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Operation North Pole – 1942-43

by Stephen Wynn on April 13, 2023

I am currently writing a book about Operation North Pole which took place between 1942 and 1943, during the course of the Second World War. It is a story of bravery beyond belief. A story of young men and women, dropped behind enemy lines in German occupied Holland, unwittingly walking right into a trap, because not only was it known that they were coming, but so was the time, date and location of their arrival. Out of a total of 54 British Secret Service agents, many of whom were Dutch, who were captured, 47 of them were executed. Back home in the UK, British intelligence did not know that the information they were receiving from their agents was worthless because those sending the messages on the captured British radio sets, were not British agents, but members of German military intelligence. the problem only came to light when two of the agents managed to escape from the camp they were been held in, and made their way back to England. But rather than returning to a hero’s welcome, they were disbelieved, arrested and thrown in prison, because they were believed to have become double agents. They were eventually believed and released. In 1953, Herman J. Giskes, who had been a wartime Lieutenant-Colonel in the German army, and head of German counter-intelligence in occupied Holland, had a book published which backed up the two escapee’s story.

Weight Loss

by Stephen Wynn on May 7, 2022

This article is actually connected to writing, let me explain.

Most afternoon’s, and evenings after dinner, as well as some mornings, will usually find me sat at my office desk studiously typing away on which ever book I happen to be writing at the time. The problem with this is it lacks very little in the way of physical movement, coupled with this revelation is that I may or may not, at any given time devour a quantity of biscuits, crisps, chocolate and other such items of food.

On 1 March 2022, my wife and I decided to cut out bread from our diet, I might add that as a matter of course, we have not eaten chips, potatoes, rice or pasta for some time. Our breakfast toast has been replaced with poached eggs, and when we pick it is now on nuts, fruit or jelly.

We have been out for fried breakfasts, lunch, dinner and even an afternoon tea, so as you can clearly see, we are certainly not on a diet by any stretch of the imagination, and we are never have a feeling of being hungry. This morning, nine weeks into cutting out bread, which for me meant sometimes I was eating as much as half a loaf a day, I am now two stone lighter. My good lady wife has also lost an amount of weight which she is very happy with.

There have been other noticeable pluses to cutting out bread. I certainly do not feel as sluggish as I once did. I have more energy, I do not ache as much as I used to, my blood pressure has reduced, hopefully a blood test next week will reveal whether I still have class 2 diabetes. There have also been other health related factors as well. Oh, and I have lost three inches off of my stomach. If you are looking to lose weight but are struggling to do so on one of the numerous diets out there, cut out the bread and see if it works for you.

Enjoy the rest of your day.

Edgar John Whitehead

by Stephen Wynn on February 10, 2022

I have a correction to make in relation to an entry made in my book City of London at War – 1939-45. The entry in the book for Edgar John Whitehead states that he lived at 66 Clayton Road, Peckham, London with his wife, Alice Whitehead. Alice was in fact his mother’s name. Edgar’s wife was Joyce Whitehead (nee Walker). My sincere apologies for the error. The entry also shows that I was unable to establish exactly where Edgar was buried. I have now been informed that he was in fact buried on 16 January 1941, at Bromley Hill Cemetery, grave No. 173, section G.

My thanks to Richard Whitehead from East Victoria Park, Western Australia, for the above information.

Edgar was a City of London Policeman , collar number B.64, who was stationed at Snow Hill Police Station, and was killed during an air raid on the city by the German Luftwaffe.

Ben Salfield

by Stephen Wynn on July 12, 2021

For those of you who do not know, or who have not heard of Ben Salfield, let me tell you, he is quite a character. To check out all of the different things that he is and does, look him up on Wikipedia or on his website

His main claim to fame, I think he would agree, is as a world class lutenist, which has seen him perform as a soloist and an accompanist in countries all over the world.

I was fortunate enough to make his acquaintance whilst researching a book that I wrote entitled Duelling Through The Ages. As it turned out, in August 1994, Ben took part in the last reported duel with swords to have taken place in the UK, after he challenged another chap over a matter of honour concerning comments made about a young lady. It was a real old fashioned blood and thunder type duel. There was no pretending, or going through the motions, both men were after blood. Ben won the duel with the other fellow ending up in hospital to have his wounds treated, although thankfully for him they were not life threatening.

The young lady’s honour was upheld, not that it was ever in question, thanks to the thoughtfulness, kindness and consideration of the man that is, Mr Ben Salfield.

I thank you one and all for your time, and wish you all, a very good night.

The Fuhrer’s Orphans – David Laws

by Stephen Wynn on October 29, 2020

I can recommend the following book for you to read, in the shape of the latest offering from David Laws, The Fuhrer’s Orphans.

The story is of a group of 27 children homeless children who find themselves living on the streets of Munich during the course of the Second World War, after their parents are sent to concentration camps.

They are taken in by a local teacher but a problem arises when she also takes in two homeless refugees, putting her own safety at risk by doing so.

At the same time a British spy working undercover and behind enemy lines in Munich, is on an important mission that if successful could ultimately determine who wins the war. He discovers the children’s  hiding place which then presents him with the dilemma, does he continue with the mission or try to save the children.

The decision he makes will change history. What does he decide to do?

Read the book for yourself and find out.

The Fuhrer’s Orphans is a well written, powerful and fast moving book which is based on true events. It is one of those books that once you start reading, you will not want to put down.