MB Reed

Author and mathematician


Footnotes for Chapters 5-6

Chapter 5: Swimbridge

  1. Frontotemporal dementia: A relatively rare form of dementia. Hugh’s mother has behavioural variant FTD. The symptoms include loss of inhibitions, apathy, loss of empathy, and compulsive ritualised behaviour.

  2. All the right words: A reference to the Morecambe and Wise sketch featuring Andre Previn in their 1971 Christmas Special show. When Previn complained that Eric was playing all the wrong notes, he replied that he was playing “all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.”

  3. That Maharishi: The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the Beatles’ spiritual advisor, who introduced the world to transcendental meditation.

  4. The BDM: The Bund Deutscher Maedel (League of German Girls) was the female wing of the Hitler Youth (HJ) in Nazi Germany. Artur Axmann had overall control of both organisations in his role as Reich Youth Leader (Reichsjugendfuehrer).

  5. British Expeditionary Force: The untold story of the BEF is an article in the BBC’s WW2 People’s War project, featuring personal testimony.

  6. The Danzig Corridor: see the Wikipedia page. The Corridor provided Poland with access to the sea at the (mostly German-speaking) port of Danzig, now Gdansk. In the process it separated East Prussia from the rest of the German Reich. An article in 2014 suggests that Putin may demand a corridor across Lithuania to secure land communication with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad (formerly Koenigsberg, the capital of East Prussia, which was seized by Stalin at the end of WW2).

  7. “Hatley Castle”: The castle, built in Victoria, British Columbia in 1910, was visited by King George VI in 1941, who considered it as a place of exile for his brother the Duke of Windsor who had been sent to the Bahamas as Governor after his abdication.

  8. SDS: the Special Demonstration Squad was an undercover unit of the Metropolitan Police, set up in 1968 to infiltrate left-wing protest groups. It used the names of 80 dead children to create flase identities for its members, who were nicknamed ‘hairies’ because they dressed as hippies to go undercover. Some of them started sexual relationships with protest organisers in order to gain their trust.

Chapter 6: Chinatown

  1. Bugging of Lancaster House: In ‘Spycatcher’, Peter Wright describes his work in planting eavesdropping devices, and alleges that MI5 bugged diplomatic conferences at Lancaster House throughout the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the Zimbabwe independence negotiations in 1979.

  2. The Madagascar Plan: The Madagascar Plan was a proposal by the Nazi German government to forcibly relocate the Jewish population of Europe to the island of Madagascar.

  3. Sultan Omer Farouk: The last Caliph of the Ottoman Empire, Abdulmejid II, was exiled when the Turkish Republic was founded in 1924. He died in exile in Paris in 1944. His son Sehzade Omer Farouk died in 1969, without issue.

  4. Ottoman Legation: The original Turkish Embassy at 69 Portland Place is now the Turkish Ambassador’s residence.

  5. The Edward Line: Construction of a new Underground line dubbed the Fleet Line was begun in 1971, and included plans for a River Line extension to pass through London’s Docklands to Greenwich, ending at Thamesmead. The Fleet Line eventually became the Jubilee Line.

  6. Chinatown: The original Chinatown, a small district of Limehouse in the East End, was the setting for the Fu Manchu novels of Sax Rohmer, and later films such as ‘The Mask of Fu Manchu’. The district was largely destroyed by Hitler’s V2 rockets in 1944.