By Jerry Roberts MBE
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Additional resources for Lorenz: Breaking Hitler’s Top Secret Code at Bletchley Park
Latymer was a first-class private boys’ school and I had excellent teachers. I still remember with gratitude Mr Gregory, who taught me German and French. I made huge progress in both languages, and this prepared me to take a course in German and French at University College London (UCL) later on. In comparison to Wembley College, at Latymer classes were a very much more serious affair and there was a relatively strict discipline imposed. In spite of that, the teaching was excellent and enjoyable.
Mr Topliss, who normally sported a ginger-coloured suit with plus fours, ran the school but made little contribution to the teaching. We normally had a fifteen-minute walk to school and then back at the end of the school day. Occasionally, our milkman would kindly give me a lift to the school in his Trojan milk float. This had solid rubber wheels and, as a result, the 400 bottles would make a terrible din, so that when I got off I was quite stupefied. The noise was made worse by the fact that the road had tramlines set in stone bricks.
We lived in the main house on the farm, a large, old, comfortable building which in earlier days would have housed servants, gardeners and so on. We had our meals together in the big kitchen. This lasted eight weeks and, in its own way, was extremely enjoyable. But the time soon came for me to return to my family in London, briefly, before going back to Aber by train. Later, in the spring of 1941, I cycled out from Wembley to Aber along the 200 miles each way, which I spread over four days, staying in youth hostels.