brigade on the Spit, a narrow stretch of low-lying land about 600 yards wide between the sea and the shallow, brackish waters of Lake Comacchio, which was strongly defended by the Germans..................
He did things. Training twenty apprentices after was worthwhile; an investment in the future.
Professor John Strugnell
Professor John Strugnell, who has died aged 77, was a prominent Biblical scholar, and was editor-in-chief of the Dead Sea Scrolls project until he was sacked for making what were construed as anti-Semitic remarks to an Israeli newspaper......
In the course of an interview in November 1990 - during which he drank beer but did not, according to his interrogator, seem to be drunk - Strugnell was quoted as describing Judaism as "a horrible religion. It's a Christian heresy, and we deal with our heretics in different ways".
The Jews had a problem with him; they couldn't abuse his ignorance as they do with us. He knew too much but a claim of anti-Semitism did the trick. It just means hatred of Jews. They never bother to tell us how they cause it.
Flight Lieutenant Mick Shand
Flight Lieutenant Mick Shand, who died on Thursday aged 92, was a fighter pilot interned at Stalag Luft III at Sagan and survived "the Great Escape" - the last to emerge from the tunnel before it was discovered, he was recaptured after four days on the run. Shand and his fellow New Zealander Squadron Leader Len Trent, VC, planned to "hard arse" it on foot to Czechoslovakia in the hope of getting to Switzerland. They had no great expectation of reaching England, and felt it would be impossible to make it across the frozen countryside undetected - but they felt they "had to do something"........
The RAF was desperately short of fighter pilots, and Shand was rushed through training. After just 20 hours' flying [ 40 hours are the minimum for a basic licence in these decadent times - Editor ] on the Spitfire, during which time he never fired its guns, he was posted to No 54 Squadron.
Men fought for something and then found themselves betrayed by corrupt politicians like Blair and Bush.
Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan who was assassinated in a suicide bombing in Rawalpindi yesterday aged 54, restored democracy to her country in 1988 after 11 years of military dictatorship. Her glamorous good looks and fluent English led to a sustained love affair with Western politicians and journalists, many of whom had known her at either Harvard or Oxford. For those with the standard Western prejudices against the Islamic world, she had the added assets of a pronounceable name and a tolerant religious outlook.
In Pakistan she was often far less popular than her foreign press made out. To her opponents she was more English than Pakistani, more Western than Eastern. Her Urdu, although fluent, was ungrammatical, while her Sindhi, her family's mother tongue, was almost non-existent.
Corrupt, vicious, couldn't speak her own language properly. No wonder the main stream media told us that she was wonderful. Pakistanis aren't fool enough to believe them. The world is better without her.
Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Jones VC
Colonel attended Eton College. He joined the British Army on leaving school and was commissioned into the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. By 1982 had reached the rank of lieutenant-colonel, During the Falklands War he was in command of 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment when the deed described below took place for which he was awarded the VC.
Command of 2 Para passed to Major Chris Keeble, and Jones was buried at Ajax Bay on May 30, near where he fell. After the war his body was exhumed and buried at the Blue Beach War Cemetery in Port San Carlos on October 25
He commanded in the first land battle of the Falklands War so the result mattered. 2 PARA won against much greater forces albeit Chris Keeble took 2 PARA onto victory rather than Colonel Jones.
Promiscuous chronicler of upper-class life
The death of Simon Raven, at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke, is proof that the devil looks after his own. He ought, by rights, to have died of shame at 30, or of drink at 50.
Instead, he survived to produce 25 novels, including Alms For Oblivion (1959-76), a 10-volume saga of English upper-class life, numerous screenplays, eight volumes of essays and memoirs, including Shadows On The Grass (1981) - "the filthiest book on cricket ever written," according to EW Swanton - and The First Born Of Egypt sequence (1984-92), which contains requests such as "Darling mummy, please may I be circumcised?" and "Please, sir, may I bugger you, sir?"
He was a first rate writer but never a gentleman. Any sneers from the Grauniad's supercilious poofters should be treated with contempt.
Wing Commander 'Dal' Russel DSO DFC
Wing Commander "Dal" Russel, who has died aged 89, was a highly decorated wartime Canadian fighter pilot whose log book recorded kills in the Battle of Britain and the Normandy invasion; he later led attacks on enemy rail and road transport as the Allies entered Germany and Holland.... Russel arrived in England in June 1940 with No 1 (RCAF) Squadron, the first Canadian unit to see action. Flying Hurricanes, it was declared operational in mid-August, and within 10 days Russel shared in the destruction of a Dornier bomber over Gravesend. ...
His squadrons destroyed more than 700 transport targets and tank concentrations; and on October 4 one of his pilots shot down a Messerschmitt 262 fighter, the first jet to be downed by a fighter..... In retirement he enjoyed salmon fishing but, although invited to hunt by friends, he never liked shooting after the war.
He did well. Going off shooting after having done the real thing is understandable.
John Hereford, who has died aged 82, was a German brought up in the Jewish faith; during the Second World War he completed a full tour in bombers over Germany as a wireless operator disrupting the Luftwaffe's night fighter operations by jamming their control frequencies.
There weren't many Jews who served far less got up the sharp end. He was one of the few and did a tour of thirty operations. Nor many made it. He was big in the hotel trade after.
Professor John Hudson GM
Professor Hudson, who died on December 6 aged 97, held a Chair in Horticultural Science at the University of Bristol and was director of Long Ashton Research Station; during his wartime career he was one of Britain's foremost experts in bomb disposal and won two George Medals. On the night of January 17/18 1943 the Germans dropped on London the first bombs containing a new type of anti-handling fuse, designed to go off when the device was moved.
A man should be versatile. Being lucky helps too. It is that or dead so fast you don't even notice.
James Lamond MP
Although an unrepentant Stalinist, Lamond saw no contradiction in accepting the Lord Lieutenancy of Aberdeen. Until the collapse of the Soviet Union he had been active in many Communist front organisations and vice-president of one of the most notorious, the World Peace Council. Nothing deterred him from taking a favourable view of the Soviet Union, and he justified its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 as a natural response to American "imperialism" in that country..... Lamond - and he was far from being the only Labour MP to take this view - once declared that the Communist Morning Star was essential "for sensible discussion inside the British Labour movement".
It takes all sorts to make a world. He did the right things for his constituents though.
Brigadier Rupert Harding-Newman
Brigadier Harding-Newman was probably the last survivor of a handful of Englishmen whose professions had taken them to the Middle East between the First and Second World Wars and whose experience of desert travel and exploration led to the formation of the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG).... In the spring of 1931 Harding-Newman drove an Austin Seven overland back to England to attend a course at Bovington and, the following year, accompanied Major (later Brigadier) Ralph Bagnold on a long trip to northern Chad. He was the group's mechanic and sometimes did the cooking as well. Using sun compasses, they learned how to navigate vast expanses of often featureless desert and mastered the art of driving vehicles over huge sand dunes without overturning or getting stuck. Bagnold's aim was to create small, independent units of extraordinary mobility and endurance which would pose an apparent threat to the enemy out of all proportion to the reality. After the outbreak of the Second World War when, supported by General Wavell, Bagnold formed the LRDG, Harding-Newman was serving with the military mission to the Egyptian Army and was not permitted to join him.
Another good man gone.
Evel Knievel, the American motorcycle stunt rider who has died aged 69, combined a considerable talent for self-promotion with a hazardous capacity for bravery; among the several world records he held was that for the most bones broken by one person (433), and he is said to have spent the equivalent of three years in hospital.............. In September 1974, he attempted to jump the mile-wide canyon of the Snake River, Idaho, on a rocket-powered motorcycle. Once airborne, he seemed to lack the necessary momentum to reach his target, but the matter was settled when his emergency parachute opened prematurely and he floated 600 feet back down to earth.........
Thereafter Knievel worked briefly as an insurance salesman. He sold 271 policies in a single week, but left his employers when they did not immediately offer him a seat on the board. Then he embarked on a successful career as a safe cracker, working mainly in Oregon. He also had spells as a bank robber, swindler and pickpocket. After several narrow escapes from the law, he decided to go straight and settled at Moses Lake, Washington, where he worked as a car dealer. Prospective customers could obtain a discount of $100 if they defeated him at arm wrestling........... Then, in 1977, Knievel was convicted of assaulting his former agent, Sheldon Saltman. Knievel had objected to Saltman's book Evel Knievel on Tour, which portrayed the stunt man as an alcoholic addicted to painkillers; moreover, it alleged that Knievel did not love his mother. Knievel severely chastised Saltman with a baseball bat and was ordered to pay him £6.8 million in damages. He was also sentenced to six months in prison.
An interesting life. Courage has its uses but I wouldn't want a son to follow him.
Colonel David Owen DSO
In 1944, as a major and 2nd-in-command of the regiment during the long slog up Italy, he had the task of reconnoitering under shell and mortar fire forward areas which were often heavily mined. Because of the mines, the casualty rate amongst 2i/cs was very high, but Owen took no notice of the danger and always volunteered for the most dangerous operations.
At least with explosives it tends to be quick.
Sir Peter Laurence MC
Sir Peter Laurence was a diplomat in Berlin in 1968 when his nephew spotted a two-page picture story in a children's comic recounting how he won the MC in Italy during the Second World War. The boy, who was home from Marlborough, told his parents - who then informed Laurence of this unusual piece of publicity in The Victor. In the first frame Lieutenant Laurence of the 11th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps, was shown wondering whether the enemy was occupying an isolated house, known as "The Apostle", near Ponte in December 1943. Then, in broad daylight, he and a Corporal Angus crept up close, to find themselves under fire from a hole in the wall. "You spray the windows while I pop a visiting card through the hole," Laurence was shown saying, before he threw in a grenade and Angus fired his Tommy gun up at the first-floor window.
It is nice to know that the Foreign Office is not all pinko poofters. They tried to get rid of the Falklands for us. It must have been the oil and fish that the Argies wanted.
Life in Cairo was not all partying, however, and it was not long before Patricia Russell was seriously engaged in the war, working in the Cairo military interrogation centre. This was to be the start of her intelligence work, about which she would never speak, that took her from Egypt to Italy.
She got about in a big way and was probably very useful.
Captain Roger Villa
Captain Roger Villa , who has died aged 85, claimed three enemy submarines as anti-submarine control officer of the destroyer Active. She was patrolling the Straits of Gibraltar in April 1943 when a surfaced submarine appeared out of a rain squall. Active opened fire, and the U-boat dived.... the "kill" was not confirmed until after the war.
On May 23 1943 Active and the frigate Ness sank the Italian submarine Leonardo Da Vinci north-east of the Azores after it unwisely signalled its intention to head for Bordeaux..... The Italian vessel was sunk with no survivors....
He was navigator of the destroyer Bleasdale at the Dieppe raid, and then commanded two landing craft which ferried ashore American troops west of Algiers during Operation Torch.........
He got about.
André Bettencourt, who died on November 19 aged 88, served as a cabinet minister in French governments of the 1960s and 1970s and won medals for bravery for his service in the Resistance;..... In his youth Bettencourt had been a member of La Cagoule, a violent Fascist group bankrolled by Eugène Schueller, founder of the cosmetics giant L'Oréal..... After the German invasion, they swore allegiance to Hitler, sent men to support the German forces fighting in Russia...........
Misguided and sincere is perhaps the best you can say. Being a friend of François Mitterrand is something to hide. Before you sneer too much be grateful that we never had to decide which side to join.
Captain John Gower
Captain John Gower, who has died aged 95, had a distinguished war in destroyers....
Having located it, he towed it to safety despite coming under air attack. In April he took part in Operation Tungsten, the attack on the German battleship Tirpitz, which was hiding in the fjords.
On D-Day Gower was bombarding targets on Sword beach when he saw a torpedo bouncing on the surface at the end of its run; it went on to hit the Norwegian destroyer Svenner, which became the first Allied ship to be sunk on the morning of June 6.
Join the Navy and see the world.
Ian Smith,.. was the Prime Minister of Rhodesia and an ardent advocate of white rule; in 1965 he unilaterally declared independence from Britain, and over the next 15 turbulent years fought an increasingly bitter war against African nationalist guerrillas, a war that cost between 30,000 and 40,000, mainly black, lives - but it was a struggle he eventually lost, paving the way for the country's independence as Zimbabwe.
'Sir' Roy Welensky [ a Jew from Poland unlike Slovo, a Jew from Lithuania who subverted South Africa. Editor ] once remarked that "dealing with Smith is like trying to nail jelly to a wall. Make no mistake: Smith is a ruddy ruthless man."
The Telegraph writes for the right but it is a propaganda machine none the less. Read the hate and compare it with their coverage of Mugabe, the black racist thief who is destroying the country.
Ian Smith - Man whose folly unleashed Mugabe
The stooping old man with a shock of white hair lived in a modest house where the front gate always stood open and virtually anyone who walked up the drive would be invited in for tea...... Smith earned his place in history by leading the first revolt against Britain by white settlers since America’s declaration of independence in 1776...... He was convinced that only a handful of western-educated and Communist-sponsored Africans genuinely wanted independence. The great majority of blacks were, he decided, happy under benevolent white rule. [ They KNOW they were better off with Sir Ian but the BBC won't be telling you that - Editor ]
Smith feared that Britain would eventually transfer Rhodesia to black majority rule and abandon the 230,000 white settlers.
Believe that if you want. It was written by another Blair. Rhodesia was subverted by followers of Antonio Gramsci, the chief theoretician of the communist party. One was Roy Welensky, a Jew from Poland. More were Jews from Lithuania like Joe Slovo. Getting Mugabe into power was the pay off for them. The Telegraph was owned by a thieving Jew. He is gone but they haven't cleaned up their act. I will not be paying money to read their left wing propaganda again.
LEO MARKS, who has died aged 80, was the chief cryptographer of Special Operations Executive during the Second World War; later he wrote the script for Peeping Tom, the film which destroyed the career of its director Michael Powell...... While still in his early twenties he revolutionised the construction and security of SOE's cyphers. And by his re-invention of the "one-time pad" he eventually influenced code systems used by secret services the world over....
n his memoir Between Silk and Cyanide (1998) Marks drew a vivid and often angry portrait of an organisation capable of both brilliance and lethal carelessness. It was also one in which Marks, as a quick-witted Jew, often felt an outsider.
Brilliance shines out. His most famous code poem is rather special:-
The Life That I Have
The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.
Colonel Peter Ormrod MC
Colonel Ormrod won an MC at the Battle of the Imjin River.
A Master of Otter Hounds which is a rare distinction in this foul Year of Our Lord.
Major-General Harry Grimshaw DSO
Major-General Grimshaw won a DSO in Burma and saw repeated front-line service in a career which ranged from the North West Frontier of India in 1932 to the EOKA operation in Cyprus in 1956...... the brigade was flown to Dimapur on the northern front and held the Japanese at Kohima. During the siege, Grimshaw took command of 1st Battalion 1 Punjab Regiment (1/1PR) and they played a notable part in the fighting and in the pursuit of the Japanese 33rd Division in monsoon weather through the wild country to the Chindwin river.....
He was the last British soldier to leave Port Said after handing over to the UN Force Commander. He was awarded a CBE for his part in the operation.
There aren't many North West Frontier men left. He might even have been the last.
Roy Wallace, who has died aged 80, developed stereophonic sound recording for the Decca company and designed the famous “Decca tree” microphone array which became the standard way across the industry of recording orchestral and operatic sound.
Engineers don't normally get remembered but stereo was a good first.
Barbara Dainton, who has died aged 96, was the last but one British survivor of the Titanic disaster; as Barbara West, and at just 10 months old,........ but her father, Arthur West, aged 36, drowned along with some 1,520 other passengers and crew when the "unsinkable" White Star liner RMS Titanic, bound for New York on her maiden voyage, struck an iceberg shortly before midnight on April 14 1912.
Some talk. Some don't. She didn't.
The Right Reverend Graham Chadwick
Bishop deported from South Africa for opposing apartheid who continued his ministry in Wales and Liverpool. This little piece does not tell us what he thought of the damage that he did by getting rid of halfway decent government.
Vice-Admiral Sir Arthur Hezlet DSO DSC
Hezlet then took temporary command of Unique, the sole survivor of three submarines sent to patrol the shallow waters off Tunisia which attacked a convoy bound for North Africa. He sank the 11,400-ton troopship Esperia, but was counter-attacked and, not knowing that Unique was leaking fuel from an external tank which gave away his position, he was bombed repeatedly by an Italian flying boat.......
A good submariner makes a lot of difference.
Sir Oliver Chesterton MC
After demobilisation Oliver returned to Chesterton & Co and became senior partner — a post he held for 35 years, during which the firm consolidated its position in the upper strata of the London property scene, expanding beyond its traditional residential portfolio into the commercial sector and the City.
A good war to miss. London had to be better.
Captain Denis Jermain DSC
It was while commanding a motor torpedo boat.... that Jermain devised a technique for sinking surface ships using depth charges....... Two months later his MTB was the only survivor of a flotilla which ran into a convoy off the Scheldt. Jermain's torpedo-firing mechanism failed but, selecting the largest target, he made a depth-charge attack while his gunners fired upwards at anyone who put his head over the merchant ship's gunwales........ his carefully placed depth charges exploded amidships, sinking the 6,000-ton vessel.
He had plenty of excitement.
Lord Michael Fitzalan Howard MC
In August 1944 both young men were tank officers at Caumont, aiding the breakout from Caen in Normandy...... Looking back on a campaign that covered 1,500 miles and cost 956 killed and 545 missing, Adair wrote: "Special mention must be made of the two brigade majors – the Fitzalan Howard brothers."
He had a lively war and uncles who didn't get back from the previous one.
Rosenberg's Soviet spy overseer dies
MOSCOW (AP) Alexander Feklisov, the Soviet-era spy chief who oversaw the espionage work of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and helped mediate the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, has died, a Russian official said Friday....
Born March 9, 1914, in Moscow to a railroad signalman's family, Feklisov was trained as a radio technician and was recruited into the American department of the KGB's predecessor, the NKVD, according to his official biography posted on the Foreign Intelligence Service's Web site.....
Years later, he published an autobiography "The Man Behind the Rosenbergs" in which he described his work guiding the intelligence-gathering work of the couple. The Rosenbergs were executed in 1953 after being convicted of supplying the Soviet Union with top-secret information on U.S. efforts to develop the atomic bomb....
He was later dispatched to London, where he made contact with Klaus Fuchs, the German-born scientist who worked at the U.S. atom bomb project as well as at Britain's Harwell nuclear research laboratory....... In 1950, Fuchs was sentenced to 14 years for disclosing nuclear secrets.
He was definitely one of theirs and trusted too. His spies were not lucky though.
Brigadier General Paul Tibbets
Brigadier-General Paul Tibbets, who died on Thursday aged 92, commanded the USAAF bomber Enola Gay, which dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima on August 6 1945....... The bomb to be used was codenamed "Little Boy".....
The detonation occurred at an altitude of 1,900ft with a power of 13 to 16 kilotons (estimates vary). Tibbets considered it to be a normal bombing operation until he turned to see the effect, which he described as "unbelievable". It was estimated that 70,000 died in the blast, but many more died over the following days from radiation.
Tibbets was often in demand to comment on his wartime experiences. He had no regrets, regarding the dropping of the bomb as necessary, and he would say: "Why be bashful? That's what it took to the end the war."
I had one friend with a one way ticket to Japan who was ever grateful.
The 26,000-word speech, delivered on February 25 1956, denounced Stalin's regime of terror. Grayevsky had been able to obtain a copy [ of Khrushchev's speech ] with the help of his lover, Lucia Baranowski, wife of Poland's deputy prime minister....... Lucia allowed Grayevsky to remove the booklet for a couple of hours, and he took it to the Israeli embassy in Warsaw, where it was photocopied.
For many years after coming to Israel Grayevsky also worked as a double agent, posing as a Soviet spy but in fact serving the Israelis by feeding disinformation to Soviet intelligence officers. His Soviet handlers in Israel were KGB officers working under diplomatic cover or posing as clergy from the so-called Russian Orthodox Red Church in Israel.
Treachery is a very Jewish thing. So is cunning. He was a fornicator too. Albeit he did one job as a freebie.
Dashing officer in both the RAF and the Colonial Service with a wide range of business interests.
Air Vice-Marshal Peter Howard
Air Vice-Marshal Peter Howard,....... was one of a small group of RAF doctors specialising in aviation medicine with the task of testing and analysing human tolerance of flight......On March 13 1962 Howard fired himself from the rear seat of a modified Meteor jet fighter. The aircraft was flying at 250ft, at 290mph. The rocket pack strapped to the seat generated 3,600lbs of thrust over less than a fifth of a second, giving a peak force of 16G (16 times the pull of gravity), propelling the seat from the aircraft at a velocity of 80ft per second.
Ejecting is not a lot of fun. The alternative is worse.
Arthur Kornberg, who died on Friday aged 89, was the first person to synthesise DNA in a test tube, in 1967; eight years earlier, he had, with Severo Ochoa, won the Nobel prize for medicine for his insights into the mechanism of DNA.
His son got a Nobel too and a real one at that. Not bad for the son of a Jewish(?) tailor.
Christopher Seton-Watson MC
Christopher Seton-Watson, who has died aged 89, was an authority on Italian politics of the 19th and early 20th centuries; he also won an MC and Bar in the Second World War.......
The citation for the Bar to his MC pays tribute to the part he played in beating off two counter-attacks near Perugia, and states that at Castiglione, near Arezzo, when a 75mm shell landed beside him in a slit trench that he was using as an OP and failed to explode, he calmly continued to send fire orders to his guns.......
As a talent scout for the security services, however, he sometimes became irascible when his recommendations were not followed; on one occasion he threatened to "send them his Burgesses and Macleans" instead of the prodigies he usually put forward.
He got about and had brains too.
Lim Goh Tong
Lim was one of a number of hard-driving Malay-Chinese entrepreneurs who made colossal fortunes as their country developed and prospered..... he had the idea of developing a mountain resort closer to the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Enterprise and hard work can pay off.
RB Kitaj, who died on Sunday aged 74, was an American painter domiciled for 40 years in England.........he raised the stature of English painting to one of international significance.... Kitaj's affection for England was sorely tested in 1994, when there was a major Tate Gallery retrospective of his work. The verdict of the critics in the British press was savage, and Kitaj was deeply distressed.
Any one who takes modern art seriously should be treated with suspicion. Art dealers are different. They are trading on the gullible.
Sammy Duddy, who died on October 17 aged 62, had a rather unusual curriculum vitae for a member of the Loyalist paramilitary Ulster Defence Association in having been a drag artiste who went by the stage name of Samantha.
It seems that he didn't murder Pat Finucane or get involved in the Kincora Job. Adams would say the same no doubt.
Bass guitarist with post-punk band Killing Joke who found a place in the group after the Apocalypse failed to materialise. He flaked out at 46 so maybe the name paid off.
Squadron Leader Harry Scott
Squadron Leader Harry Scott, who has died aged 89, started his RAF career as a teenage aircraft apprentice and, after training as an air observer, became one of a small group of specialist navigators who pioneered the use of the blind-bombing aid "Oboe" with the Pathfinder Force.
Scott had already survived two tours on bomber operations when, in October 1942, he joined the newly-formed No 109 Squadron equipped with the fast and high-flying Mosquito. Oboe was a ground-controlled, blind-bombing system developed by the Telecommunications Research Establishment and based on the German Knickebein beam bombing system......
Being the navigator is not so glamorous but it is just as important.
General Sir Richard Trant
General Sir Richard Trant, who has died aged 79, played an important role in the direction of the Falklands campaign as Land Deputy to the Commander of the South Atlantic Task Force.
And that was about it. Did he ever hear a shot fired in anger? It doesn't say.
Varoomshka was a comic strip Candide for the 1970s, a wide-eyed, lissom innocent abroad, who defined the second coming of Harold Wilson and the dog-eared hypocrisies of the Heath and Callaghan years...........
Her creator, John Kent, who has died aged 65, was a New Zealander, the son of a lawyer. Arriving in England, he found the ways of old Europe cunning beyond his imagination..... The culture shock gave him the clarity of vision to cut through the cant and the double standards..... She [ Varoomshka ] was a concept to enrage feminists of the day, which she duly did.
She sounds like fun.
Sefanaia Sukanaivalu VC
Was a corporal from Fiji who let himself be shot by the Japanese because his men would never fall back while he was alive. He really did give his life.
Deborah Kerr,.... was the unfadingly [ sic ] ladylike and prototypical English rose whose red-haired, angular beauty and self-possessed femininity distinguished more than 50 films in four decades of cinema.
She made serenity dramatic; and though her poise might be ruffled at critical moments in scenes of passion (most famously exemplified by her encounter on the beach with Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity in 1953), her well-bred airs and social graces made her a model of British womanhood in Hollywood.
We all get older and maybe wiser.
Andrée de Jongh
Countess Andrée de Jongh, who has died in Brussels aged 90, founded and organised the Comet Escape Line, the route from Belgium through France to Spain used by hundreds of Allied airmen to escape from Nazi-occupied Europe......
Dédée de Jongh made more than 30 double crossings and escorted 116 evaders, including more than 80 aircrew. But on the night of January 15 1943 she was sheltering at Urrugne with three RAF evaders when she was betrayed.....
The escape line survived, and by the time the Allies invaded France in June 1944 more than 500 men had passed down the line to safety.
She was a genuine heroine. The Gestapo were nearly as nasty as Mossad.
The Earl of Harrowby
Moderniser who helped to make Coutts a model for success in private banking. He was with 5 PARA in Java.
Bob Denard, the French mercenary who has died aged 78, was one of the soldiers of fortune to profit from the upheavals of Africa of the 1960s.
He came to prominence during the early conflicts in the Congo, when he led a raid on Stanleyville (now Kisangani) to rescue white civilians besieged by rebel forces. The ruthless efficiency with which his group of mercenaries carved through the rebel army earned them the soubriquet "Les Affreux" (the fearful ones)....
Interesting times if you were in the right places.
Brigadier Mike Harvey MC
In April 1951,.... Harvey, then a captain... attached to 1st Battalion the Gloucestershire Regiment (1st Glosters), was in command of D Company, which was defending high ground above the Imjin.
Not many men of the Glosters are left. Now there is one less.
Cynthia Pitman, who has died aged 94, was a lifelong hunt follower who was still riding to hounds in her mid-eighties, always at the head of the field and undaunted by weather or terrain; in her hunting colours and black top hat, she cut a slight but unique figure as the oldest woman in Britain regularly to ride in pursuit of the fox.
For some 70 years in season, she hunted for three days a week, rain or shine, and always rode out side-saddle........
She did what she wanted. Lucky her.
David Muffett, who has died aged 88, applied the skills he had honed when dealing with cannibals in colonial Africa to battling education ministers and teaching unions in his role as chairman of Hereford and Worcester County Council education committee.
He spent 16 years in the colonial service in northern Nigeria, where he claimed to have been one of only two Britons whose name passed into the native Hausa language: "Aka yi masa mafed" (literally "One did to him Muffett"), meaning "Justice caught up with him"......
In 1960 he apprehended the Tigwe of Vwuip, a northern Nigerian tribal chief who had eaten the local tax collector. The Tigwe had apparently been so impressed by the man's ability to acquire money on demand that he had — understandably — decided to try to assimilate his powers. It was not so much this particular misdemeanour that bothered Muffett; what really worried him was the fact that a UN delegation was due to visit the area, and "I wasn't about to have one of them eaten. I considered that it would be a highly retrogressive step."
Our empire was not the worst in the world as the Americans are busy proving this day.
Captain Kenneth Lockwood
Was on the Escape Committee at Colditz pretty much for the duration.
Sir Alan Campbell
Sir Alan Campbell, who died on Sunday aged 88, was ambassador to the Court of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, and later to Italy.
Every now and then Campbell caught himself behaving uncannily like Sir Samson Courtney, the British ambassador to the Empire of Azania in Evelyn Waugh's novel Black Mischief, indulging in little absurdities of opinion and pomposities of manner. Campbell found Black Mischief — which was unmentionable in Ethiopia at the time — to be a very shrewdly observed satire....
He joined the Army in 1940, serving briefly in the ranks of the Suffolk Regiment before receiving a commission in the Devonshire Regiment. He ended the war as a staff officer in SOE.
It sounds like fun.
José Luis de Vilallonga
José Luis de Vilallonga, who has died aged 87, was a Spanish nobleman, playboy, wastrel, author, fortune-hunter and bit-part actor who appeared briefly with Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's; late in life he achieved notoriety when he confessed to having cruelly mistreated his first wife, an English aristocrat...... Having fought for Franco during the Spanish civil war, Vilallonga was himself obliged to go into exile after writing a series of anti-Franco novels in the 1950s..... he was sentenced in absentia to imprisonment for sedition — and every three months thereafter was retried and had his sentence increased. By the time he returned to Spain his sentence was said to have amounted to more than 300 years..... In his vainglorious and — in the opinion of some — highly unreliable memoirs, he described himself as "a hardened alcoholic who, without ever taking precautions of any kind, has slept with more whores than a porcupine has quills".
A better man to know about than know; the sort who make the Trots see red.
Graham Clarke,... fought in the Korean War as a Fleet Air Arm pilot and in 1968 co-piloted a hovercraft on the dangerous Negro and Orinoco rivers in South America; the need to negotiate treacherous rapids made it one of the most difficult journeys ever undertaken by a hovercraft.
The journey was intended to demonstrate that the craft — an SRN6 of the British Hovercraft Corporation — could successfully travel 2,500 miles from Manaus, in Brazil, to Port of Spain, Trinidad......
He did get about.
Professor Durward Cruickshank
Durward Cruickshank , who has died aged 83, was an eminent mathematical crystallographer and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) from 1967 to 1984.
His careful work on the analysis of the thermal motion of atoms in crystal structures is known to every student of crystallography, and his development of much of the theoretical basis for the refinement of molecular structures in the 1950s and 1960s was crucial to the advancement of the subject......
The kind of man who underpins our civilization and gets no thanks for his pains.
Tony Ryan, the Irish entrepreneur who died on Wednesday aged 71, founded the "no-frills" airline Ryanair and was thus instrumental in breaking up the cosy cartel of national flag-carriers which had dominated European aviation from the 1950s.
We owe him a lot. It was Maggie Thatcher who gave him the go ahead when the Irish government wanted to stop him.
Squadron Leader Terry O'Brien DFC
Squadron Leader Terry O'Brien, who has died aged 91, was a brave and outspoken pilot who served with the Chindits and later flew many clandestine sorties in south-east Asia, experiences which he later recounted in a widely-acclaimed trilogy of memoirs. O'Brien had completed a tour of operations flying bombers in England and survived the Japanese advance on Singapore and Java when he volunteered to join the 4/9th Gurkha Rifles assigned to General Orde Wingate's Long Range Penetration Group, better known as the Chindits......
O'Brien's native Australian scepticism and disdain for the pretensions of rank was accompanied by an acute intelligence and a deep concern for his men; and he could be very critical of independent operations and of some of their leaders. Such operations, he maintained, were not always harmonised with the wider strategy or tactics of Allied Command and were very wasteful of life.
A good man, not a yes man.
The Reverend Rex Humbard
The Reverend Rex Humbard,........ was a one-time itinerant preacher who became one of the best-known television evangelists in America;.....
Although Elvis Presley was among the programme's admirers - in 1977 Humbard officiated at the singer's funeral - not everyone shared his enthusiasm. When an arch-fundamentalist rival complained that Humbard "sings hillbilly music in church", he recalled his own father's advice: "If you want to smell like a polecat, fight one."
Billy Graham eat your heart out. Elvis has to be the ultimate customer.
Professor Wolfgang Panofsky
Professor Wolfgang Panofsky, who died on September 24 aged 88, was a particle physicist and director of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre (SLAC) in California; with Jack Steinberger, he was the first to isolate the neutral pi meson, one of the subatomic particles which had been predicted by theoretical scientists to account for the strong force which binds the nuclei of atoms. [ I don't know what they are either - Editor ]
Despite his own involvement with the Manhattan Project which developed the first atomic bomb,........ became in later life a fierce advocate of arms control. Last year he declared that: "The risk-to-benefits ratio of nuclear weapons has grown to an unacceptably large value today… and in my view threatens the survival of civilisation."
He was on the right lines with nukes. Witness Bush's secretive attempt to nuke Iran - American Air Force Mutiny Prevents Bush Nuking Iran
Lois Maxwell,.... played Miss Moneypenny in 14 James Bond films;... though other younger women later took over the part, she was widely regarded as the definitive Moneypenny, M's spinsterly secretary secretly in love with 007.........
Although she played the part for 23 years, she was on screen for less for an hour and spoke fewer than 200 words in all 14 films, her lines running an emotional gamut from "James, you're late" to "When are we going to have that dinner?".....
Never paid more than £100 a day, her first appearance in Dr No took only two days to shoot, and those in her 13 subsequent Bond films were just as modest in scale. For her first five films, Lois Maxwell wore her own clothes.
She had quite a life and finished up in Frome, so she had taste too.
Major Sir Hamish Forbes, Bt MC
Major Sir Hamish Forbes, 7th Bt, who has died aged 91, won an MC while serving with the Welsh Guards and was later appointed MBE (Military) in recognition of his numerous attempts to escape from a series of PoW camps.
He tried but he was not that lucky.
Lieutenant Commander Harry Wardle
Lieutenant Commander Harry Wardle, who has died aged 88, devoted five years after retiring from the Royal Navy to finding and plugging a leak in a mile-long underwater tin mine on the seabed off Cornwall.
The Irish Free State, Spain during the civil war, Shanghai when the city was bombed by the Japanese, bringing back French and Polish troops from St Nazaire, the battle of Taranto, the siege of Tobruk and the evacuations of Greece and Crete, Matapan, Arctic and North Atlantic convoys and the Normandy landings. He really got about.
John Gardiner, who has died aged 64, was considered the most inventive and capable restoration engineer in the world of classic cars. Crosthwaite & Gardiner (C&G), the company he established with Dick Crosthwaite more than 40 years ago, built a reputation as the leading specialist restorer of almost everything "interesting" on four wheels.
When Audi insisted on manufacturing the V16-cylinder engine crankshaft for these cars, it failed Gardiner's rigorous inspection; and when an Audi committee quibbled endlessly over technical details Gardiner told them: "Listen, all you've got to do is sign the cheques and tell us how big you want the swastikas painted."
A sound Englishman, the sort who made the Industrial Revolution.
Sir Edward Tomkins
Ambassador to France who was granted an almost lyrical reception by the French on his arrival in Paris.
A good man it seems.
The Lord Gilmour of Craigmillar, who died on Friday aged 81, was an urbane intellectual who drew his political inspiration from the "one nation" Toryism that dominated the Conservative Party in the 30 years after the Second World War;......
He was involved in the fall of Rhodesia and the rise of Mugabe. A decent man got it disastrously wrong. He didn't see through Blair, another little crook either. He owned The Spectator once.
Albert Jacka VC
... Three weeks after his arrival at Courtney's Post, Gallipoli, the former labourer in Victoria's Forestry Department had amazed his commanders by jumping into an enemy-held trench and single-handedly battling a group of armed Turks, killing two with his bayonet and shooting five. It was a stunning act of bravery for which he was awarded Australia's first Victoria Cross of World War I.
The establishment didn't like him for not being a yes man. See - First Digger to win VC in World War I
Lady Jeanne Campbell
Lady Jeanne Campbell , who has died aged 78, was a journalist who reported for the Evening Standard from New York for many years; she was also the former wife of Norman Mailer, the daughter of the reprobate 11th Duke of Argyll and the favourite granddaughter of Lord Beaverbrook..... James C Humes... claimed.., that she was the only woman to have known "Biblically" Presidents Khrushchev, Kennedy and Castro — and all, he claimed, within the space of a year.
She lived. It seems to run in the family.
Major-General Sir John Anderson
Major-General Sir John Anderson, who has died aged 91, was on Montgomery's operational staff in the North African campaign and subsequently became head of the Royal Corps of Signals (RCS) as Signal Officer-in-Chief (Army).
John Evelyn Anderson, the son of a New Zealander who sailed as a deckhand with Captain Scott on one of his Antarctic expeditions, was born at Shrewsbury on June 28 1916 and educated at King's School, Rochester. He attended RMA Woolwich and later became the last senior officer in the RCS to have been trained to drive and operate horse-drawn cable wagons......
He was not just anyone but lucky not to be with Scott on his last run.
Count Heinrich von Einsiedel Deutsches Kreuz in Gold
He was a Luftwaffe fighter ace shot down over Stalingrad in 1942 whose changeable loyalties were to exasperate his fellow Germans over the next 60 years.
He made The Vicar of Bray sound steadfast but with loyalty to Adolf or Stalin as options consistency was difficult.
Major-General Sir Jeremy Moore MC
Commander of Land Forces during the Falklands War who had earlier won MCs in Malaya and Brunei.
He got about. There was Ireland and Operation Motorman too.
Lieutenant-Commander 'Fairy' Filmer
Pilot who helped to sink the Königsberg and later spent five years as a PoW despite frequent escape attempts.
Rather a sound man.
Group Captain 'Benny' Goodman DFC
Group Captain 'Benny' Goodman, who has died aged 86, was a Mosquito pilot who marked some crucial targets for Lancaster bombers to destroy in the lead-up to the D-Day landings in June 1944......
The long-range heavy gun battery at St Martin de Varreville, behind what was to be Utah Beach on the Cherbourg peninsula, posed a major threat..... Goodman was flying one of four Mosquitoes detailed to mark the target.... The other Mosquitoes dropped before a force of 64 Lancasters commenced their attack. When American troops overran the battery on June 6 [ D Day ], they discovered that it had been so badly damaged that it had been abandoned. A few days after the attack against the gun battery, Goodman marked major marshalling yards at Saumur.... It was Goodman's 78th and final bombing operation of the war;
One tour of thirty operations is dangerous. Well over two tours means lucky and competent.
Major-General Hew Butler
It was North Africa, Bavaria, EOKA, Kenya. Join the Army and see the world
The 4th Lord Bethell,... was a hereditary peer.. and unsung hero of the Cold War..... among those he helped were Irina Ratushinskaya, Vladimir Bukovsky, Oleg Gordievsky, and the Sakharovs. For this he was denigrated by the KGB, Private Eye, the Foreign Office, and the former Conservative prime minister, Ted Heath.
Being libelled by the Eye was a nuisance. They don't always get it right. Heath was a malicious Trot who liked choir boys and brown envelopes. The Foreign Office is little better and we can see why the KGB didn't like him. Vladimir Bukovsky is a very sound chap who saw the reality of tyranny close up - see Former Soviet Dissident Warns of EU Dictatorship
Sir Tasker Watkins, VC
Sir Tasker Watkins, the former Deputy Chief Justice of England and Lord Justice of Appeal who died yesterday aged 88, was awarded a Victoria Cross for his conduct during the North-West Europe Campaign of 1944-45. On August 16 1944, when commanding a company of 1/5th Company of the Welch Regiment, Watkins attacked a German machine-gun post single-handed while leading a bayonet charge.
He was promoted from lieutenant to major on the field.... Interviewed subsequently, all he would say about the action was that the men with him were Welsh, and "I am proud of that".
There were not many like him. Did we deserve him? Certainly our politicians do not.
Lord Michael Pratt
Author and unabashed snob who scorned full-time employment, quarrelled over money and haunted London's club land.
He was amusing from a distance and confirmed socialists in their views.
Leonard Williams DFC
Leonard Williams,.... becoming chairman then president of the Nationwide Anglia Building Society, after an eventful war as a Spitfire pilot..... The squadron flew Spitfires in the fighter-reconnaissance role and worked closely with the Allied armies, often identifying targets for artillery and reporting the results.
Interesting times but he survived. Not every one did.
The Duke of Buccleuch KT, AB
The 9th Duke of Buccleuch and 11th Duke of Queensberry, who died yesterday aged 83, was Scotland's grandest aristocrat and the largest private landowner in Europe.
Laid end to end, the walls and fences that bounded his 280,000 acres would have stretched from Drumlanrig, his castle in Dumfriesshire, to San Francisco. The management of such a demesne was, as the Duke maintained, "every bit as much a business as running a chocolate factory or a chain of shops".
Buccleuch had served as an ordinary seaman in destroyers during the Second World War, had been an MP for 13 years and had championed the increasingly neglected countryside while representing an Edinburgh constituency....
He is well thought of and doubtless saw life in the Royal Navy unlike the draft dodging lot that are today's politicians.
Rear-Admiral Robin Mayo
Wartime anti-submarine officer who later patrolled off Palestine and oversaw the arrival of Polaris on the Clyde.
He was in when the Navy saw the world.
Group Captain Willie 'Tirpitz' Tait DSO, DFC
Group Captain Willie "Tirpitz" Tait, who died on Friday aged 90, had a brilliant wartime career as a bomber commander; he attacked some of the most demanding and difficult targets, the majority as the leader or master bomber, and will long be remembered for his three attacks against the German battleship Tirpitz. By the end of the war he had flown more than 100 operations, in respect of which he had been awarded, uniquely, four DSOs and two DFCs.
The weather was clear and the German fighters tasked to protect the battleship failed to appear. Tait attacked first and his Tallboy hit the ship; in the first four minutes, 18 more were released, achieving another direct hit and several near misses. There was a violent internal explosion and the huge battleship capsized and rested bottom up with great loss of life.
Getting the Tirpitz was a major achievement. He did well.
Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Weippert
Of The Poona Horse made it to Rome with the 6th Horse aka Watson's Horse. Then it was Perugia, Assisi and time for a quick prayer. His luck ran out half a mile later. He began as a real cavalry man. Tracks came later.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
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