C H A P T E R 1
I N T R O D U C T I O N
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I T ‘ S A L L A B O U T G E O G R A P H Y
I am Charlotte Cullinan. My mother’s father, Brigadier Edmund Paton Walsh accumulated an archive that is now housed at the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives at Kings College London. When grandpa died at his home in Wimbledon, London in 1985, I remember looking through a lot of his stuff in his study – usually a room we hardly ever entered. I remember looking through some notebooks hand written in pencil before the family handed his collection over to the national archives [in tranches]. As children we knew a handful of things about grandpa’s life that are now completely mixed up with what I have found out subsequently. His mother was Dutch and he had a guttural accent when he said ‘rather’ and ‘porridge’.
I’m looking through grandpa’s archive at the archive library, his personal archive now at my mother’s house and in general skirting around his life experiences.
The LHCMA archive has been re-arranged in boxes that seem to me to be quite loosely themed by subject rather than chronologically. This surprises me at first, but is also quite relaxing and akin to how an artist might process ideas and try to understand life in general – putting things side by side. There doesn’t seem to be an end or a beginning involved in this procedure and besides I’ve decided I’d rather take the long way round.
If you go on the website you can read what is known as – ‘the abstract/scope’ – regarding grandpa’s collection. For example I cut and pasted this fragment to give an idea of some of the contents of his archive ……….. Civil Affairs Staff Centre (CASC), on ‘captivity neurosis’, the economics and finance of wartime Europe, fire and civil defence, road transport, military writing, the welfare of occupied populations, Nazi doctrines, files of information on national temperaments and characteristics of various occupied countries – and you can also find out that he served in Allied Control Commission Germany, including on the Quadripartite Commission charged with the detection of war criminals, [1944-1947] overseeing the detention and the hanging of the Nazi criminals at The Nuremberg and Belson Trials 1945- 1946 –
B I G S U B J E C T S – U N B E A R A B L E P O L I T I C S
But as I trawl the boxes it is minor odd details that stick out at first.
I’m not sure what exact date this photograph was taken – but I have found out that prior to the opening of the Nuremberg Trials Nov 21st 1945, that Grandpa had been in Luneburg at what was known as The Belsen Trials [British Zone] that had started on 17th Sept 1945 and finished 17th November 1945. Grandpa was in charge of the hangings that took place there. Judging by a note we found – that could have been 48 Nazis, including Irma Grese and many other women who worked in the Nazi concentration camps.