Around when I was 30 years old – I was living in a small tent – whilst working in an engineering factory in Holland, 12 miles South of Amsterdam. And so, I would regularly visit Amsterdam – and one day whilst browsing through a book shop – I purchased a popular psychology book – ‘How to Get Whatever You Want Out of Life’ by Dr Joyce Brothers. Whilst reading it in the tent – it rekindled – an early desire that I had had when I was very young. I wanted to be a psychotherapist – having originally been much inspired by the works of Carl Jung and others. It was from that moment – as I was living in the tent – sometimes in subzero temperatures – I set myself on a new path – with only a vague hope of how I could obtain it – not knowing how – but that I would find a way. I had ‘walked out of school early’ – without getting any qualifications. Things were fairly orthodox in those days, and one had to have basic qualifications to get on any serious course or whatever – not like it is today – where all comers are accepted if you can you can show aptitude of some sort – rather than having to have already achieved early level qualifications. Anyway this led me on a course of a very winding path indeed – and I also became more interested than before in terms of researching – the field of trauma – which I suffered from, & was now seeing as a common understanding behind a wide variety of people’s issues – apart from of course what could possibly be described as the trauma of not knowing where one is going in life, not having a purpose – and devoid of any sense of real meaning – other than the vague intuitions that play within one’s heart, and run through one’s mind. So, with this as my goal – I eventually made plans to depart from where I last was in Holland – which was a potato farm on the outskirts of a small village of just a few hundred people in South Holland – where I was working as a tractor driver and general hand – living in a primitive barn – sharing my sleeping bag with the cutest little field mouse – who would creep in to get from out of the cold – and from where I then eventually – made my way to London.
Even though I was actually born in Dorset, Southern England – and then later lived in other towns – including amongst other places – as I’ve said above – living for a while in different areas of Holland (which is also referred to as The Netherlands) – and then for 25 years in London – where my winding path continued – and from there returning to Bournemouth much later – I began to realise – partly inspired by the most sad story told to me by my mother – about a ‘young boy soldier’ – that she had known – of which she related to me many times – that he was such a considerate and well-meaning young man – that she was really quite taken with him – as were so many others that had met him. It was his manner – that impressed people so much – but then to learn of his profound tragedy in this war – although I won’t say any more about that – other than that he was in his particular case a volunteer – which again I will not go into – but who had seen this as an urgent cause, ‘that called him to respond in such ominous times’ – from his having heard (far away on the other side of the Atlantic) of the many terrible stories of events, and activities in World War II Europe, and of the buildup of their preparations on the other side of the English Channel – with the intention of invading Britain.
Nevertheless – it took me all that time – as I saw it – of my long circuitous and winding path – to eventually come back to Dorset to look into this more deeply.
And what I discovered was – that I had been living in these parts as a child – frequenting all the different and various interesting places, without having any idea at all of its actual vast part in, and in many ways – could be seen as – one of having a central significance in the preparations for D-Day, and also of the role in these parts where I had lived – of the United States, also Canada and Australia – with more than around possibly a hundred thousand U.S. troops stationed in Dorset alone – and with around 2.5 million US, and also Canadian troops and others, registering in Dorset – in fact registering in Bournemouth (see Note 1, below), at The Royal Bath hotel, and The Carlton hotel – when they arrived in the UK – before being mostly stationed elsewhere. Members of the Australian Air Force were stationed in and around Bournemouth – and themselves had incurred great tragedy in Bournemouth from air raid attacks – before even the invasion of Europe began – from the periodic targeted bombings of Bournemouth and Poole. There were of course forces from elsewhere in the world – based or spread around in various other parts of the UK – from New Zealand, Poland, France and other places – and in varying significant numbers.
There’s much, much more to this than that – but this website – is just an basic outline. And as I have already indicated – I had lived here as a child, breathed in the air, swam in the sea and walked across the hills and along the cliffs – holidayed yearly near Lulworth Cove – without knowing anything of these momentous times and events – which was part of the whole vast development of what was later to be called ‘The Second Front’ – and which was to play – a major role – in changing the course of the history of The World.
As I said – I started out in life without any qualifications at all – but nevertheless – I did eventually get the required qualifications – after having reached London – to pursue my therapist goal. Amongst many serious study programs that I undertook once in London – such as very early developmental issues, that also utilised bio-neurological understandings – I obtained a four-year postgraduate qualification in contemporary in-depth therapy, which dealt with people’s traumas, along with an MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling (ratified by City University London), and later ran a small residential therapeutic community in South-West London – for which I collected an award on behalf of that community. Nevertheless all the same – I had by then developed a clear respect for basic popular psychology books – and for one in particular which had taken me to London (thanks Dr Joyce Brothers) – rather than just being immersed in ‘your deep-end academics’!
Bournemouth though, at that time, was officially in the county of Hampshire – but situated right on the border of Dorset. After the war, the relatively small town of Bournemouth expanded considerably, and thus became contiguous with its neighbour Poole, in Dorset. In 1974 – the border of Dorset was moved to include Bournemouth within its boundaries.