“After my fiasco with the Land Army I went to work at Plummers, Boscombe, where I learnt a lot about displaying fashions. Then, as it was quite a way from home, I transferred to Plummers, Bournemouth and did a spell in the Knitwear Department. I got friendly with a Jewish girl and was spending the weekend at her home in Mudeford when I met George. He was sitting in the back of a car smoking a Petersham pipe, just like Dicker did. That was the attraction. He was motorcycle officer at Blandford Camp, very posh - in fact an old Etonian, which I found out much later on. He used to say he was second best, as he knew that Dicker was first. George never gave me a clue as to his swanky background and he came to our humble abode for Sunday lunch and thoroughly enjoyed my Mum’s apple pie.” (From ‘Chotie’s Story’)
After the war Mum was with George Bainbridge for seven years (she lived on his boat off Poole Quay in the summer) but he married someone else and went to live on the Isle of Wight.
Where Dick was in November 1941 is uncertain since there are no letters to my mother during this time.
Dorset’s Telecommunications Research Establishment were just beginning to produce radar ‘maps’ using their ‘Special Duty Flights’ from Christchurch Aerodrome and RAF Hurn (guarded by Dick’s Dorset Regiment).
In November 1941 a critical reconnaissance photo was taken revealing to TRE the presence of a Würzburg transmitter (Germany’s secret radar) near Cherbourg. This became the subject of the successful Bruneval Raid in February 1942, organised from Mountbatten’s Combined Operations HQ near Poole.
Dorset was still subject to bombing raids with three people killed in Weymouth on 2nd November. On 11th November a British fighter plane crash landed at RAF Warmwell hitting the station’s ammunition dump and killing two of the Dorset Regiment troops on guard there.
Paper was in short supply so Christmas cards were banned and buses were stopped from 9.30pm because of the fuel shortage.
In Poland work began on the Nazis first extermination camp at Belżec. Stalin celebrated the Anniversary of the Revolution in Moscow, although the city was in a state of siege and, as hard frosts firmed the sodden ground, German troops were advancing on the capital.
In China the Japanese had achieved a devastating victory over the Chinese Nationalists in southern Shensai and on 14th November the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal sank following a German U-boat attack.
However, the Allies had cracked Italian naval codes and, on 9th November, succeeded in destroying a huge convoy carrying vital supplied for Axis forces in Tripoli. On 18th November Allied forces advanced into Libya, ending Rommel’s 241 day siege of the key supply port at Tobruk on 27th November.
On 26th November Japanese aircraft carriers in the north Pacific had set sail from the Kurile Islands heading for Hawaii and the American Naval base at Pearl Harbour.