PEOPLE

Helen Carless

‘My mother and father met in Cyprus, where my father was doing his National Service. He was Welsh, and she Cypriot, sadly both dead now. They were both quite young, perhaps a bit naïve, but terribly romantic, and they returned to the UK so that he could take up a place at Cambridge. His ambition was to join the UN; a PhD was needed for that, so he chose to read Arabic Studies and spent some time in Cairo, from which arose a love affair with Arab people, their culture ...

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Richard Lane

‘I was born in Hampton, Middlesex, when my dad was away in the Korean War. He was in the Navy until I was about three. We then moved to the edge of Epping Forest with my younger brother and sister and dad, like his father, joined the Police Force. I was passionately interested in natural history from a very young age and often went off on my own exploring nature. My parents were incredibly tolerant of all the strange things I kept around the house. I was particularly fascinated by ...

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Alice Allan

‘When my husband Chris got taken on by the Foreign and Commonwealth, I was given some advice by a fearsome ex-ambassador’s wife: “Get an English teaching certificate so that you have something to keep you occupied while the children are at boarding school.” It sounded very far from the life I knew, or any kind of future I’d imagined for myself. At the time, I felt sick at the prospect of so utterly giving up my identity, but ultimately, I think she did us a favour. She galvinised us to ...

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Jamie Turner

‘I’m quite proud of my palindrome birth date, 5/4/45. We were in Rochester, where my Dad was in the Navy at Chatham Barracks, but the next year we moved to Dormans Park near Lingfield. I have an elder brother, Charlie, and a younger one, Hughie. We had a wonderful upbringing with freedom to explore and have adventures, and we rode horses. As a boy I soon got into racing because we could hide our bikes in the woods and watch the action at Lingfield. They filmed The Rainbow Jacket there ...

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Clare Trenchard

‘My father was in the Army and made the most of the various sporting opportunities which army life offered after the war, riding in point to points in Germany and representing Great Britain as part of the army Pentathlon team in both Switzerland and Sweden. When I was born he was stationed in Colchester and spent much of his time during my childhood hunting the Colchester Garrison Beagles, a pastime which gave all the family a busy rural social life. Money was scarce in those days and we lived in ...

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