Mystery Man "HB"

Discussion in 'General' started by Charles Barne, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Charles Barne

    Charles Barne Member

    Good evening

    This passage is from the diary of my grandfather' (Lt Col Anthony Barne) on 11th June 1945. He is returning to London as the CO of the 4th Hussars and will have lunch with Churchill in Downing St whilst there. Can anyone help me work out who "HB" might be please?

    Much appreciated

    "Monday 11th June 1945

    Was due to start my trip back to UK at 430am but yesterday’s heavy rain means a delay. Leave eventually at 1030am and fly half an hour to Udine. It’s cold over the bare granite topped Alps but hot again on landing. It’s then forty minutes to Trevino where we have a long hot wait for the next flight to Florence.

    At Florence the US officialdom becomes more noticeable. Their idea of control is to make a simple thing more complicated so we get hustled round from our plane to a waiting room and then back for a long wait in the same plane without food. We get a snack at Rome after another flight and then a final flight gets us to Naples at 5pm. See thousands upon thousands of large planes sitting idle. God knows what will happen to them or the big car dumps we flew over.

    At 6pm after various ceremonial signing in I go to see the BIG MAN (HB). I’m told he’s busy and can’t give me long. In any case my trip to the UK has been vetoed by him. He’s sitting in a large bare room of the Caserta Palace idly flipping the page of a file while he patiently waits for a fly to come within range of his swatter. I blame myself for coming, keep off the subject of the PM and only mention casually that the army commander in person had approved me going. I evidently strike the right note for in half an hour he melts, pours his soul out to me and starts working out how to get me home in comfort."
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    CL1, Tricky Dicky and Charley Fortnum like this.
  3. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    I think that Owen has found your man. Horace Birks was Maj Gen RAC for CMF at the time and it would be right that a Commanding Officer of an Armd Regt would tip his hat to him if visiting Caserta. As Commanding Officer, it would also be right for Col Barne to have lunch with Winston Churchill in his role as the 4th QOH's Colonel of the Regiment.
    Tricky Dicky and Owen like this.
  4. Charles Barne

    Charles Barne Member

    really appreciated, many thanks indeed
  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    dbf likes this.

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