Extract relating to military intelligence work:
In 1939 at the outbreak of war Boase was posted to Bletchley Park where he was engaged on RAF intelligence. Early in 1940 he was sent to Egypt, first to Heliopolis, later to ‘Grey Pillars’, the Air Force Headquarters in Cairo. He comments that for those in Cairo at this time Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet ‘can never seem overstated’. He returned to England at the end of 1941 on a ‘plane in which he was able to converse with Field-Marshal Lord Wavell’, and remained at Bletchley until the autumn of 1943 when he was appointed Chief Representative of the British Council Middle East. The ship in which he sailed to Egypt, part of the first convoy through the Mediterranean after the Italian landings, was hit by an aerial torpedo. ‘I had some knowledge at the time of the German air force so was not altogether surprised.’ On the ship that rescued them he met the actress Peggy Ashcroft who was to become a lifelong friend.
2. W. C. Crocker, Far From Humdrum (1967), gives an account in which Boase figures as ‘the Professor’.
Number of pages: 572
Publication date: 1999
ISBN number: 978-0-19-726209-2 hbk
Author: Jonathan J G Alexander