Page 254. " the 'Second Front' "
Landing ships putting cargo ashore on Omaha Beach, at low tide during the first days of the operation, mid-June, 1944.
Public DomainLanding ships putting cargo ashore on Omaha Beach, at low tide during the first days of the operation, mid-June, 1944. - Credit: A work of the US federal government. Original uploader was MIckStephenson at en.wikipedia

The Second Front...

Page 255. " an old Stirling bomber "

Short Stirling bomber
Public DomainShort Stirling bomber - Credit: IWMCollections IWM Photo No.: 4905-03

Page 256. " I was covertly reading Plomer's autobiography "

William Charles Franklyn Plomer CBE (1903–1973) was a South African novelist and poet. He was also a literary editor, with a number of Ian Fleming's Bond books amongst the work he completed in this area.

Well known in his native country, Plomer later moved to England, where he acquired a publisher in Virginia Woolf and mingled with many other well known names in London's literary circles. He too became a credible literary editor with Faber and Faber.

In 1943 Plomer wrote 'Double Lives: An Autobiography', followed by, in 1958, 'At Home: Memoirs'.

Plomer died before he could complete this particular publication to his satisfaction and it was later incorporated into 'The Autobiography of William Plomer' in 1975.

Page 257. " We've bought you a couple of tramp steamers "

Tramp steamers, also known as 'tramp freighters' or 'trampers' were steam ships which traded 'on the spot', without a fixed schedule or timetable.

The name comes from, as perhaps might be expected, the word 'tramp' - they were the 'ocean tramps' of their day.

Page 257. " We want you to go to Switzerland "


Google Map

Switzerland is a notoriously neutral country and, landlocked as it is at the heart of Europe, it is perfectly placed to make the most of this, establishing strong links with its neighbours.Such links forged mean it is now one of the world's wealthiest countries, achieved predominantly through its great success in banking.

Lucerne is described as one of many of Switzerland's many enticing towns - LMS, however,  may not have shared the same opinion after his stint in the area... Aside from banking, sports and Switzerland also go hand in hand - it is as popular in the summer as it is in the winter, with its Alpine peaks and lengthy lakes a great draw for tourists.

Page 258. " KLM from Bristol to Lisbon. Then by boat to Tripoli. "
Tripoli, Libya.
Creative Commons AttributionTripoli, Libya. - Credit: Patrick André Perron

The capital of Libya, Tripoli is a key sea port and is the largest city in the country.

It's coastal location has meant Tripoli has and continues to play an important and active role in the country's political and economic history.

The name Tripoli is Greek in origin and means 'Three Cities', indeed there are three gates into the old town.

Indeed, it is a city unique in its design - as the name suggests, it was once three cities in one... hence the Tri-city reference. Steeped in history, Tripoli is also home to a wide range of significant architecture, reflecting Roman, Ottoman, Colonial and contemporary influences in the city over the years.


Page 258. " Then military plane to Cairo and on to Naples. "

Egypt’s capital, Cairo, is also known as ‘The City of a Thousand Minarets’ due to the wealth of Islamic architecture within and is located in the north of Egypt, bordering the River Nile.

Naples meanwhile, is found on Italy's west coast and is well known for its history, art, culture, architecture, music, and gastronomy. Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields are located nearby... One of the oldest cities in the world, the centre of Naples is also Europe's largest.

Google Map


Page 259. " and listened to Brahm's second symphony "

Brahm's second symphony.

Page 259. " I boarded a Liberator bomber "
A Consolidated B-24 Liberator from Maxwell Field, Alabama
Public DomainA Consolidated B-24 Liberator from Maxwell Field, Alabama - Credit: U.S. Air Force photos

The Consolidated B-24 Liberator Bomber was very widely used by 1943. This particular model was preferred by the Allied Forces throughout WW2 and was subsequently mass produced.


Page 265. " Lake Lucerne, I later discovered "

The vast expanse of Lake Lucerne is located in the heart of Switzerland. The number four is well linked to the lake - it is the country's fourth largest, it appears in four different valleys and it is also known as the 'Lake of the Four Forested Cantons'.Not just a typical lake then, Lake Lucerne stretches out into the Swiss mountains and borders the three original cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden, plus the canton of Lucerne.

Lake Lucerne from Pilatus
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLake Lucerne from Pilatus - Credit: Ttrainer
Lake Lucerne - view toward Uri
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLake Lucerne - view toward Uri - Credit: Plattens