Letter: Peter Needham obituary

·1-min read

The classics teacher Peter Needham had a more interesting and involved national service career than your account suggested. He was in the same intake to the Joint Services School for Linguists at Crail, in Fife, as I was; we both learned Russian and after training passed to Intelligence Corps HQ at Uckfield, East Sussex.

We were due to go on to Germany to intercept messages from Russian tanks as they trundled around on the other side of the border. But Peter’s father was German and serving the Communist government in Berlin, or so Peter understood.

He had filled in all the forms about this, but had anyone noticed? Should he not point it out to someone? Regrettably, he did the right thing. The result was that he did not leave Uckfield but spent the second year of his service, he said, “cleaning the loos”. I always hoped this was cover for something more interesting.

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