I have earlier mentioned my uncle Bernard as being a figure comparable to Indiana Jones. This description is of course more of a picture, one could make of someone somewhere out in the world, who as a boy I seldom put my eyes on. A more true description is of a witty and contemplative academic with a degree in Sociology!
What I have learned from him recently is that my grandfather Joseph Ineichen used to serve as a warden on top of Pollard’s Hill during the Second World War.
During the Blitz, at the beginning of the war planes flew over London with different intentions. Some of them were set on bombing the city. The warden’s job was to recognize these different planes in order to warn and give the alarm so people could go down to their shelters.
The very young Bernard took an interest and studied a chart at the Warden’s post with pictures of different models. One day the Chief Warden came to visit and as he had heard of my uncle’s collected knowledge he decided to put him to the test by covering up the names on the different airplanes. After correctly identifying the Spitfire, Messerschmitt 109, and Junkers 88 there was an Italian plane that had never flown over London. The chief warden couldn’t name it but the young Bernard could.
We can only imagine the worries in the family as my grandfather was out all night on duty, whilst the rest of the family could from their beds or shelters hear as bombs crushed down not far away.
How many do you recognize?