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War correspondence

Features |

Roger Mortimer, serving with the 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, Palestine, 1938. The local headmaster, left, led a terrorist cell

Roger Mortimer (1909-91), later the Sunday Times racing correspondent and author of the Dear Lupin letters, was captured by the Germans in Belgium in 1940. For five years, he was incarcerated in four different prisoner-of-war camps. There he wrote a series of charming letters to Peggy Dunne, an old friend

OFLAG VI/B, Warburg, north-west Germany 12th June 1942 My dear Peggy, We had the first radishes from our room garden today: the lettuce is rather backward but the spinach is full of promise. I’m ashamed to say we have been too materialistic to indulge in flowers and quite rightly I expect you’ll think the worse of us for it. Actually, we have planted a few rows of marigolds on the grave of our cat. I’ve been interested in Irish history ever since I used to spend the summer there nearly 20 years ago. My uncle lives in Co. Wicklow and quietly loses money at farming, breeding horses and being an MFH. I am very fond of him and his entire family and have spent a good deal of my leave there and been far happier there than anywhere else. I like the informality and the leisured pace of life there...

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