Posted by: eppingstrider | 26/03/2011

Comment: Leaving Cairo

I’m afraid entry 5f ends the chronological tapes.  There is the edits tape which Geoffrey mentioned a few posts ago, which will be transcribed next and linked back to the appropriate sections.

When he said it was September 2004 as he started this side of tape 5 I was surprised he had dictated as much as he had, as he went back into hospital that month and only came out briefly on a couple of occasions before he went in for a final time in March 2005 and died on 31st March.


We don’t know exactly when Frances got to Cairo: her passport 1942-47 shows

  • an exit visa from Uganda dated 21/6/43 valid for departure before 31/7/43;
  • a visa for Egypt issued in Uganda dated 21/6/43 valid up to 5/12/43:
  • two Cairo Area Air Passport Control stamps with no date but saying valid until 5/12/43;
  • a Sudanese transit visa dated 16/7/43 issued in Khartoum with Wadi Halfa added in pencil;
  • an Egyptian visa extension dated 22/1/44 until 6/12/44;
  • an Egyptian departure visa dated 5/10/44 at Port Said; and arrival stamp in Liverpool dated 28/10/44.

So this looks as if she was in Khartoum from mid-July possibly until September as Geoffrey suggests. Their first son was born the following June so she was definitely in Cairo by September.  The family understood that Frances and the baby left Cairo by ship to get back to England as there was no knowledge of when Geoffrey would be sent back from Cairo.  My vague memories of the story are that there were problems leaving Cairo and that there was danger in remaining there, but students of history may be able to shed light on that.  Geoffrey was in fact flown out of Cairo only a few days later (Frances used to say he must have flown over them in the Med.)* and was back at his parents’ home in Kent when Frances and son eventually arrived after an arduous journey via Liverpool.


*Geoffrey’s Postings show he left Cairo on 25th October.  But we think the route via Italy would not have been open by then so did he go via the Congo route or was there a route along the N Africa coast up to Lisbon by then?


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