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1939 - 1950: Early life

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Jan. 1st, 1970 | 02:00 am

Per The Runewriter:

"Talking about war, Michael told me he had suffered through the Blitz as many other Londoners, but during those – also to grown-ups scaringly dark years – he was parted from his parents."

NB. While some of what The Runewriter says does not seem quite to fit with what we know, other things they have said clearly show that they must have met and socialised with him, as they mention various personal details which were are not widely known at the time they wrote the entry, 25 June 2011.

This map shows that just during 1940 and 1941, there were three bombs dropped near Brent Street, where Michael's parents lived at 65 Burnham Court when Michael was born.

Bombs dropped in Hendon, WW2

By 29 September 1939 Michael is known to have been sent to West Dean to stay with his grandparents, but it is not known how long he stayed there.

Per the electoral roll, in 1950, Irene Gothard was living at 1 Gloucester Court, Park Village East, NW1; she is thought to have moved to the area in 1949 or 1950. She is the only person registered at that address in 1950 and 1951; Michael would have been only 10 or 11 at the time, and so would not have been included.

Angharad24 was lucky enough to meet someone who lived in that area, and knew Michael and his mother between 1948 and 1952. Ritva's account is here.

Ritva says that Michael used to go to the country during school holidays, so he probably went to stay with his maternal grandparents, in or near Bream, on the edge of the Forest of Dean. Horse-riding is a popular activity there, so it could be where Michael learned to ride.

Per his secondary school, Haverstock Comprehensive, Michael attended a primary school in Princess Road, now known as Primrose Hill Primary School, until July 1950.

One of Michael's friends from the 1980s, Sean McCormick, said that Michael never really talked about his early life, or his parents.

Michael’s former girlfriend N.B., who first met him in 1984, says:

“Unfortunately I never met his mother … I don’t know what happened to his father, either. I just know that he was very upset that his mother never told him the truth about his father when he was little.

Because it was his father who kept seeing him as a child, but his mother told him to call that man “uncle” and he thought it was just an acquaintance of his mother’s.

But sometime later his father vanished from his life completely, a fact that Michael never bore easily.

I don't quite remember whether he just imagined it, or if his mother had ever made such allusions, but he thought it possible that his father was German or had German blood. He was often asked if he had German blood, but maybe just because of his surname and not because of his looks.”

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