In his 100 years, genial English gentleman Charles Courtenay Lloyd helped to liberate Norway from Nazi invasion, trained Cold War spies, married a penniless Russian princess and taught generations of Yorkshire’s youngsters foreign languages.
The veteran officer celebrates his centenary tomorrow in Madrid, where he now lives, but was nowhere more at home than wandering the hills of his beloved Ilkley Moor during his time at Bradford Grammar School.
His daughter Masha Lloyd has spoken of her pride at her father still being able to celebrate his birth on what is the 80th anniversary year of the Second World War beginning: “There are so few of them left to tell the story,” she said, “For me, the most important thing about reaching his century is to get him recognition for what he did in World War Two.”
But also noteworthy is his part in the Cold War, when he became a teacher of Russian at the Joint Services School of Linguists (JSSL), which taught thousands of National Service conscripts languages to meet the needs of Britain’s intelligence operations.
The KGB dubbed it “the spy school” and it was where Mr Lloyd met his future wife, Elena Von Lieven, a princess whose family had fled the Russian Revolution, said his daughter, 62.He signed up as a seaman in 1940, but was made a British Liaison Officer of the Royal Navy on board the loaned HMS Mansfield in Norway.
He then helped supervise the surrender of the enemy forces in Norway before working as a post-war intelligence officer in Germany between 1946 and 1948.It was after this that he joined the JSSL, before he took up his post as a languages teacher at Bradford Grammar School between 1964 and 1983, living in the city until his departure to Spain in 2005. His wife died in 1999.
During his time as a languages teacher at Bradford Grammar, Mr Lloyd grew to love the county’s scenery, such as the Yorkshire Dales and Ilkley Moor.
“For me, the most important thing about reaching his century is to get him recognition for what he did in World War Two.”