September 26, 2021

Brian Pulford remembers his father Leonard Pulford

Like your father, my father did not talk about his work at the Telecommunications Research Establishment although, as my parents were separated when I was only 7 years old, I did not get much chance to learn about his wartime work. However, my mother did tell me a little about her experiences moving about the country.

I understand that Watson Watt, who I believe initiated the research on radar, started his work at Orford Ness on the Suffolk coast but moved to Bawdsey Manor a few miles south of Orford a short time before the Second World War.

At that time my father, Leonard Pulford, worked as an electrical engineer in Felixstowe, just on the other side of the River Deben to Bawdsey. I can only assume that, at that time, he was recruited into the Air Ministry Research Station as it was then known. Due to the vulnerability of Bawdsey to air attack, the unit moved to Dundee in Scotland very early in the war.

This was where I was born in 1940. I understand that the situation in Dundee was not suitable for the research work so it was all moved again to Swanage in Dorset where it became the Ministry of Aircraft Production Research Establishment and later the Telecommunications Research Establishment.

At some time thereafter the whole establishment moved to Malvern where I was old enough to be aware, and can recall, some of the happenings towards the end of the war. We were accommodated in flats in what I would imagine was formally a hotel or a very grand house in, I believe, Abbey Road, quite near to Priory Park.

I went to school in Malvern Link with my older sister right through the severe winter of 1947 when we had to wait for the snow plough to pass the house so we could walk the 3 miles to school. Who would do that now!

Soon after that winter my parents separated and we moved with my mother back to Felixstowe where I was brought up until going to college.

My mother did tell me that, throughout the war, she was required to have cases packed in case of invasion when the whole team, and families, would have been evacuated to Canada.

I do not have any photographs available of those years but hope that these ramblings may be of some help.

Brian Pulford

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