During the early 1940s members of my father, Douglas Michael Knight’s, generation were doing what those of his father had done before, namely fighting to save the life of our country, and, indeed, the whole world, from the might of Germany and its allies.
My maternal grandfather, an engineer in the prison service, was attached to Leicester Prison. As such he and his family including my mother, Jean, née Hunter, were allocated prison quarters.
Dad was billeted for a while next door. The teenaged neighbour must have aroused his interest, because, on 7th July, 1942, I was born in Leicester General Hospital. The above photographs were taken around this time.
Wherever he was stationed, Mum tells me, Dad took every opportunity when in England to get home to Mum and me and, later, Chris. If he had no official leave, this involved nipping off for what she calls “a sneaky weekend”. Apparently he found all kinds of means to do this, often involving the railway services. On one occasion when he couldn’t find any sort of train he walked all through the night from ‘somewhere in Yorkshire’ to Leicester for the pleasure. Dad himself has told me about marathon nocturnal walks to Leicester.
Mum’s part in the subterfuge was to keep a lookout for redcaps, as were termed the military police, one of whom was her elder brother Ben. I guess discovery could have been awkward.