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BRM Volume 4


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#51 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 17:38

Eric - I'm really surprised to notice your post. That they should have signed my book is AMAZING! BL detested me, and it...as the whispering midnight telephone calls testified.

DCN

Actually Doug they were alright and seemed quite a pleasant couple. Mr S. had a quick look through the book and was very interested in my long support for BRM. If anything, I was more hesitant about asking Tony Brooks after what he's had to say about 1956!.

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#52 David McKinney

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 18:23

Given Royal Mail's currently appalling performance you probably won't get it till June! I'm still waiting for something to arrive from St Austell that was posted last Tuesday. I could have walked from there by now!

I ordered my Stanley book from Amazon UK on Saturday, and it arrived today

Unfortunately, I wasn't at home to take delivery...


#53 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 18:36

I ordered my Stanley book from Amazon UK on Saturday, and it arrived today

Unfortunately, I wasn't at home to take delivery...

My parcel's probably stuck in customs on the Tamar Bridge. Either that, or they're employing Cornish piskies who can only take little steps.

#54 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 23:23

As I am in the US, I will have to wait a bit for my copy.

I also read the preview on Amazon and it does provoke a few questions from the perspective of an American.

Were the Edwardian mores in the upper classes at the time of Stanley's birth and younger years so aligned against an illegitimate birth that it would have been a major stigma in Stanley's life?

I assume that the decline of Rubery Owen group followed the general decline of the British motor industry in late 1960's and 1970's. Even so, I assume the Owen family, including Jean and Louis, would have been far more than very comfortable following the untimely death of Sir Alfred.

#55 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 23:51

Were the Edwardian mores in the upper classes at the time of Stanley's birth and younger years so aligned against an illegitimate birth that it would have been a major stigma in Stanley's life?

The stigma would have attached itself more to his mother as the unmarried daughter of a peer of the realm. A bit of digging on ThePeerage.com shows she married about five years later, but there is no suggestion of an illegitimate child. Wikipedia doesn't seem to have caught up yet ...

http://en.wikipedia....

#56 David Birchall

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:40

I cancelled my amazon us order and have one coming from amazon uk :)
Very little difference in price-in fact, I probably won't have to pay tax!!

#57 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:28

EU rules say anything bought outside EU must be "taxed" !

#58 Macca

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:50

Another tenuous relationship......Venetia Montagu's husband's nephew was Ewen Montagu of 'Operation Mincemeat' fame.

Paul M

#59 PeterElleray

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:01

arrived in the post yesterday. once you get started its kind of hard to put down...

not a motor racing book, although most of the familiar characters appear from time to time.

quite (well, very..) distressing in parts, unsursprisingly LTS doesnt come out of it too well, his parentage nothwithstanding - which is a different issue in this context. you'll need to read the book to understand.

the lighter moments, and there are not many of them, would sit very nicely in an Ealing Comedy.

perhaps the most surprsing conclusion would be that LTS was probably less of a 'fake' in many respects than many thought at the time..

Peter

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#60 Roger Clark

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:17

If I may return to the nominal subject of the thread...

The first three volumes of the BRM saga were notable for for the input of Tony Rudd who was credited as co-author. Volume 4 will, I assume, be the last to cover his period with BRM. I wonder whether Doug was able to get anything like the same level of input before his death in 2003. It would certainly be most interesting to read his views on the H16 and V12 era, although they were, of course, covered to some extent in It Was Fun.

#61 Doug Nye

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 18:47

Roger - Tony's input is undiminished to the point of his dismissal in 1969. His detailed race reports were not at all matched by his successors.

Sir Alfred Owen's stroke in the late summer of 1969 took him out of the equation and so he was no longer provided with detailed reports and records from Bourne, which means his archive - on which so much of Vols 1-3 was based - ceases at that point.

BRM records to which I have had access for 1970-74 are still extraordinarily detailed by contemporary F1 standards, despite having been 'filtered' by Big Lou at the time of the BRM Collection Sale in 1981(ish). He withdrew, and I am assured subsequently destroyed, a number of paperwork Lots at that time.

During the V3 - (edit: bugger, I mean V4) - period there's the saga of the H16 cars to be related, together with all the V12s from P126 to P207 etc, plus the CanAm-type Chevrolet-powered sports cars, and the V12-engined prototypes up to and including the embarrassingly inept Mangoletsi disaster, and the Chrysler Sunbeam, Reliant, motor-cycle, Medical Service, kiddy car and assorted other Stanley-scams...

Stanley-BRM records are thin, so far as I have found, but I have considerable first-hand input from those involved at and around that time...not that there's much worth knowing about from that period's racing...it's the manipulation, machination and money-grubbing that demands attention - including Stanley's "seek a Sheikh" mechanic-chauffered trips to London. During several of them it seems he wasn't only seeking a Sheikh. Gawd Awmighty...bromide in his tea might have been a blessing.

And then there's the people stuff, the good, the bad, the admirable, the detestable, the honourable and the just flat scummy. And it all has to be illustrated with the best photography and works drawings etc that we can find. And there's everyday work to be done, and normal life to be lived, in between times...like spending perhaps too much time right here, though it's so informative (thanks fellers) and provides so much thought-provoking fun.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 07 March 2012 - 22:09.


#62 larryd

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 21:44

Don - I know I'm being pedantic, but don't you mean, in para 4, "During the V4 period" ??

All power to your word processor!!

Plus :clap: :clap: in advance . . . . . . .


#63 E.B.

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 21:51

I know I'm being pedantic too, but Doug's first name is Doug.



#64 D-Type

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 22:04

Apart from when he uses his alias of Dong Yeng

#65 Doug Nye

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 22:14

Lally are collect.

Ding Dong Hye

#66 proviz

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:51


Doug, thanks for whetting our appetites with post 61. While we're at it, how about explaining in Vol 4 what John Markey's Pink-BRM was. It was entered for the the 1970 Nürburgring 1000 kms, but failed to turn up. At the same time, Markey did run the Lotus 30 "Pink Stamps Special" at Silverstone. So, was there an idea at some stage to install a BRM engine in the Lotus or was the Pink-BRM going to be something altogether different?
I was hoping to find it included among the sports racers dealt with in Appendix D of Vol 3. Please, let us know in Vol 4!



#67 Barry Boor

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:03

Damn, I thought it was Dong Yen.

#68 Roger Clark

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:27

Thanks Doug. I'm saving up my pocket money now.

#69 Richard Young

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:50

Any relation to Ding Dong Mary Leon Hye.....Also known as Carol ?

Exit - running- stage left.........

#70 Fred Gallagher

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 13:41

Any relation to Ding Dong Mary Leon Hye.....Also known as Carol ?

Exit - running- stage left.........


Sorry to be very OT, but Richard Young's sense of humour was just the same when we rallied a Hillman Imp together a mere 39 years ago......

Fred

#71 larryd

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 15:00

I know I'm being pedantic too, but Doug's first name is Doug.


Ooooops

:blush: :blush: :blush:


#72 rdmotorsport

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 18:24

As a teenager, I was an avid reader, still am in fact. I visited my local library on the way home from school a couple of times most weeks. I hadn't even heard of Autocourse back then, but the library always bought each new copy of the Louis Stanley GP annual, though I usually had to join a waiting list and await my turn. When a postcard arrived telling me that the great day come, and I was able to bring each new one home with my school books, one of the first things I did was to count the number of photos of Louis and Jean, he usually managed to fit her in around a dozen times. My own personal connection with Lou wasn't much, I was introduced to him at Bourne when aged about nine, my dad had a friend who raced a little, and I saw him again briefly when we were doing BRM bodywork at Specialised Mouldings, I even went to his house in Trumpington once to deliver something or other. Not doubting anything anyone here says about the man, but I have to confess I rather liked him, which is probably why they gave me the home delivery job that time, I know that neither of the Jackson brothers could stand him. All this proves apparently, is that at times I've not been a very good judge of character.



Trust me Big Lou was ok,

Rodney

#73 Vitesse2

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 23:38

Blimey!

But more to the point, take a look at this:

http://www.waterston...ecrets/8408783/

It's not altogether an easy read, for all manner of reasons, but my word it's extraordinary...

DCN

Having received - and devoured - my copy today, I can only echo Doug's assessment. It is indeed an extraordinary book. Shocking in places, occasionally an uncomfortable read, it's part history, part investigation. But gripping.

It appears there is more to discover about Big Lou: I can understand why Bobbie Neate hasn't explored that, since it doesn't impact directly on her narrative. She has also discovered the existence of some papers covered by the 100-Year Rule which cannot be released until 2015: these may shed further light, but seem likely to - at the very least - confirm her researches.

Funnily enough, the book also confirmed my one (near) encounter with Louis Stanley. He apparently wasn't the easiest customer for local - or London - retailers and once while doing a relief management job at Forbuoys in Stevenage in 1998 I was sitting next to the company's Regional Manager while he explained on the telephone to a very irate Louis that the reason his copy of Autosport had been delivered late on a few occasions was no fault of the Cambridge store but was simply down to late delivery of the magazine to the store. This of course would normally have been a matter dealt with at branch level, but Big Lou being Big Lou refused to deal with branch or even area managers - the RM was the lowest level with whom he deigned to communicate! I don't remember the details of the conversation, but I do remember that Lou was dropping names like Michael Schumacher into it ...

#74 PeterElleray

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 00:02

yes, i had to read it in one sitting also...

i cant really think of it as being off topic in this thread either, tbh, more like a very long, extended appendix, given the role LTS played during the '60's and '70's..

as i said in an earlier post, some of the possible ramifications of what has now been put into the public domain could turn out to be very interesting.

peter

#75 Lec CRP1

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 22:51

I downloaded the Kindle edition of Bobbie Neate's book and read it in about 4 hours. Yes, it appears Big Lou was even more of a monster than hitherto suspected. If he had any redeeming features, the book doesn't say anything about them. Unsurprising, really - the Edwardian aristocracy from which he was a product were seemingly utterly amoral.


#76 packapoo

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 06:55

I downloaded the Kindle edition of Bobbie Neate's book and read it in about 4 hours. Yes, it appears Big Lou was even more of a monster than hitherto suspected. If he had any redeeming features, the book doesn't say anything about them. Unsurprising, really - the Edwardian aristocracy from which he was a product were seemingly utterly amoral.


I'm waiting for my copy....it is on the way.

Have long been interested in Big Lou; seems to polarize people, in a very negative way....however have seen some references that show that when the going got a bit tough, Big Lou was the man to have around.

Which surprised me, FWIW.
He had mana and was able to use it to good effect.


#77 David McKinney

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:41

In don't think non-New Zealanders will be familiar with the word "mana", Packers

The nearest English translation I can think of OTTOMH is a combination of gravitas, manliness and charisma

#78 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 12:44

The nearest English translation I can think of OTTOMH is a combination of gravitas, manliness and charisma


...which - admittedly only MOST of the time - further translated in BL's case into pomposity, bombast and overwhelming self-importance. He did achieve some positives, and reputedly mellowed somewhat towards the end when he seems to have appreciated the assistance that some of those whom he formerly regarded and treated as mere common people could provide. I think Bobbie - understandably - somewhat overstates what a monster this con man could be, but again in my experience, not to a huge extent.

On the Amazon site a reader has posted an excoriatingly bad review of her book. But it is so abrasively critical that it makes one suspect that critic's true motivation. It reads almost as if the critic is a) a mystery relative defending Big Lou, or b) a politically-committed purblind Liberal being hyper-defensive of that Party's last Prime Minister and his circle, or c) a Louis Stanley-esque blimp who considers that exposing any 'distinguished' personalities to the critical glare of exposure in full public view is tantamount to a crime.

Ho hum - even Big Lou wasn't really all bad, not really all - but I am reminded of John Miles's response to his father Sir Bernard's remark when he was seeking to create an entirely execrable character, without one single redeeming feature. John had been through the BRM mill and replied: "Dad, I think I know just the man for you..."

The illiberal DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 13 March 2012 - 12:47.


#79 Vitesse2

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 13:20

On the Amazon site a reader has posted an excoriatingly bad review of her book. But it is so abrasively critical that it makes one suspect that critic's true motivation. It reads almost as if the critic is a) a mystery relative defending Big Lou, or b) a politically-committed purblind Liberal being hyper-defensive of that Party's last Prime Minister and his circle, or c) a Louis Stanley-esque blimp who considers that exposing any 'distinguished' personalities to the critical glare of exposure in full public view is tantamount to a crime.

The illiberal DCN

That review also completely ignores the damning evidence regarding the date and place of Lou's birth registration. Not to mention what may be the critical evidence which may be contained in the still-closed Asquith papers ... the letters which have "gone missing" from a Cambridge archive ...

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#80 fatbaldbloke

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 13:29

I'm not a great one for biographies but, having read that bile filled character assassination of the author on Amazon, I've just ordered a copy.

#81 Tim Murray

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 13:32

Although I abhor the insulting tone of that review, I’m afraid that I do share some of that reviewer’s misgivings about the link between Big Lou and HH Asquith. As I see it there is only one piece of concrete evidence that indicates that there might be a link – BL’s ‘mother’ and ‘aunt’ changing their names to Stanley at around the time of BL’s birth. All the other evidence is purely circumstantial and there is a great deal of unsubstantiated speculation. I am not yet convinced.

This does not alter in any way the shock and disgust I feel at the harrowing story of what BL put his family through, especially poor Jean. The man was indeed a monster.

#82 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 13:43

I'm not a great one for biographies but, having read that bile filled character assassination of the author on Amazon, I've just ordered a copy.


:lol:

DCN


#83 kayemod

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 15:42

I'm not a great one for biographies but, having read that bile filled character assassination of the author on Amazon, I've just ordered a copy.


I enjoyed reading that Amazon review. From what's been posted here, probably a lot more than I'd enjoy reading the book.


#84 E.B.

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 18:06

All the other evidence is purely circumstantial and there is a great deal of unsubstantiated speculation.


Bah, sounds just like the Thelma Todd biography I've just finished reading. Maybe Doug can reassure us?

I enjoyed reading that Amazon review. From what's been posted here, probably a lot more than I'd enjoy reading the book.


Speaking of Amazon reviews, have a look at the ones for Tom R******n's 1976 book - includes a 5 star review from the author himself, purely to counterbalance all the unfair vandals who are picking on him and giving his book a 1 star rating :rotfl:




#85 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 18:09

Thelma Todd being....errr...the well-known Thelma Todd?

DCN

#86 E.B.

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 18:21

Thelma Todd being....errr...the well-known Thelma Todd?


The very same. I meant reassurance about the veracity of the Big Lou - Asquith revelations rather than anything to do with Thelma Todd though Doug :)


#87 Vitesse2

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 19:54

Bah, sounds just like the Thelma Todd biography I've just finished reading.

Horse feathers? ;)

#88 Doug Nye

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 20:49

Coo - I am genuinely impressed. Never heard of the lady...despite being a great fan of Captain Spaulding and that general oeuvre...

DCN


#89 David Birchall

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 23:48

I am about 2/3rds of the way through this book and all I can think is what an a***hole Louis Stanley was! I have also read most of the books on the Mitfords and was intrigued at how closely this lot were related to each other. The Stanleys begat the Mitfords as I understand it.

#90 Doug Nye

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 14:57

Yes David - although there was in fact - from time to time - some mitigation, I think you have picked-up on his essential character quite succinctly.

DCN

#91 ensign14

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 15:04

So hang on, does this make Stanley Max Mosley's great-uncle?

#92 David Birchall

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 16:39

Thrice removed? :)

#93 PeterElleray

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 19:00

as i said in an earlier post, there are some interesting scenario's that unfold if the book does indeed reveal the true story.

maybe look one generation back, to max's father....

peter

#94 Tim Murray

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 20:13

Venetia Stanley (putative mother of Big Lou) and Diana Mitford (Max's mother) shared a common ancestor, Edward John Stanley, 2nd Baron Stanley of Alderley. He was Venetia's grandfather and Diana's great-great grandfather.

#95 D-Type

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 20:46

So they are second cousins twice removed (I think)

#96 rdmotorsport

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 20:11

So they are second cousins twice removed (I think)



or at least on their Christmas card list?


#97 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 18:00

Having completed "Conspiracy of Secrets" yesterday, I must agree with the consensus here. Wow!

Quite understandably, much of the book focuses upon the Asquith/Stanley melodrama with regards to their affair and parentage of Big Lou. Well researched and a compelling case made for this in my view. As Louis was not responsible for the circumstances of his birth and of the stigma associated with same, it is of interest both with regards to Louis seemingly having acquired the worst character traits of both biological parents, and of the actions of Asquith in his role as Prime Minister at a critical juncture in history.

Given the shadows and rumors surrounding Louis for many years, I was quite unprepared for the extent of his darker and lurid personality. He was far, far more of an a**hole than I would have ever imagined, in almost every way. Even disregarding the potential (and highly justifiable) bias of the author, LTS was beneath contempt.

The cast of principal characters in the BRM story becomes more bizzare with each revelation. I cannot begin to imagine what Sir Alfred, Tony Rudd, and the BRM mechanics thought of this collection of people.

Doug, I think that you should wear LTS's dislike of you as a badge of honor.

Edited by Dennis Hockenbury, 07 April 2012 - 18:56.


#98 Roger Clark

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 18:19

I think we have heard enough of Louis Stanley's character elsewhere to know that Conspiracy of Secrets is substantially accurate in that respect, even if some of the specific allegations cannot be proved. However, I suggest people read Roy Jenkins' biography of Asquith before condemning his character on the basis of this book.

#99 Doug Nye

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 18:59

I think we have heard enough of Louis Stanley's character elsewhere to know that Conspiracy of Secrets is substantially accurate in that respect, even if some of the specific allegations cannot be proved. However, I suggest people read Roy Jenkins' biography of Asquith before condemning his character on the basis of this book.


As so often, Roger is quite right. Although he fell short in wartime, Asquith had been a successful and progressive peacetime PM. Neither is he the only man of stature who proved unable to keep his mind above his belt... Perhaps his stature within the Liberal Party contributed to the protective cloak which Bobbie Neate describes as having been thrown around LTS for so long.

Thanks for your closing remark, Dennis. I appreciate it.

DCN

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#100 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 20:55

Roger & Doug, I share and agree with both of your comments on HHA. Far from condemming his many accomplishments, I was commenting specifically on the role of Venetia Stanley's relationship with HHA and the resultant effect on his wartime actions. This was previously unknown to me.

As for his attraction to other women, there is no question that HHA was not alone in having that attribute, even until the present day.