John Smythe QC, MBE (mil) OBE was born in Sierra Leone in 1915. When the RAF appealed to the British Empire for assistance in prosecuting WW2, Johnny as he was known to his friends volunteered and was accepted into the force. He passed out of training school as a flight officer and joined Bomber Command as a Navigator on the Short Stirling bomber.
He was shot down over a heavily defended target in Germany on 18 November 1943 and although wounded made a successful parachute jump. He was captured after 24 hours and brutally interrogated before being sent to hospital to have his wounds treated. He was then sent to Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany where he would spent the next 18 months as a Prisoner of War before being liberated in April 1945 by the Russians.
On his return to the UK he was seconded to the Colonial Office where he would play a pivotal role on board the Empire Windrush resulting in the ‘Windrush Generation’. Johnny went on to study law at the Inns of Courts in London and qualified as a barrister before returning to Sierra Leone where he would become Solicitor General and later Attorney General.
The evening starts with a delicious hot buffet supper in The Hub Café at 18.30.
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