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That's a great story about the various roles played by OGs in the shooting down of a German plane but I am not sure about the truth. Also get an email with jobs recommended just for me. It seemed this particular son was writing up a family history but none of the family knew anything of his professional life. I enjoyed that evening's session Sign in or register.

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I wait for your call, hope to see you soon. I live near to Harrow on the Hill station. The match might have been played at Lords c. Marchant and Thyrwhitt put on an impressive runs before lunch. A fast rate of scoring in those far-off days. Mr Marchant smiled when he told us he was dropped at gulley with only three runs to his name. He opined that the dropped catch was a 'sitter', the ball cutting from middle and leg to off stump, before embarrassing second slip.

The two friends may have been playing against a representative MCC side. Unfortunately, I can trace no reference in Wisden, so remain baffled. It may be that the match was played at a lesser ground, Southgate for instance, and did not count as a First Class fixture worthy of inclusion. Caroline The page www. In Lahore, India in February ". So he should be in the whole school photo on the photos page www.

The above D M Hambly was my grandfather. Apart from being an Engineer for the Indian State Railway where he was designing and building bridges and tunnels, mostly in the NOrth West in what is now West Pakistan. I didn't know he had been Head Boy. I knew him very well. If you have anything to add to this I would be very grateful. What he did at school. I don't get the impression he was'nt sporty but maybe wrong; more academic.

I didn't know Bernie Marchant at School. I only met him once, at a meeting in Hugh Skillen's house in my Old Gaytonian magazine-editing days, but Jim Golland had mentioned to me that he relied on Bernie to help him out with Latin in his local history research.

Someone can't remember who approached me to translate into Latin some invitation to someone else to go on a tour. I did my best after about some 40 years and asked Bernie to check my version. Not only did he approve it, he complimented me on my use invention? I was ridiculously pleased at that. What a nice man. Mention is made of Bill Kitchen motor spares shop which was usually managed by the irascible George Graham who did not suffer fools gladly.

It was one of the first independent spares shops. In those days spare parts were usually only obtainable from main dealers but with more people taking to the roads they started to spring up. Initially Lucas and others refused to supply them, which led to firms like Wipac setting up and taking part of the after market away from them.

The most famous one locally was Barnacles of Ealing,if they did not have what you were after,you had a problem.

Their pre war stock was amazing. Then the accessory shops opened up like Dannys, owned by Nobby Clarke, at the end of the parade between the Dominion and the entrance to Wealdstone football ground, later there was a branch in Eastcote. The shop next to Bill Kitchen was Youngs fishing tackle and it is amazing how many of their rods and reels still turn up at auction. They also sold knives and when I was looking to buy a scout sheath knife they also had WW2 commando knives which I could not afford at seven shilling and sixpence, they are now selling in excess of one hundred pounds, I still have my ,I cut my way, knife which is worthless, such is life.

About a Boy Scout travelling through life. I was in the PT display with Alan Coxon as the solo performer. In the show I was also a 'White Indian', white smock, white trousers, white headband and feather, depicting the spirit of a Red Indian. Wembley Speedway, no-one has mentioned Tommy Price, great rider. How about the March of the Gladiators when the riders paraded before the races having to use crutches and walking sticks to march out!!!!

Bill Kitchen in his shop near the Bridge School. Went with a pal to purchase something, Bill had to climb a ladder to reach, just like Open All Hours, when he fell off the ladder, right from the top, my pal and I climbed over the counter to help him. Marchant and Tyrwhitt teaming up to watch the Wembley Lions - an odd twosome indeed, quite apart from the almost surreal circumstances! However, Tony Makepeace's anecdote is confirmed by my recall of Bernie's post-match remarks to a small group of HCS first X1 cricketers, around summer , when, confronting our extreme annoyance at what we regarded as biased umpiring by the opposition's master, which had led to us losing the match, he strongly advised us not to risk what he clearly regarded as "losing face" by confronting the man concerned with our anger, but rather instead to "put it on ice".

I remember very clearly that moment, when, although we hardly expected such an apparently profoundly conventional character to support our would-be 'rebellion' against the entrenched authority of a teacher-cum-cricket umpire! Seeing our puzzled and-or disappointed faces he added I forget the exact words, of course something like, "Well, I assure you, that works for me" before astonishing us by saying he "released" a lot of pent-up personal frustration by attending ice hockey matches at the Empire Pool - particularly when the players got into brawls, imagining that it was he himself dishing out the blows!

When he left the changing-room we cracked up, literally fell about laughing, in one case, almost uncontrollably. But in doing so, we left our 'hard done by' resentment behind - the ice had melted, as it were! Bernie's advice had worked, albeit not in the way he'd intended.

Despite his rigidly controlled persona, he was, like many of his type, not at all quite what he seemed - out of hours That's a great story about the various roles played by OGs in the shooting down of a German plane but I am not sure about the truth. I was at school all through the war years but do not recall hearing the story before. We had a number of old boys who would address us about their experiences but I do not recall this particular incident being related.

You're quite right Colin, Jack Beet was in effect Ralph's 'main man'. I had barely got my feet under my desk when, having joined the 4th Harrow straight away, I was off with a load of others in Mr Brown's removal van to Gilwell Park. We rehearsed at Gilwell until dress rehearsal at the Albert Hall itself.

I stayed with the show, later as stage staff, until I went into the RAF. Later on Ralph wrote a play especially for the 4th The Story of Mike , in which he starred, and was put on in the School hall. I seem to recall reading on this site that in early WWll a German aircraft that was shot down was piloted by an OG, the pilot who shot him down was also OG and to compound the coincidences the officer who collected the now POW was also an OG.

I can't seem to locate that story on the site - did I imagine it. Yes, indeed, Chris R. It was Bronco Wilson who was killed, at Haringay in aged And Split Waterman did have a chequered career, ending up living in Spain. I wonder if he's still alive. I wasn't invited to participate in the Wembley show.

Colin, are you confusing Split Waterman with somebody else As late as he was arrested for smuggling gold out of the country. The gold probably from a bullion robbery. I seem to recall a search of his home turned up enough weapons to equip a small army. The last I heard he was living on the Costa del Sol. Hah, Ice Pantomimes etc at the Pool were a right pain.

The curved ends of the Pool were closed off leaving just a rectangle wqhich used to get very wet and mucky quite quickly. Mind you a good hockey stop would almost cover that group of girls by the rink edge like a waterfall. If you didn't have your own skates the hire ones were awful. They were leather but usually so worn that they offered no support; you used to see folk crippling around the edge of the Pool on the sides of their feet. I've got a strong feeling that I was in the Scout show mentioned, but I can't remember details, and I've got no 4th Harrow records covering that sort of period.

Dear old Wembley Pool. How it all comes back to me. For a few years after the war there were two ice hockey teams, Wembley Lions and Wembley Monarchs. For some reason the Lions were my favourites, but I used to go along and watch both. There were ice shows - including ice pantomimes - and public skating most days. I tried a few times but, having no skates of my own, and very large feet, I hired a pair several times.

They never fitted well enough to give me any support and I abandoned the pastime. There were also amateur boxing finals, professional tennis when the sport was essentially still amateur , the splendid Harlem Globetrotters' black basketball team and one year a huge scout show when I learnt that one in five boys in the age group was a scout. As for the Stadium, I remember my father getting press tickets for the speedway and watching Bill Kitchen and Split Waterman.

The latter was killed in a race not in my presence fortunately when he came off and another bike ran over his neck. Another time, probably in , my soccer-loving dad who played for the Old Gayts until the war announced with delight that he'd got two tickets for The International.

At that time it meant England vs Scotland; there was no other international football then. I'm slightly ashamed to say that I can't remember much about it, not even who won. But I do remember the Olympic Games there and going along to get autographs. Anyone in a tracksuit would do; I never tied a name to the scribble.

Mention was made of Bill Kitchen, the speedway rider who also ran a motor spares shop next to Youngs fishing tackle in the small parade of shops between Blawith Road and the entrance to Bridge school, my old primary school.

They then moved out to Hazlemere Bucks. Bill was a serious radio ham and the house bristled with aerials. Prior to going self employed in the motor trade I'd worked for the Eagle Star in Harrow, who insured both the old Wembley Stadium and the Pool and as they both fell in my patch I visited them on several occasions in connection with various claims and was able to go behind the scenes as it were.

The Pool was a technical engineering masterpiece which stood the test of time well, being used for a variety of events. Somewhere there's footage of it in use in all it's glory. Speedway racing and Ice Hockey were very popular in the 50's and does anyone remember the wrestling at Wembley Town Hall in the early 60's, I got free tickets thanks to a neighbour and recall the likes of Steve Logan,Jackie Pallo and Mick Mcmanus, who I met at Moor Patk many years later playing golf, a totally different, charming person out of the ring, who ran an antique shop.

I have always referred to the sports arena as the Empire Pool, for that was what it was originally - a purpose built Olympic sized swimming pool. It was constructed in using reinforced concrete and, at the time, had the largest span reinforced concrete roof. It was designed by Sir Owen Williams. I also remember going to quite a number of ice shows at the venue.

I am pleased to see that others still call it the Empire Pool. Confuses younger members of my family no end. As does telling them about the thursday evening when dad and I were shut out of a speedway meeting because the stadium was full.

The junk shop or WW2 surplus was Zelepukens, which originally was on the left halfway between Bridge School and the Granada, opposite Ben Bogins barbers shop but then moved to the corner of Blawith Road when the site became a tyre depot. I was there the night Johnnie Murray surprisingly got a hat trick and they put three bowler hats on the screen at the cafe end.. Les Strongman had decamped to Nottingham Panthers but guested for the Russian game as did big defenceman Red Kurtz, my favourite player, who played for the old enemy, Brighton Tigers.

What a line-up they had that night, Ron Kilby in goal, Shepherd and Kurtz defence, playmaker Booth, clever centre ice George Beech, who lived in Eastcote and looked like a merchant banker when in civvies on the train. Great memories and I too, many years later, reluctantly agreed to go on a staff 'bonding' course that included ice skating, waited until they were all on the ice, stumbling around, clinging to the boards, then made my entrance, flashing round backwards in my Lions skating jacket finishing with a massive hockey stop, covering the chosen ladies with ice, naughty but most enjoyable.

Great to read that I wasn't the only one to enjoy a misspent youth. Interesting to read about the Wembley Lions. I was a great fan. I seem to remember Bernie Marchant was a keen supporter but kept his face wrapped up in a scarf if HCS boys were around. He and Nick Thyrrit excuse spelling were once spotted sharing a bag of chips at half time.

At least some of our masters were human. Gratifying to hear that there are at least three of us left we'll have to start a Wembley Lions forum!!!! I seem to recall that Johnnie Murray always drew a 'get on the bench Murray'response from the fans. Ah, Wally Kilminster at Wembley Triangle. After getting off the 18 bus from Harrow I could never pass those windows without stopping to see what I couldn't afford. Was the junk shop in Harrow the one at the end of Blawith Road; it was difficult to get to Scout Park without having a quick look.

I committed the cardinal sin of swapping my bike for a guitar- it was a classical accoustic and didn't fare too well at camp, my parents were not all that impressed. Interested to read of Chris's skating exploits. I too skated, pushed the ice clearing boards and played ice hockey at Wembley.

Played on the ponds at Stanmore, Swakeleys and later years at Penn. Played in the Sunday foot hockey league, the inline roller skates weren't around then. Bought my first pair of hockey skates from Kilminsters at Wembley Triangle, then found the Holy Grail in a junk shop in Harrow, a pair of Tackaberry Prolites as used by the pros. Johnnie Nettleton's mum worked in the office so we got cheap tickets to go skating and watch the Lions Who will forget the night they beat the Russian World Champions with the help of imports Red Kurtz and Les Strongman.

Still have the skates and a stick, anybody looking for a game. Having read your recent posting, I was also a regular watching speedway at Wembley Stadium. I remember the riders you mentioned and also a Brian Crutcher. I think I saw at least one World Championship Final there. Other riders like Barry Briggs and Ronnie Moore also come to mind. I moved to Swindon in and followed the Robins when Barry was riding here.

I was delighted to learn that the boat club continued to thrive after my departure. For three years after school I was with the I. I had never considered Twink having a family. Did he continue at the school until he retired? He had a good heart but some strange ways - as did most of the staff! We had a lot of eccentrics but they did their jobs well and prepared us for later experiences in life.

Well, Brian, your slightly plaintive comment on lack of contributions lately brought, with the help of Peter Fowler's perfect summary of things, quite a burst of entries. This after only 15 days. There have been longer intervals. You're right about rowing clubs. Apart from rowing on the Thames, I remember using their tank boat - a fixed "boat" in a pool with riggers and oars with slots in the blades to provide just the right resistance to simulate rowing a real boat on the water.

Later, Twink had our own tank boat built. It was wedged across the width of the school swimming pool and he brought his rather fey son Theodore who addressed him as Dada along to attend the "launch".

I've no idea how it was paid for or what happened to it. My ice hockey with the Lion Cubs was pretty 'low-level' Tony. As a youngster I lived in Wembley, not far from the Stadium and Pool. I started off with learning ice dancing, but then my kind parents bought me a pair of hockey tubes. I soon found that on ice hockey nights, I could with a bit of brown-nosing get to push an ice cleaner board around during the intervals.

It was only a little bit more brown-nosing to eventually get the odd game with the Cubs. Many years later, and on a residential IT course in Bournemouth, I allowed the youngsters on the course to drag me the old git along to the ice rink.

I told them that of course I knew nothing about ice skating, but they promised to look after me. I enjoyed that evening's session Malcolm Ingram sent me the Skillen dvd at Christmas, he having received it from Geoff Wolf the year before.

Most entertaining, and great effort by all concerned. I thought I remembered the CCF arduous training in Dumfries and Galloway rather clearly but could not recall the canoes at all! As for swimming those memories of the freezing cold waters and what they did to one's body parts are hard to forget.

Anthony Tony Knight Email: I don't contribute to this message board very often, but I noticed in your recent posting that you played ice hockey for Wembley Lions Cubs. I was a keen fan following the Lions at the Empire Pool in the late 's and early 's. I wonder if there are many of us left!! In those days the team was mainly made up with Canadian players.

That's the way it goes Brian; last year was an interesting one for me when I became a member of the Papworth Zipper Club. And I have problems with surgeons who point an accusing finger and ask if I ever played a contact sport as a youth. Imagine trying to explain to Harry Mees, at the age of twelve, that I didn't want to play rugby in case some surgeon would want to cut my back open when I was in my seventies.

And I played in the RAF as well, gosh, silly me, really asking for trouble. Playing ice hockey for Wembley Lion Cubs was so much safer, and tackling those high peaks with the 4th Harrow was just the job for wimps like me.

Good to meet an ex-fellow rower Chris! I was among the first members of the HCS boat club. We used two club houses. One was called Vesta but the name of the other is lost in the recesses of my memory bank. I recall a group of initials starting with a 'W'. You are right about the 'thin green line' becoming thinner with time.

In my case this has become markedly noticeable in the last few years. You may be right,Peter, about older OGs dropping off the branch, I rarely if ever see anyone from my years commenting on anything. Well, in the interest of raising a blast from the past, I wonder if anyone can remember which boat house on the Thames we used when doing rowing with Twink. He was fatally electrocuted in an accident whilst serving as an interpreter during his National Service with the army in Germany.

Pete had been in the 4th Harrow Merrymen Scouts with me, some co-incidence. Brian, first, this guest forum flourished when a people were discovering it and b it was fed by constant changes in the main site. New photos, new stories, events, obituaries even. The two attributes worked hand in hand, one fed into the other. If something new was added to the site, it might trigger a response, which became a discussion, a thread. Second, its contributors remained locked in the Simpson years, we never did get the take-up from those who went to the school in the 70s and onwards.

There were one or two little bursts, but they came to nothing. And, sad to say but true, those in the Simpson years are fading from the scene, I'm sure that some of the early contributors will have died and we wouldn't know. It's all like the OG's, really: On the other hand, everything is here, hanging in cyberspace. And even now some will find it for the first time and decide to say something.

Its survival is worth it just for that. It has become very quiet on this page of later. Are we all dead or have we simply run out of things to say? Alas a senior moment, it should have been Barry Norton not Norman, who I did acknowledge from a distance in Ruislip 35 years ago. Good to see Dave Golby posting some form photos recently, the unknown master in them, is of course Bert Morshead, the physics teacher. Sadly very few of our intake contribute to this excellent website, some we know are no longer with us but I find it hard to accept that the survivors have not ventured into the computer age.

Panic reigned amongst those of us about to take what was then School Certificate French when rumour had it there would be an oral component to the exam. In the event there was not but none of us had spoken a word of French in four years of study. Some six years later I was introduced to spoken French in a camp in northern Quebec. At the breakfast table everyone except me ate a plate full of baked beans into which they mixed strawberry jam with much gusto.

My vocabulary expanded rapidly when the machinery developed mechanical problems. In a previous experience I had learned I was one of those people who learn a language by listening to the spoken word, as in a language laboratory. In my case a fellow expat and I perfected our Swahili after work by translating the Decamerron Nights at sight to our African workers each evening.

The sessions were so popular we were recommended to change careers and become missionaries. A grounding in vagiaries of Latin grammar acquired at HCS found a useful application when tackling the twists and turns of a bantu language.

Ah, yes, Don Wilkey, I'd forgotten that he also took us for French in the 6th form - excellent teacher, very conscientious, almost neurotically so. Don Kincaid took us for the first 4 years and provided a welcome breath of humour and, er, 'normality' among an otherwise often rather odd bunch of characters in charge of us. As for the language lab, well, I don't recall ever using it! But yes, Hugh Skillen did a great job pioneering the exchange scheme and that lab - and his teaching was ok, although for me anyway, others were better.

I was fluent in French before I came to Harrow County but I do remember that we had one of the first language laboratories in the country. Mind you, I seem to remember we were the first to do so many things.

I was encouraged by another member of staff whose name I have forgotten to take an interest in modern French literature so I read a lot of Camus and Sartre. Still stays in my mind after all these years. Actually, the teaching of modern languages was badly flawed in those days, where one could 'get through' or even perform very well indeed in exams while barely being able to hold a basic conversation in the language studied. Ludicrous, of course, but I guess the school felt it was beholden to the examination boards and exam grades were all that ultimately counted.

Things tend to be a lot different now, thankfully. Hugh Skillen taught me for two years of the 6th form, but by then he seemed rather weary and frankly, I found him not particularly inspiring, unlike the previous incumbent, Don Kincaid. Apart from the spook stuff, Hugh was i. I may perhaps have learned my french with a wee bit of a scottish accent never a problem when later living in Belgium but the extended student exchange scheme was really great.

Ordinary school french may have been okay for passing exams, but living in the country quickly taught everyday usage. Perhaps Bulldog should have done the same for German, although serving in the RAF in Germany soon had me ordering refreshments with no problems: He worked in the Y Service radio intercepts and wrote a number of books on his work and Bletchley in general.

He was instrumental in publicising the work and setting up conferences when the secrets became public. I think he could claim to be a major influence in its subsequent restoration and its establishment as a "heritage" site.

He was a generous contributor to The Old Gaytonian magazine, which I edited for the best part of 20 years until Michael F Hendley Email: At that time no-one would have known of his role in codebreaking. This led me to look for other information about the school and former pupils. Harrow County Boys' was where I began my teaching career. I retired in as Deputy Head of large comprehensive school in the Midlands. I've enjoyed reading the staff list and being reminded of some great colleagues.

I bought my first car the ducal chariot from Mr Duke. Good suggestion there Henry. I travelled extensively on narrow gauge trains in Africa and elsewhere and did not find them either something to be romantic or nostalgic about.

Sorry, chaps, may have got the terminology wrong. Should, perhaps, have used the phrase heritage railways. Interesting comment in the last post about the Bluebell Line - didn't know it had changed gauge! So what was Michael doing there which concerned narrow gauge railways?

I would have thought North Wales would have been a better choice. I went over to see Tony Clarke today and we had lunch. Tony is a director of the Bluebell Railway in Sussex.

He told me that Michael Portillo has recently made a programme there for a new series on the narrow gauge railways of Britain. I was glad to read that you enjoyed the piece, Colin. Jeff does a great job in unearthing information like this but doubt for all his efforts he finds half of the material reporting achievements of OGs.

It may well be 'old geezer talk' but I fail to see what was achieved by closing the grammar schools like HCS. The politicians of that time have much to answer for. Thank you for the steer, Brian.

What a remarkable career - and what a charming gentleman. Glad to see the resumption of obituaries on the website.

For those who have not yet read it, I highly recommend the interview of Hans Neubroch for which a reference is given in his obituary notice on the web site. His time at HCS overlapped with mine but I do not remember him. Must get these fingers checked out for incontinence - or perhaps that would be incompetence - been playing a lot of bum notes on the guitar of late.

I can well remember nearly doing myself a serious mischief when parading with the Scout flags into the old hall. Yes, I'd been warned, but I was so proud to have been chosen to carry the flag that I clean forgot the advice about the height of the door frame Coming down to Harrow is out these days, anno domini and all that means it's a little bit too far. I heard a comment on the TV that the latest UK population figures were 'broken down by age' - I can emphasize with that.

As in previous years, on Friday 6th November at 11am we will gather at the school to commemorate those of our fellow Old Boys who fell in war. Tea and coffee will be served in the library from I hope to see you all there Again, as in previous years well adjourn thereafter to the St Johns Hotel opposite Debenhams or Sopers if your prefer for a pie and a pint. Copy of Gaytonian signed by Randal Williams and other masters on sale on Ebay. We have had good discussions here but these will be terminated forever by these interventions.

I don't know if Bob is being serious or not. Yes Col Bigham did get the CCF going and was responsible - together with other staff - for the challenges and opportunities that this gave students I was in the scouts. Contribution to the school? That's a different matter as a teacher who's lessons consisted of just reading from a text book year after year one of three brothers at the school who all had the same treatment , I can't see what contribution he made to the school?

I can't imagine how much use he would have been trying to teach A level Biology, but I am willing to stand corrected if he really did know something about the subject! Only the small-minded such as certain recent correspondents are unable to appreciate the tireless and self-sacrificing energies the Colonel offered to a proud, fine school.

To demean this man beyond the grave is grossly unfair as he cannot answer back. But he has no need. There remain those of us who warmly appreciate the generous example senior masters such as Bigham set. All great men have their juvenile critics.

The latter are mean-spirited failures who have not fulfilled the hopes of their puny adolescence. Let us hear no more repetitive nonsense from these dreary people. They should feel ashamed of their petty and bitter jibes. Dr Simpson and Colonel Bigham set standards by which some of us have led the rest of our lives. They remain in our memories as magnificent examples of midth century educators of young men who were encouraged to go out into the world and achieve. Their detractors, who sneer from afar within the safety of anonymity, are not worth a candle.

Let them put up or shut up. I don't have a problem with any continuing discussion of Bigham in a serious vein. He was obviously very influential on Simpson and impacted many pupils in many ways. The problem with Lotte Hotter is that he is very like a young child who says something funny causing adults to laugh and then repeats the same words at every opportunity ad nauseam.

All that is needed is for Lotte Hotter to recognise that the joke if there ever was one is over! Over the years Jeffrey has made this page available I have very much enjoyed the various exchanges and recollections from our formative years at HCS. It never occurred to me to stay in the area as some seem to have done.

In I left for the 'colonies' where, with the exception of six years in Cornwall and Scotland, I have remained. One item that has been really exhausted on this page is the tale of Bigham whom I knew only slightly in his first year at HCS.

Various contributors have researched this man in considerable depth and published their findings here. I suggest our anonymous friend Hotter delve into the 'back issues' for answers to his various questions. Something many of us would like to read are the minutes of the committee meeting at which the appointment of Simpson was discussed.

How did the committee find him and why did they feel hiring him was so necessary given they had just appointed Crowle-Ellis who seemed to be doing a good job? I feel sure the information is hidden away in an archive box somewhere. Perhaps one of our number still living in the area would devote an hour or two to this task. Most disappointed we are at the negative response to our open request.

What is this English word 'spoof'. We had hoped for information from more enlightened people on an intriguing subject of international significance.

I would wish to meet this Chris Esmond who, despite his insulting comments, hints he may have knowledge of former Col Wilhelm von Bigham.

In November, I travel to London for a conference arranged at the Lords cricket ground. Perhaps Mr Esmond will make contact so we can meet? Does he have photographs besides memories? Can he bring a friend who may share his memories? We hope to publish early in the New Year but our publishers are growing restless. In particular, we most urgently require information on the Colonel's legendary escape to Argentina and the subsequent increase of importation of Mercedes Benz saloons into that country.

All this was prior to his exposure and the necessity of a change of identification. Finally, a successful transition into a teacher of Biology. A remarkable achievement, considering his total lack of knowledge of the subject. Colin, thank you for intuitively perceiving and clearly elucidating this latest outrage, an affront to the finely-tuned sensibilities of all who sailed in 'The Good Ship HCS' in those far-off, yet somehow ever 'near-and-dear'days.

A few - hopefully, of course, very few although one can never be sure in these difficult times for us and our ilk - may scoff, but the most appropriate words I can find are presently ringing in my inner ears: I can give you a few years, having just passed my own 79th birthday.

Yes, we're from a very different age. Our past was a different country, they did things But, hey I enjoyed it all. One of my grandsons is off on a school trip to Bletchley; I've set him the task of finding my french teacher Hugh skillen on the honours list. I am 70 years of age today, and looking at the form photographs from , with my class mates and Ken Waller, our erstwhile form master, I feel from a different age! I'm afraid this is a spoof by someone who has amused himself - but no one else - with anonymous or pseudonymous entries in the guestbook in the past.

I am sorry to have to say that he will no doubt have been gratified that you have taken the bait. He can make - and has made in the past - serious contributions, even if I have not always agreed with him. We are sorry you are exhausted. Do you think your first sentence requires a question mark? We are surprised that your English education has not drummed this home, as your people say. We are from Dresden and survivors of allied bombing night and day. Mein vater was boiled in a public fountain by the heat of incendiary bombs dropped by the British.

We regret you have nothing to add to our archive. Our work goes on. Where do Hans and Lotte come from. This topic, as with several others, was discussed to the point of exhaustion several years ago. Hans and Lotte Hotter Email: So glad to have discovered your site. We have spent many fruitless years researching the unexplained post-war disappearance of SS Panzer Colonel Wilhelm von Bigham. A noted warrior awarded the Iron Cross and Oak Leaves and recognised as a master of disguise.

It is unlikely von Bigham still lives. This German patriot, soldier and biologist is not traceable in existing, scanty wartime Wermacht records, most of which were destroyed upon Adolf Hitler's direct orders. Our information is that the Colonel may have been captured by the British close to the end of hostilities in Europe,, and transported to UK retaining his professional connection with car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz.

It is rumoured that von Bigham later set up a neo-Nazi youth force masquerading as British army cadets in the hope of taking over the MacMillan Government in the early s.

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