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And He Told Me He Messed About With Chemicals

by Bucksevacuee

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Charles Chaplin
Location of story: 
Monks Risborough, Whiteleaf, Bucks
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
15 March 2005

My mother and me were billeted in big house. Two rooms on the top floor. The people who rented the house were Canadians who had come to England at the beginning of the war. In times of petrol shortages he ran a car when very few people were allowed to. They were an elderly couple. When he was not out he used to spend hours in the garden, and I used to go out and help him. He grew some fine vegatables which he grew with the aid of chemicals. He was a quite, shy man who never spoke very much, but we seemed to get on in way. One day I asked him what he worked at. "I mess around with chemical like this," he replied in his soft Canadian brogue. I knew he went into Princes Risborough every day to set of single storey buildings by the railway station. I never thought any more about what he did. A few months before the war in Europe finished in 1945, they suddenly went back to Canada. By this time I had discovered that he was Professor Chaplin. I remeber my mother corresponded with his wife for a while, even after the war.
Some years later I was reading a feature in a magazine about how Churchill had called experts from all over the place to work on chemical weapons and gasses. The article said how they had worked in these insignificant, unobtrusive looking buildings at Princes Risborough. He certainly messed around with chemicals!

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