What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

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Fitzsadou
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What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by Fitzsadou » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:19 am

I have noticed references to a few interesting things done in WW2 by some masters in other threads. It may be a good idea to collect them, to add as much as possible of additional masters’ war careers and also OBs’ exploits, all in one place – this thread.

The following have already been mentioned. Perhaps they can be elaborated.
- Lt Col Arthur Rider ended WW2 as i/c of transport in France
- Major Cecil Francis Kirby (‘Uncle’) was in the Royal Signals and tested newly developed equipment (among other things)
- As Kit Bartlett wrote for Capt Edward Malins (‘Gad’), “E G Malins served in the 47th Cavalry Regiment in WW2”
- Sgt(?) Michael T Cherniavsky was in the Pioneer Corps.

Here are some questions
- How did EC Aitken (‘Kit’) lose his left leg?
- I understand that Eric A Littlefield (‘Pongo’) had some important position in Intelligence, interrogating Germans (he taught German) and ended up as a Squadron Leader. But what exactly did he do?
- What did Capt John Page do?
- Similarly for Fl Lt John Massen (‘Jack’)? (Since he was an excellent teacher of German, I suspect he did something like EA Littlefield.)
- Capt(?) Alec Johnstone (‘Johnny’) had some liaison with Polish forces. But what?

Here’s something new from an obituary
- Major Arthur Vesselo (BaB - 1920s) left school with a classical scholarship for Oxford and had a distinguished WW2 career, ending as controller of the Italian Educational system, including the La Scala Opera House. In 1946 his Italian language History of the Italian Educational System 1922-43, was published in Italy.

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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:29 am

John Page's war is documented in his Daily Telegraph obituary.

(Reggie Dean had been in the CCF Air Section -- was he in the RAF during the war? I imagine so.)
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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by LongGone » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:59 am

Richard Fry's service and MC have been mentioned before. See http://www.paradata.org.uk/people/richard-n-fry for some details.
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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by DavidRawlins » Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:50 pm

I have a vague idea Kit was in Normandy. does anyone know?
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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by Fitzsadou » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:09 pm

For those interested in this subject, there is some more relevant information in another thread, “CH and the Armed Services”. One item there bears repetition.

While this was not on active service, one of Buckie’s WW2 exploits deserves to be retold. Archibald Hector Buck was an OB and housemaster at CH during WW2. He served in the CH Home Guard, which paraded together with the CCF for a formal inspection. Buckie was short and had a good sense of humour. During the Inspection the Inspecting Officer (who presumably had poor vision) stopped in front of him and asked, “And what do you intend to do when you leave school, my boy?” Without any hesitation, Buckie answered, “Engine driver, Sir”.

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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by J.R. » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:51 pm

Not quite CH, but my Dads sister, (a lifelong spinster), was a grammer=school shool teacher and author of childrens books, (Cecily M Rutley).

She was fluent in German and was subconded to re-vet correspondence between german P.O.W's and their homeland, not just to translate, but to look for hidden coded messages.
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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by Kit Bartlett » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:02 pm

Kit Aitken lost a leg in Normandy. shot by a sniper, He was initially wounded badly and then gangrene set in and it had to be amputated.
I remember him giving a talk to the CCF on the incident in Big School.
Reggie Dean and Jack Massen were not called up in W W 2 as they remained on the teaching staff throughout the period 1939-45. They may well have appeared in uniform as members of the CCF. So I believe did Phallic Mathews and Blamire-Brown who was granted the rank of Acting Captain.









captain/

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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by Kit Bartlett » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:13 pm

Dick Crosland also appeared in R,A.F. uniform as a member of the CCF or as it was called then the JTC. How did all these masters obtain the necessary
training and qualifications to do this I wonder ?
There was also the CH Home Guard in which the Headmaster HLO Flecker was a prominent member with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel which must have related to his W. W.1 service.
There must be scope for a full blown history of C H during the war years I feel.

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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:45 pm

Kit Bartlett wrote:Dick Crosland also appeared in R,A.F. uniform as a member of the CCF or as it was called then the JTC. How did all these masters obtain the necessary
training and qualifications to do this I wonder ?
There was also the CH Home Guard in which the Headmaster HLO Flecker was a prominent member with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel which must have related to his W. W.1 service.
There must be scope for a full blown history of C H during the war years I feel.
Capt. Mainwaring springs to mind !

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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by J.R. » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:48 pm

Kit Bartlett wrote:Kit Aitken lost a leg in Normandy. shot by a sniper, He was initially wounded badly and then gangrene set in and it had to be amputated.
I remember him giving a talk to the CCF on the incident in Big School.
Reggie Dean and Jack Massen were not called up in W W 2 as they remained on the teaching staff throughout the period 1939-45. They may well have appeared in uniform as members of the CCF. So I believe did Phallic Mathews and Blamire-Brown who was granted the rank of Acting Captain.


I definitely remember him in army officers uniform at certain events, fag in hand, 'Natch'
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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by Foureyes » Mon Sep 14, 2015 10:56 am

There is an excellent paper by HLO Flecker in the CH Museum on his experiences at the school in WW2. It is a fascinating document. For example, in 1940 he had to make very serious plans for what to do if the Germans actually invaded, since the school lay on one of the most likely routes from their landing to London! His fervent hope was that if the Germans invaded they would do so during the holidays!!

One of his more light-hearted comments concerns returning from a conference in London and standing on a platform at Victoria Station during an attack by several V-1s. He says that what interested him most was neither the explosions nor the sound of the motors as the missiles went overhead, but the fact that hardened commuters standing alongside him waiting for the train to arrive never even looked up from their newspapers.
Well worth reading.
David :shock:

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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by J.R. » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:15 pm

I think HLOF must have been in power when a german 109 flew down the length of the avenue, the pilot obviously believing it to be a girls school, (housey coats), then peeled off without firing and flew to Horsham where it shot up a school there.

It is known that the Germans were aware that CH was a school of excellence, with OTC facilities.

I'm sure it was Mrs. Mathews who told this tale during a detention class I had to attend.
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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by Foureyes » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:17 pm

I think that this has been covered before, but… The Luftwaffe was pretty good at deliberately bombing schools in its 1942-43 'Terror' campaign (their name, not mine). There was one in Sandhurst Road Lewisham in 1943, another in Petworth in 1942, and the one in Horsham mentioned by JR. Having lived in and travelled around Germany for some years it is my belief that the CH Horsham site was not bombed was not because they thought it was a girls school, but because they thought it was some sort of religious establishment, of which there were (and, I believe, still are) a fair number in Germany. After all, there was a very prominent church, easily visible cloisters and lots of young men walking around in clerical garb. The cloud of nicotine smoke over Shelley's Wood might have given the game away, but perhaps they were flying too fast to notice!
David :shock:
Last edited by Foureyes on Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by michael scuffil » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:17 pm

Foureyes wrote: several V-1s. He says that what interested him most was neither the explosions nor the sound of the motors as the missiles went overhead, but the fact that hardened commuters standing alongside him waiting for the train to arrive never even looked up from their newspapers.
Well worth reading.
David :shock:
I was born two days before the first V-1 fell on London. My mother had time to get used to them before my father got leave to come and see me. When one flew over, he said: What's that? And my mother said, Oh, as long as it keeps buzzing it'll fall somewhere else. Whereupon it stopped. And exploded about half a mile away. My father said: You can't stay here! As my mother had spent the Blitz in London while my father was in Freetown, Sierra Leone, having a very good time to judge by the photos, there followed a few expletives on my mother's part (I'm told). But we went to live for nine months with his sister-in-law in Birmingham.
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Re: What was done in World War 2 and by whom?

Post by jhopgood » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:53 pm

Foureyes wrote:The Luftwaffe was pretty good at deliberately bombing schools in its 1942-43 'Terror' campaign (their name, not mine).
David :shock:
Obviously slightly better than the RAF, or maybe it was the USAF.
When I lived in Amsterdam I took Dutch evening class in a school which was reputed to have been the Gestapo Headquarters during the war. It appeared undamaged.
My son went to a Dutch Primary school a few streets away that still had a crack in the wall, caused, so they said, during the Allied bombing of the Gestapo Headquarters.
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