Now that the book is out in all formats, we may have some interesting promotions to announce,but otherwise the site would be very quiet.
I thought a regular feature where I talk about a picture from the book, or one that didn’t make it into the book, might be fun. These will be my thoughts on the events that Geoffrey talked about, bringing my memories of talks over the remnants of family meals into play, as well as any side comment Geoffrey may have made during his tape-recordings.
When I first saw this picture I tried to work out whether it was a real action photo or a tongue-in-cheek posed one. I think the latter. It was in a set of loose photos, not labelled in his album, so my interpretation of it being awaiting arrival of a plane at Juba, is just that, an interpretation. However, the river behind them looks consistent with Juba (actually Rejaf, where the flying boats landed, a few miles upstream from Juba itself). I have no idea what the bell is for. My best guess is that one person would be on look-out when the ‘boat was due in, and would ring the bell when he spotted it.
On this occasion, I think my father got the team together for a group record. Shame Geoffrey didn’t put the names on the back! That’s him in the centre (I recognise his legs as much as anything, and if that sounds strange, I also remember riding around on his foot when I was still small enough to sit on it!). He never seemed to record the names of his coxswains and radio officers. He did a thorough list of all the movements of all the other Commercial Trainees, which is listed in shortened form in the back of the book, but he rarely recorded the ‘lesser ranks’. However, there was a name in the story of his journey from Butiaba up to Juba, when they had to stay overnight at Nimule with absolutely nothing, since it hadn’t been scheduled for them to stop there. He mentioned his coxswain Parnell, and his radio operator, who he described as being a funny chap – and that’s funny-peculiar, not amusing! For some reason I imagine the radio operator being the one on the left, shading his eyes, but I may be completely wrong.
If there is a photo in the Gallery at Geoffrey’s Box or the photo album (in the menu above) that you’d like me to feature, please let me know.