Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The Name And The Man

We can know a name and see the man without necessarily connecting them. A couple of days ago, I referred to John Diggle (fictional) and Andy Diggle (fictional/real) here. This morning, as I drove my granddaughter to a medical appointment, Andy Diggle (real) walked down the street opposite the surgery. In this case, I did happen to make the connection.

A guy called Pat Reid:

escaped from Colditz Castle during World War II;
wrote The Colditz Story and The Latter Days At Colditz;
was played by John Mills in the film of The Colditz Story.

When the film was shown at our school in the 1960s, someone said that Reid had been at our school. Calculating when he would have been in a particular academic year at the school, I checked the photograph, hanging in a corridor, for that year and found the name "P. Reid" listed. Decades later, it was an easy matter to google "Pat Reid" and confirm that he had indeed been at the school (as, briefly, had James Joyce). Most of us watching John Mills' performance had not known that.

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