Saturday, 27 September 2014

Woman Hater (1948)
Stewart Granger

The title, the year and the fact that it stars Stewart Granger, might lead one to believe this is one of the grand ‘Gainsborough gothics’ in which James Mason appears as the misogynistic lead and Granger is on hand to rescue Phyllis Calvert from his evil hands.

It’s not. Instead ‘Woman Hater’ is a rather unusual British romantic comedy: unusual because, quite simply, it doesn’t feel like a British comedy at all.

It’s the story of a British aristocrat, Lord Terence Datchett (Stewart Granger) ...
Stewart Granger
...who has a less than favourable view of women and claims he will never marry. This is a man who likes his brandy in large glasses …

Stewart Granger

… and his coffee in small cups;

Stewart Granger

When a French movie star Colette Marly (Edwige Feuillère) ...
Edwige Feuillère
 ...arrives in London in search of solitude, Granger is convinced she is merely playing the ‘I want to be alone’ game whilst actually desperately seeking publicity. He makes a wager with a friend, claiming that he can unmask her and invites her to stay at his home ‘whilst he is away’ so that she can find sanctuary in his country home. Naturally, this being a romantic comedy, he pretends to be a member of the estate staff and gradually – after a series of comic mishaps – they fall in love. It’s a story that’s as old as the hills.

Edwige Feuillère & Stewart Granger

Edwige Feuillère & Stewart Granger
The film is funny but it’s nothing that one hasn’t seen before. The novelty is simply that British comedies of the post-war period don’t usually follow this course. When one thinks of British comedy, one thinks of something bawdier or something with a hapless male lead: think Ian Carmichael as a well-meaning young man out his depth pursuing the sophisticated movie star. However, with Stewart Granger as the suave, immaculately attired leading man, the obvious reference point is US comedy. Or more accurately, a late 1930s screwball comedy. Replace Granger with Cary Grant, make him the heir to a railroad fortune with a Van-something-or-other surname, living in the vast family mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, and you can just picture it. Throw in Greta Garbo as the foreign movie star who ‘wants to be alone’ (or any rising female star playing a comedy version of Garbo) and you have ‘Woman Hater’ in a nutshell.

And it's a rare chance to see Granger playing for laughs:


Maybe that’s why this is such a seldom seen film: It’s out of place and doesn’t fit easily into any category. But so what, here at ‘Rank & File’ we don’t care about such things. We’re too busy noticing that Stewart Granger is fantastically dressed:

One thing about Granger is that it’s clear he was deeply interested in his clothes. He knew what he wanted and dresses like a man who spent a lot of time at his tailors. It always appears that Granger either wore his own suits in films of this period, or worked closely with the costume department to ensure he dressed as he felt comfortable. Even when he wears a wide shouldered suit, or the style so prevalent in post-war Britain, he has it cut with a neat waist, much more fitted than most of the suits that became common in this period.



Similarly, in other films in the mid to late 1940s, he wears jackets with lapels much narrower than standard 1940s cuts. There is something strikingly modern about his clothes, so much so that at times he looks slightly out of period. In ‘Waterloo Road’ when he plays a wartime spiv, his suit is cut with relatively narrow lapels, completely unlike any other interpretation of a cinematic criminal. In ‘The Lamp Still Burns’ Granger wears a neat, narrow lapel suit that makes one think of the 1950s rather than the mid-1940s. He also wears a narrow cut suit with a flap on the breast pocket, almost like an early example of the ‘New Edwardian’ look that arrived in the late-1940s and slowly transformed in the ‘Teddy Boy’ look.

And, for those who like such odd details, here’s Stewart Granger wearing a heavy corduroy dressing gown … 
Stewart Granger

… it’s the same one that he wore in ‘Adam & Evelyne’:
Stewart Granger in 'Adam & Evelyne'
It's also worth noting that Edwige Feuillere looks much youger with her worn down than pinned up, as she has it for most of the film:
Edwige Feuillere

Edwige Feuillere
Let's have a look at the rest of the cast:
Ronald Squire as Lord Datchett's butler who steals his master's cigars and hides them in a semolina jar ..

... and keeps the whisky hidden in the bread bin.

He's a target of the affections of Claire, played by Jeanne De Casalis, Colette's assistant:

Irene Handl and Peter Bull appear as a couple of villagers:

James Hayter and Dandy Nicholls work on Lord Datchett's estate:

Vida Hope plays an autograph hunter:

Twenty nine year old Graham Moffat appears as a schoolboy:

Michael Medwin is Colette's 'wide boy' manager:

And, naturally, Miles Malleson is the local vicar.
Rarely seen these days, but it's available as part of the Stewart Granger boxset:


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Unlikely Heroes:
The Engineer in British Cinema
Clifford Evans in The Foreman Went to France



In this once-proud nation of engineers, we have grown used to reports of a ‘current’ crisis in engineering: too few qualified engineers, too few students opting to study engineering, uncompetitive wages, lack of opportunity, lack of female engineers and so on. All too often we hear that part of the difficulty in attracting new blood to the industry is that there are too few positive role models for would-be engineers. I’m sure that’s true. TV has given us a constant diet of doctors, policemen, crime fighting pathologists – let’s face it, they’ve even offered us crime-fighting insurance men (Kevin Whately in The Broker’s Men, for those who can’t remember it). But when was the last time you sat down to watch a film or TV drama about an engineer?

But think about: if it wasn’t for an electrical engineer (John Logie Baird) you might not even have a television.

Well there was a time that things were very different. Back in the mid-20th Century, there was a wide range of on-screen heroes and positive role models that helped send the nation’s youth scampering to their parents asking for a Meccano set.

Despite how we now view engineers, there was a time that they were central figures in the development of British industry and society. They gave us steam pumps, railways, bridges and iron-clad warships. Think Brunel, Stephenson, Watt, Newcomen or Trevithick: these were all engineers and pioneers of the industrial age. Or Atkinson and Butler, two often-overlooked Britons who made vital contributions to the development of the internal combustion engine. These days our most famous engineer is James Dyson, a man best-known for vacuum cleaners.

Following more than a century of engineering achievements that created the modern age, it was little wonder that the engineer should arrive in literature. The hero-engineer started to filter into the public consciousness with characters such as Richard Hannay, the fictional mining engineer made famous by John Buchan in his 1915 novel The Thirty Nine Steps. And then in the 1930s Eric Ambler, himself a former engineer, gave us heroes such Nicholas Marlow in Cause for Alarm, a British engineer caught in a web of intrigue in pre-war Italy, and in Journey Into Fear, it's a British engineer working on defence contracts in Turkey who becomes the target of German agents.

An early example of the engineer-hero appears in the 1931 thriller A Honeymoon Adventure. Peter Martin (Peter Hadden) is not the archetype (although he does wear a nice suit) ...
Peter Hadden
... but the film does open with a Soviet-style montage of industrial machinery that helps reinforce the modernity of his work:
Perhaps what is missing from A Honeymoon Adventure is a sense of genuine political peril and, with it, the idea of the engineer as a force for progress who sets himself against the evils of reaction and dictatorship.

The genesis of the hero-engineer owes much to the political developments of the times. Whilst the famed engineers of the industrial revolution were also business men, many of those who followed were working men: the hard-working and practical elite of the British working class. From shipyard to engine works, engineers were a leading force for political change and the progressive media of the 1930s helped project the image of how engineering could build a better future for mankind. Throw in a healthy dollop of socialist thought, mix with the need for wartime propaganda to promote industry, and the engineer became a leading on-screen proponent of social change through industrial advancement.

An early example of the trend was the 1941film Major Barbara. The daughter of an arms manufacturer, Barabara (Wendy Hiller) turns to religion as a way to escape the family business that she considers to be evil. However, by the end of the film, her mind has been changed by a visit to her father’s socialist utopian factory of modern architecture complete with clean lines and white walls where the workers live in model houses:

These scenes convince her to view industry as a force for good. As she admits: “I’ve always thought of it as a sort of pit where lost creatures with blackened faces stirred up smoking fires and were driven and tormented by my father … It was really all the human souls to be saved, not weak souls in starved bodies, sobbing with gratitude for a bit of bread and scrape, but souls that are hungry because their bodies are full”
Rex Harrison, Rober Newton & Wendy Hiller

The film finishes with Barbara and her boyfriend (Rex Harrison) walking arm-in-arm with a one-time layabout (Robert Newton) who has finally found a purpose in life through meaningful employment in a factory. From the pen of George Bernard Shaw, the film portrays the factory as a socialist utopia and establishes the importance of modern engineering and its potential to bring peace and harmony to the world. Ironically, despite this vision of modern industry as a force for peace, cinema’s ‘hero-engineer’ was not a product of peace but was instead forged in wartime and then matured in the post-war world as Britain’s new society – complete with welfare state -emerged.

The outbreak of war in 1939 meant that the majority of the UK’s engineers were immediately classed as being in reserved occupations and were not called up for the armed forces. Yet the need for their services as the producers of precision engineering meant a vigorous propaganda campaign was mounted to encourage industrial output. This was teamed with cinema offering its audiences a succession of heroic characters whose engineering skills bring them centre stage in the war effort.
Clifford Evans
Probably the archetypal ‘hero engineer’ of British wartime cinema was Fred Carrick (played by Clifford Evans) in The Foreman Went to France (1942). It’s the story of an engineer whose firm has a number of important machines in a French armaments factory. Following the rapid advance of the German Army in 1940, he decides to head to France to ensure the machines don’t fall into Nazi hands. The film is based on the real-life adventures of a Welshman, Melbourne Johns, who went from his factory in Grantham to France to extract two ‘deep boring machines’ used to make the barrels for machine guns.

Carrick is young and dashing, in contrast to the factory owners who initially refuse him permission to go to France:
Clifford Evans (left)
This contrast is seen by how they dress: Evans wears a very modern leather blouson jacket ...
Clifford Evans
... then goes to France wearing a fashionable belt-back Donegal tweed suit:
Clifford Evans
The message is clear: here is a dashing young man, who combines an engineering brain with personal courage and great foresight. He is a figure of modernity and progress, unlike his bosses. The contrast is further emphasised when compared to the Mayor of Bivary, a French collaborator who attempts to thwart his mission. The Mayor (played by Robert Morley) wears morning dress in a war zone establishing for the audience that, as well as being a Nazi sympathiser, he is a relic of an earlier age - one that is being swept away by the forward thinking engineers.
Clifford Evans

Written in part by J.B. Priestley, the film displays an overt political message. When Carrick meets an American girl (Constance Cummings) working at the French factory she tells him of the chaos accompanying the German invasion and takes no time in telling him that France is slipping into the hands of the enemy because of the willingness of industrialists to accept Nazi control: “They’re all the same, the capitalist bunch: scared to death of communists and just waiting to sell their country to the highest bidder.”
Clifford Evans & Constance Cummings
When Carrick asks who gave orders for people to evacuate thus blocking all the roads she tells him “the local authorities, people like our friend the mayor of Bivary” implying that corruption and fascist sympathisers rife amongst local government. The anti-establishment, anti-capitalist message is reinforced by Carrick’s encounters with other people, such as: the town Prefect who refuses to allow his office to be used as hospital and a phony British officer operating out of a grand house filled with servants because “one has to keep up appearances you know”.

This sense of modernity is also stressed by the arrival of two British soldiers, Tommy Hoskins (played by Tommy Trinder) who is there to provide comic relief and Jock MacFarlan (played by Gordon Jackson). Jackson’s character gives us further evidence of the forward thinking nature of engineers: he’s a working class former mechanic who dreams of studying engineering and is, as such, eager to assist Evans with his quest to save the machines.

The Foreman Went to France was not Gordon Jackson’s only foray into the world of ‘hero engineers’. San Demetrio, London is the true story of a British merchant sink that is abandoned by its crew after being attacked in the mid-Atlantic. A handful of the crew find themselves adrift in a lifeboat only to discover their ship hasn’t sunk. They re-board her, extinguish the fires, restart the engines and sail home. Once again, Jackson is not actually an engineer but a youth who dreams of working in the ship’s engine room. He idolises the engineers of the Merchant Navy, wishing that he could leave his post as a Mess Room Steward and work below decks. As his brother-in-law tells the Chief Engineering Officer (Walter Fitzgerald): “he’s a good kid, he would do anything to work down here.”
Gordon Jackson working in the galley

Gordon Jackson & Mervyn Johns, as Jackson's character is shown the workings of the engine room.

It is Fitzgerald’s character that is the true hero of the film. He goes below decks on the stricken ship to restart the electric motors that power the pumps, allowing the crew to extinguish the fires. Then, despite the risk of igniting the petrol fumes filling the galley, he fires-up the stove allowing the freezing crew to have a drink of hot tea:
Walter Fitzgerald
He eventually gets the engines running, improvises a steering mechanism and rig ups a lighting system allowing them to sail for home:
Ralph Michael & Walter Fitzgerald
He even uses a steam-lance to cook food for the hungry crew:

The ship and its crew are saved through the endeavour of the chief engineer.

Another depiction of a seagoing wartime hero comes from The Cruel Sea in which Liam Redmond's 'Chief Engine Room Artificer' Watts saves the day when HMS Compass Rose is stranded in the Mediterranean. Whilst the rest of the crew frets as they await a seemingly inevitable attack by U-Boats, he works tirelessly to repair the engines. He's the man who knows his fate will be sealed if the ship sinks, and he will be trapped below decks, but his courage and commitment never waver as he saves the day.
Liam Remond (centre) and Denholm Elliott (top right)
Liam Redmond (centre)
The 1949 film Floodtide sees the return of Gordon Jackson, this time moving beyond the character of a would-be engineer, extending his role to that of someone who realises the dreams he held in earlier films. He plays a farm worker from the Highlands of Scotland who dreams of being a ship designer:
Gordon Jackson
After gaining employment labouring in a shipyard on the River Clyde, he attends night school ...
Gordon Jackson
... and works his way up to the design offices. Eventually his design for a revolutionary hull ...

... is used on the yard’s latest ship. When a storm threatens to damage the ship, it is Jackson’s character that jumps into the freezing waters of the Clyde to secure the ship and save the day.
Gordon Jackson

Once again, the engineer is the forward thinking man who is prepared to risk his position (and later his life) in the name of the advancement of engineering and industrial design. He has turned his back on the countryside and the rural idyll ...
... in favour of the hustle, bustle, noise and energy of a Glasgow shipyard:
Yet the notion of personal, financial advancement is not behind his desire to succeed. When finding himself torn between spending an evening at a dull party meeting customers at the shipyard, or attending a former workmate’s engagement party, he chooses the latter. When his girlfriend (the daughter of the shipyard’s boss) tells him “These people are important to you for your future. If you’re going to get on …”  he replies “I’ll certainly not get on by chucking my old friends.”
Gordon Jackson (centre) with Jimmy Logan (left) and Janet Brown (second left)
The message is clear: the engineer who strives for change isn’t a stooge of the bosses. Instead his craft is the determining factor in how he lives his life – he can be both an industrial success and remain true to his working class roots.

Ealing Studio’s 1948 film Against the Wind saw Gordon Jackson as another ‘hero-engineer’. A story about agents sent into occupied Belgium to rescue a resistance leader, the film sees Jackson as Duncan, a young explosives expert who is sent to join the team as a demolitions specialist.
Simone Signoret & Gordon Jackson
Duncan is the fish-out-of-water character, the man who, unlike some of his fellow agents, doesn’t have a personal reason to want to be parachuted into Belgium on a secret mission. Yet he conquers his fears and joins in the fighting:
Gordon Jackson
Another British film that celebrated the efforts of the European resistance movements was The Silver Fleet. Set in a Dutch shipyard, it's the story of an engineer (Ralph Richardson) who manages a shipyard and deliberately organises the sabotage of submarines to prevent their falling into Nazi hands.
Ralph Richardson
He is assisted by one of the engineers from the shipyard, played by John Longden. Like Clifford Evans in The Foreman Went to France, Longden wears a fashionable belt-back jacket to signify his status as an heroic, forward-thinking man:
John Longden (right)
Not all of the on-screen ‘hero-engineers’ were heroes in the physical sense. In The Dambusters Michael Redgrave's Barnes Wallis - the inventor of 'bouncing bomb' and designer of the Wellington bomber - is just as central to the film as Richard Todd's Wing Commander Guy Gibson. With the engineer centre stage, and an equal of the heroic pilot, the audience is offered two heroes to chose from: the man of action or the man of science.
Michael Redgrave as Sir Barnes Wallis

For other engineers, the role was that of an orator, their courage shown in the rhetoric, their defiance and their willingness to challenge the status quo. The 1943 film The Lamp Still Burns, a story of a young woman, Hilary Clarke (Rosamund Johns), who gives up a successful career to retrain as a nurse, is an unlikely place to find such a character. Even more unlikely is that he is played by Stewart Granger, an actor more famed for swashbuckling heroes rather than hard-working engineers. His character, Laurence Rains, is the manager of an engineering works, the exterior of which exhibits the clean lines of modern industrial architecture.
At first Rains appears the archetypal traditionalist, unsympathetic and intolerant of women. Yet another side soon emerges. We see him strip off his well-tailored suit jacket and don functional work-wear ...
Margaret Vyner & Stewart Granger
... a sign that despite his smooth exterior he remains, at heart, an engineer who is prepared to get his hands dirty on the shopfloor. As he tells his violinist girlfriend (Margaret Vyner) “You don’t like machinery but you wait, I’ll show you a machine that’s a work of art.”

Granger’s character reveals his forward thinking beliefs when his company makes a donation to the hospital where Hilary is training. He attends a meeting where she is being disciplined for defying hospital rules. She wants reforms, believing that nurses should be allowed to marry and have families without having to sacrifice their careers. She finds an unlikely supporter in the form of Rains (who is, of course, in love with her). He tells the committee they need to make a stand and enter the modern world: “It’s not difficult at all. It’s up to you to do something about it. Or are you going to sit there smugly, all knowing things are wrong and passing the buck onto somebody else. It seems to me high time the public ought to force the government to make the necessary reforms and find the money to do it. It’s up to us to start it going.”

After the meeting he tells her that he’s going to do his damnedest “to get the reforms for you. One day you’re going to have a job and a home.” The message is clear: there is a movement for social reform and all forward thinking elements – including the engineers – are at the forefront of the struggle. The nurse’s struggle can also be seen as an allegory of the war itself: it may take a long time to win the peace, but the struggle must go on and, with industry playing its part, victory will be secured.
Rosamund Johns & Stewart Granger
This wasn't Granger's only appearance as a hero-engineer. In the 1944 film Love Story her appears as a mining engineer who, after being invalided out of the RAF following a wound that is slowly blinding him, avoids telling the truth to anyone. Instead he allows to believe he is a coward. He finally reveals his inner strength when he intervenes to help rescue the men trapped in a Cornish tin mine.
Stewart Granger

A similar message to The Lamp Still Burns is delivered in the 1943 film Millions Like Us. It tells the story of a young woman Celia Crowson (Patricia Roc) who finds herself working in an armaments factory. When she is first conscripted she dreams of serving in the Army, RAF, Royal Navy, Land Army, or working as a nurse:

In her dreams she will spend her days surrounded by handsome men in uniform. Yet she is disappointed to discover that she is going into industry. Her reaction is obvious but she is told: “There’s nothing to be afraid of in a factory … you can help your country just as much in an overall as you can in uniform these days.” The message is reinforced when she arrives at the factory where the foreman (Eric Portman) tells the new arrivals: “Don’t be scared of the machine.”
Eric Portman (left) & Anne Crawford (second left)

The audience is taken into the world of factory girls and the experienced engineers who shape them as vital components in the UK’s war machine. Central to the plot is Charlie Forbes (Eric Portman), a proudly gruff Yorkshire socialist who has little time for the girls unless they are working the machines effectively. Yet slowly, but surely, he enters an unlikely romance with Jennifer (Anne Crawford) a society girl who is unused to the tough world of the working classes.
Eric Portman & Anne Crawford

Eric Portman & Anne Crawford
Even in the midst of their budding romance he tells her that love: “may make the world turn round but it won’t win the war.” The film’s penultimate scene reinforces the message. Charlie and Jennifer discuss their situation. His speech reflects how war has changed the world they both live in, bringing them together in a way that would previously been impossible. And yet Charlie, devoted to his machines and to changing society, is uncertain whether he can commit to her. Instead he looks forward to the post-war world, hoping for a more egalitarian society where they can be together: “you know nothing about life, not what I call life. You’re still only a moderate hand on a milling machine … the world’s made up of two sorts of people: you’re one sort, I’m the other.  We’re together now there’s a war on, we need to be, what’s going to happen when it’s over? Shall we go on like this or are we going to slide back? That’s what I want to know. I’m not marrying you Jenny until I’m sure. I’m turning you down without even asking you …”
Eric Portman & Anne Crawford

 And, just as Cliff Evans in The Foreman Went to France or John Longden in The Silver Fleet are shown to be forward-thinking by their choice of fashionable clothing, Eric Portman also wears a stylish belt-back jacket:
Eric Portman
The words spoken by Portman, echoing the hospital-reforming rhetoric of Granger in The Lamp Still Burns, are a clarion call for social reform. This was a socialist rallying cry from Gainsborough Studios, who were hardly associated with radical, left-wing politics. This question of ‘What’s going to happen post-war?’ is answered in the portrayal of another cinematic engineer, Phil (Donald Houston) in the 1950 film Dance Hall.
Donald Houston
Although ostensibly revolving around a dance competition, the story actually focuses on the relationship between Eve (Natasha Parry) and her boyfriend Phil. With Phil more interested in aviation engineering than dancing, Eve is thrown into the path of Alec (Bonar Colleano), a rather shady American – the type that manages to acquire boxes of kippers, in the midst of rationing, and disposes of them with the same casual air that he displays when discarding girlfriends – who one imagines to be one of those American servicemen who arrived in wartime London only to find they were more interested in enjoying the high-life rather than fighting a war.
Bonar Colleano, Natasha Parry & Donald Houston

The story of the love triangle between Eve, Phil and Alec could be read in a number of ways: The arrival of Alec, and his courting of Eve, is an allegory for how America challenged, then usurped, the UK in world affairs. Or as a reflection of the way that US servicemen had won the hearts of British women during the war years.

However, whilst it might be easy to look at this story of Eve, and her friends who work in a factory ...
Natasha Parry

Diana Dors (left) and Petula Clark (right)
... from a feminist perspective, one can instead concentrate on Phil:
Donald Houston
He’s a man living in a society that offers increasing opportunities in education and prospects for the young working class man. As an aviation engineer, he’s working in a growing industry and can see a way out of the dark old Victorian tenement flats of central London. In a scene where he travels into the countryside to watch gliders flying above the open countryside, we are shown a man who wants to move beyond the accepted confines of society:

He’s a working man of the post-war, forward looking, Attlee years. He doesn’t feel constrained by the old class boundaries, instead he’s of the generation that fought for freedom of others with the expectation that it would bring equality for his own class. Indeed, the working class boy progressing through life was an apt role for Houston: a native of Tonypandy in south Wales, he had briefly worked as a coal miner and had served as a rear gunner in the RAF before becoming an actor.
Donald Houston

And yet Phil is also of the generation who are forced to accept rapid change: he struggles to deal with independence of spirit shown by Eve after years of working in a factory. Whilst she feels bored and constrained by life as a housewife after the freedom of the factory years. Phil grudgingly accepts Eve’s earlier relationship with Alec. The intimation is that she slept with Alec, but Phil chooses to forget this in order to move forward with his life. In this, the war has – either directly or indirectly - given Phil the opportunity to move forward in is life and given Eve the freedom to do a job that might otherwise by done by a man. The clash between these two parallel strands of society – both moving forward on the same trajectory, along the same path – is at the heart of the film. And Bonar Colleano’s character, Alec, is there to provide a springboard for the conflict.

If one was to suggest the filmmakers had a political message to tell the audience, it might be said that Phil (the working class engineer, hoping to better himself) represents post-war, forward thinking, democratic socialism. His work ethic offers stability for the future, whilst the opportunistic Alec (making money here and there, dumping girlfriends with a cavalier abandon, dealing in black market kippers etc) represents the chaos of capitalism. The two are implacable enemies: only the 'hero-engineer' can turn chaos into order to build a better future for all mankin.
Major Barbara


John Bradley
The on-screen efforts of wartime engineers were not that far removed from reality, as seen with both The Foreman Went to France and San Demetrio, London telling real-life stories. They were not alone in their efforts. One could point to the experiences of railway engineer and expert metallurgist John Bradley who was seconded to the Admiralty to work on submarine design. In the final weeks of the war Bradley was given an honorary commission in the Royal Navy and sent to Germany to join ‘T Force’, a secret British Army unit. The unit’s role was search for, and secure, German military research establishments, ensuring their secrets could be snatched for use in the UK. Bradley travelled around northern Germany in the company of Royal Marines officer Patrick Dalzel-Job, a man who was later revealed as the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s James Bond. In the final days of the war Bradley took part in the British Army’s final advance, from Hamburg to Kiel, finding himself 60 miles beyond the frontline. In Kiel Bradley, along with other ‘specialists’, investigated secret German U-Boat research facilities, ensuring their secrets could be sent back to the UK rather than falling into the hands of enemies or competitors.

The story of Bradley and other engineers and scientists were sent to Germany in the final weeks of World War 2 is covered in the book T-Force, The Forgotten Heroes of 1945 by Sean Longden: