THIS SITE WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY UPDATED IN DESIGN, along with added content, EARLY IN 2022.
John Jolliffe – Author of this website & https://www.d-day-dorset.uk
My career in the latter part of my life – after trying everything under the sun https://www.johnjolliffe.co.uk
This photo at the top – shows part of The Dorset Coast with Portland and its harbour in the distance. The Dorset Coast is a wonderful place for walks – you can see the path – the little narrow chalk path – winding and weaving its way along the cliff tops. This will take you all along the coastline – which goes for miles and miles…
Also one can see this photo of the millpond at Langton Matravers (the location of one of the centres of operations) just on the borders of Swanage – here calmly reflecting the light fluffy clouds in its perfectly, peaceful & still waters.
All was peaceful – in the idyllic area of Sandbanks, the other side of the ferry bridge to the Purbeck Hills – at that time a most peaceful and tranquil area – right on the edge of the spectacularly beautiful Poole Harbour – that was, until a very specific date – when a waiter came running breathlessly over from The Sandbanks Hotel nearby – on a glorious sunny early afternoon – to tell a household – in a small single story corrugated iron constructed dwelling – to announce to this household of a mother, father, two daughters and a son – and a young guest who had cycled over from Bournemouth on her bicycle to join them for the day – that the hotel had just heard at midday, the following on the hotel radio
Britain has declared war on Germany
It was the early afternoon of Sunday, September 3, 1939.
The annoucement had in fact been made a little earlier than this, by British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, announced at 11.15 am on the radio, and which was broadcasted by the BBC Home Service.
Little did they know at that time – when war was announced to them whilst they were taking tea in their little corrugated iron shack, that they called home – that in the not too distant future – their path to the ferry that took them across to The Purbeck Isle – where they often used to cycle on a Sunday – would be sealed off – with identity cards and official passes required to travel their usual routes – as this would be part of the outer perimeter of massive US Army Operations Area, and of RAF Operations Areas ~ including mysterious top secret constuctions and activities, and also that the harbour itself would become a mass of various sea going craft of strange and multifarious desciption, that included many hundreds of flat bottomed amphibious landing craft – with gigantic flying boats afloat in the very wide and extensive second largest natural harbour in the world, even so, a yet shallow harbour – with its mile long island and smaller islands in the middle – and yet still further – little did they realise that it would also be the scene of periodic, sudden, and terrifying aerial dogfights – with some planes seen close-up, descending on fire into the water – crashing at breakneck speed – with on one reported occasion by one of this family’s daughters – of a pilot clearly seen trying to thrust open his cockpit cover in a terrifying, but futile attempt to save himself – not 50 feet away from her, as she stood watching wide-eyed at the harbour’s edge.
And again little did they know – on that innocent peaceful quiet idyllic and early sunny Sunday afternoon – overlooking these calm waters of Poole Harbour – that this visit by the young and out of breath waiter – was to to herald in – the six devastating years of
WORLD WAR II
The contents of this website are factual.
But my interests here have drawn me into making preparations for writing a novel about these times.
My researches into the very moving accounts about people of that war – the detailed journals of the people concerned, and stories from their children, and from those that knew them personally…. have inexorably drawn me into the postion where I find that I am making preparations for writing a novel based in some ways on some of those true accounts, though only a very few of those accounts are referred to on this particular website.
Along with this – I had felt that I had been curiously, irresistibly drawn to these places where the people of that war were based at that time… and during which – I had felt that I had experienced numerous matters of a mystical nature – as if from some kind of attraction to, or of being drawn into a connection with these times.
And yet – of course – to make a complete whole novel, and one with the themes I wanted to exemplify – I have had to be a little creative with the early draft regarding some of the details, in order to link things up and thread it all together. One detailed, specific, and dramatic piece of invention – and a rather unlikely piece – that I was considering adding to the draft of the novel, turned out in fact to be – to my utter amazement… turned out to be actually true to the real events of that time – and almost entirely as I had ‘envisioned’ it!
Thus this makes me wonder…. ‘what exactly is this sense that I have had of being so drawn to these places and times’ – along with these mystical experiences – other than it might be as if the spirit of that place and time has been calling.
Web admin, designer, and author of this content
John Jolliffe, MA. PG Dip. MBC PG Dip.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org