This blog is about 2 men of whom you could say “They just don’t make them like that anymore” Both Christopher Lee and Sir Alec Guinness were formidable actors and both served in WWII.
Famous for so many iconic roles like Dracula, Count Dooku in Star Wars prequels and Saruman in The Lord of the Rings. And lets not forget Christopher Lee was also an accomplished Heavy Metal performer and recording artist. However he showed his true grit in WWII.
In an interview with the Independent he said “When the Second World War finished I was 23 and already I had seen enough horror to last me a lifetime,”
When the Second World War broke out, Lee volunteered to fight for the Finnish forces during the Winter War in 1939.He and other British volunteers were kept away from actual fighting, but they were issued winter gear and were posted on guard duty a safe distance from the front line.
Christopher Lee enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1940, where he worked as an intelligence officer specializing in cracking German ciphers . In North Africa he was attached to the Long Range Desert Patrol, the forerunner of the SAS,
As an intelligence officer attached to No. 260 Squadron RAF, he reportedly prevented a small mutiny after troops – frustrated and lacking news from the eastern front – threatened to break ranks.
For a while he was assigned to the Long Range Desert Group.
For the final few months of his service, Lee, who spoke fluent French and German, among other languages, was seconded to the Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects Here, he was tasked with helping to track down Nazi war criminals.Of his time with the organisation, Lee said: “We were given dossiers of what they’d done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority … We saw these concentration camps. Some had been cleaned up. Some had not.” He retired from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of flight lieutenant, and later again Jedi Master and Sith Lord.
Sir Alec Guinness
Sir Alec Guinness(center row third from right in the picture above) was one of the most versatile actors of all time. His genres included comedy,drama and science fiction. Probably most known for his portrayal as Ben Kenobi aka Obi Wan Kenobi in the original Star Wars Trilogy.
The Bridge on the River Kwai is one of my favourite WWII movies, actually one of my favourite movies overall and it is mainly because of Alec Guinness’s convincing portrayal of Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson that makes the movie so compelling.
Alec Guinness de Cuffe was born to mother Agnes Cuff and an unknown father in Britain in 1914.
Guinness served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in the Second World War, initially as a seaman in 1941, before receiving a commission as a Temporary Sub-lieutenant on 30 April 1942 and a promotion to Temporary Lieutenant the following year.[Guinness then commanded a landing craft at the Allied invasion of Sicily, he aslo saw action in the , the invasion of Elbe,and Normandy and later ferried supplies and agents to the Yugoslav partisans in the eastern Mediterranean theatre.
During the war, he was granted leave to appear in the Broadway production Flare Path, which was a play about the RAF Bomber Command.
Two heroes on and off screen.
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