Sunday, 18 September 2011

A forgotten Bormann rumour

Martin Bormann

Another of my father’s wartime tales is a little uncertain as to details. He didn’t tell this story for many decades and by the time he did feel able to tell it, he’d forgotten some of the details.

In 1946 (probably) Dad, was in Portsmouth. He was still in the Royal Navy even though the war in Europe was over. He was aboard an aircraft-carrier but couldn’t remember the name. He served on quite a few ships during his service days and by the time he related this incident, he’d forgotten most of their names.

One day the aircraft-carrier was ordered to sail to Gibralter, although the destination was kept secret from the crew until they actually arrived. The ship sailed without any escort ships, which was unusual according to Dad, even though hostilities had ceased.

Shortly after arrival at Gibralter, a group of men appeared on the quay, surrounding another man in the centre of the group. Dad classed them as ‘secret service types’, although how he knew that I’m not sure. The man in the centre of the group wore a long coat and was obviously being escorted to the ship.

Once the party had boarded the ship, it sailed straight back to Portsmouth where the mysterious group disembarked in the direction of waiting cars on the quay. The rumour going round the ship was that the man being escorted was Martin Bormann, but obviously this was never confirmed. Whoever he was, he was high-ranking enough to be ferried by aircraft-carrier from Gibralter. Another detail Dad added was that neither the sailing nor the return of the aircraft-carrier was reported in the local Portsmouth papers. That was unusual too.


James Higham said...

It's difficult with one's father's memories. He's not an expert or a professional pundit or even all that interested in finding out.

Mine was always deeply impressed with standing on the banks of the Jordan [and his memory might have been hazy as to exactly where on which river but he saw the feckless Arab desert on one side and cultivated, irrigated Israel on the other.

Apparently he and his mates formed their opinions on both lots at that time. I'd not go that far - the Arabs are nomadic and that's that and yet he and his mates saw these things and I did not.

Your father saw this Bormann thing and concluded it was Bormann. People have been led to believe things before and yet he may well have seen just that, as he described it.

Hard to know, isn't it?

Demetrius said...

Glenn Miller?

A K Haart said...

JH - I don't think my father thought it was really Bormann, but who knows? Nothing now can recreate being there, as with your father on the banks of the Jordan.

D - could be. Maybe he was in the mood for a swim to Gibralter.