Feedback to this site


Many visitors kindly write with queries or reactions to this site. Here I'm reproducing those messages which make interesting points, though I've excluded all confidential material. Maybe visitors to this page can supply answers or information where requested. You may contact me 'direct' or from the 'response page'. The latter is more helpful as I then get a rough idea as to visitors' interests, who they are, why they visited and where they come from!

I accept no responsibility for the reliability of any statements made here.
Letters from non-English speakers are sometimes edited to make them more understandable and atrocious spelling & grammar, usually from the USA, is mostly corrected!

The most recent messages appear at the top of the list below. Owing to internet abuse I have taken the precaution of disguising correspondents' email addresses. To write to any of the addresses below, please remove the word [nospam], including the square brackets enclosing it.

Feedback Index

  1. Subject: Secret Papers
    Date: 31-12-98 0:31am
    Received: 31-12-98 1:16am
    From: Webmaster, ppch@[nospam]
    To: Editor @ JTN,

    Christopher: The address: [Caskie] does not work – graphic is missing. I have just finished reading The Tartan Pimpernel and was after more information hence a visit to your site [Secret Papers]. Cris McGrath – Australia.

    [The link is now fixed! – CAL]

    Subject: Same Name
    Date: 09-12-98 18:11pm
    Received: 09-12-98 19:29pm
    From: Christopher Long, speedybasset@[nospam]
    To: Editor @ JTN,

    Dear Mr. Long, While I was browsing, I happened to look up any one with my name. Amazingly, I found you. I find it odd that we both have a love for journalism and free speech. Though my intent is to major in this field when I attend college, at the present time I am a smalltown and school news reporter with high hopes. I am extremely interested in the book that you are writing and would like to know how I might obtain a copy when it is completed... the Christopher Long from the United States.

  2. Subject: Zante Records
    Date: 16-11-98 16:17pm
    Received: 16-11-98 18:31pm
    From: Jeff Chapman, magazine@[nospam]
    To: Christopher A Long,

    Hi Christopher. I noticed on your genealogy page you refer to – "Spouse: Count Nicolas Lunzi, b. 10 October 1840 at Zante, d. 7 September 1901 at Paris, France". I'm looking for information on where the records of Zante during the period of the British protectorate (1814-1864) are kept. Can you help me out at all? Thanks for your time. Jeff Chapman, Family Chronicle.

  3. Subject: Loved Your Page
    Date: 16-10-98 17:55pm
    Received: 16-10-98 18:47pm
    From: Dean Christakos, constans@[nospam]
    To: Christopher A Long,

    I found your page when I was looking for a copy of 'The Massacre at Chios' on the WWW (my grandmother emigrated from Chios after WW1). Not only was I interested in your account of the massacres of Chios, but I was also fascinated by the articles on Byzantine history and genealogy that you kept on you pages.
    I confess that as an American, I had not been familiar with any of your work before, but my interest has now been piqued enough to make myself familiar with more of your writings. Yours, Dean – Constantine K. (Dean) Christakos

  4. Subject: The Battle of the Somme
    Date: 15-10-98 19:50pm
    Received: 15-10-98 20:23pm
    From: A. L. Craven, a.l.craven@[nospam]
    To: Christopher A Long,

    I was stirred by your web site very much, or rather it intrigued me, since I must admit to being interested in that particular episode in history [Battle of The Somme] although I found it by chance.
    Many of my 'family', if they had lived, died there and I (being 34) very much wish to remember the sacrifice that they made... whether for liberty or whatever but, all the same, for own their ideal... for others perhaps and, of course, as they were from this island nation.
    Here we live, and demand everything, but wish not to remember the terrible lives people suffered for us without question.

  5. Subject: Loved the Site
    Date: 05-10-98 14:15pm
    Received: 13-10-98 13:33pm
    From: Diane W. Paul, pauls@[nospam]
    To: Christopher A Long,

    Dear Christopher, I appreciated your review of the press cards very much. As a human rights researcher for Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, I (and all my colleagues) were denied any and all accreditation. UNHCR wouldn't give us blue cards because they worried about our tarnishing their image of neutrality--never mind that we reported on abuses by all three sides consistently throughout the war. We weren't permitted press passes because we weren't bona fide journalists, and that was it – I couldn't get one from IFOR or SFOR either... [see the rest of her tale in Press Cards]... All the best, Diane Paul

  6. Subject: Solon G. Vlasto
    Date: 13-09-98 4:13am
    Received: 13-09-98 5:53am
    From: Kimberly and Solon, kzsv@[nospam]
    To: Christopher A Long,

    Mr. Long, What an effort you must have put into your Webpage! Very interesting and I don't think I have even scratched the surface yet. I'm sure my family will enjoy it as well.
    Please include my grandfather in your site if you can, and if you have any questions I will try to help. Thank You, Solon Vlasto

  7. Subject: Picture of the Coracles
    Date: 25-08-98 3:01am
    Received: 25-08-98 17:20pm
    From: Reneekirby@[nospam]
    To: Christopher A Long,

    Where would I get a picture of the Coracles? From my understanding these vessels were also some of the first sea vessels to actually travel from continent to continent (short journeys of course). If you could help me with finding a website where I could find a picture, I would be very grateful. Thanks, Renee.

  8. Subject: Your Internet Page
    Date: 18-07-98 8:34am
    Received: 18-07-98 11:42am
    From: P & B Dowding, dowds@[nospam]
    To: Christopher Long,

    As we have previously communicated, you may remember I am researching my uncle Bruce Dowding otherwise known as Mason who worked with Garrow and Caskie. You must have posted my name as I have had some wonderful contacts about the relevant period. I would appreciate your continued reference to my name – perhaps on the Secret Papers page. Best wishes, Peter Dowding, Perth Western Australia.

  9. Subject: Suggestions Sought on Internet Class for Bosnian Journalists
    Date: 11-06-98 13:52pm
    Received: 11-06-98 14:03pm
    From: Cromwell Schubarth Jr., cromwell@[nospam]
    To: Editor @ JTN,

    I have been asked to give a 2-hour primer on the Internet for a group of visiting Bosnian journalists. Do you have any suggestions for what would be most meaningful to teach such a group in so short a time? What is the state of telecom in Bosnia today? I have no idea how useful some of the info I will be giving them if there isn't a good connection to the 'Net in the first place.
    Thank you for any help you can offer, Cromwell Schubarth, Business Editor, Lowell Sun, Lowell, Massachusetts, USA.

    [Perhaps prompted by Lessons Of War – CAL]

  10. Subject: Ciaburri Arms
    Date: 05-05-1997 14:58
    Received: 05-05-1997 16:17
    From: Vittorio Ciaburri, vittoriociaburri@[nospam]
    To: Christopher A Long,

    My surmane is Ciaburri and is also known as Ciaburro or Ciauurro or Ciaurro. I suspect that my surname originates from the Chabur (Khaboor in Arabic) river in Mesopotamia where the Byzantine empire was important. In my coat of arms there are: first, a double-headed eagle on a red shield with characters 'V3' (what is the significance of this?) with a sprig of 'sinople' and two lions on a mountain top; second, a crown, a cross and three fleur-de-lis.

    [This letter has been slightly edited to make its English clearer...]

  11. Subject: HMS Implacable
    Date: 19-05-98 21:16pm
    Received: 19-05-98 22:56pm
    From: Mrs P. A. Saillard, saillard@[nospam]
    To: Editor @ JTN,

    Dear Sir, I am a student at the University of Malta, and am very interested in the story of the HMS Implacable [1800-1949]. Is there anywhere else I can find more information? I tried to locate the World Ship Trust on the net without success. Whilst looking forward to hearing from you, Regards, Mr Wayne Saillard.

  12. Subject: Re: Croil
    Date: 20-04-98 14:04pm
    Received: 20-04-98 15:26pm
    From: Marj Kohli, marj@[nospam]
    To: Christopher Long,

    You might be interested to know that James Croil (picture and all) is in the book An Illustrated History of Canada – if you need the details on the book I can get them for you.
    Marj Kohli, Site License Coordinator, Information Systems and Technology, University of Waterloo, ON Canada.

    [Presumably prompted by Gen. Billy Mitchell or the Croil genealogy – CAL]

  13. Subject: Somme 1916
    Date: 17-04-98 12:27pm
    Received: 17-04-98 14:49pm
    From: Sackwest, Sackwest@[nospam]
    To: Christopher Long,

    I read your article on the Battle of the Somme over the internet. What a glorious but disturbing article that was.
    I however, enjoyed your comments on the visitors and the reasons why so many people now visit these sites. Last summer I was studying in Oxford and had a chance to visit Cambridge. There I stepped into the chapel at Trinity College and was stunned by the memorial to WW1 dead there in the chancel floor. I can't tell you why I was so moved by it all, but it inspired me to read everything I could get my hands on regarding the First World War. Now I am a WW1 freak, which is slightly bizarre as I am an American, but feel a definite affinity towards the British involvement in that war. My husband's father fought at Verdun with the Germans but I never had the opportunity to ask him of his experiences.
    I want to thank you for this article – I have read it a number of times and am haunted by your observations. I hope to visit these battlefields one day and have an enormous desire to visit memorials in France as well as England. I remember the memorial at Magdalen College, Oxford as I was walking through the passage way to the quad. I remember standing there in awe of all those names inscribed on the wall.
    Thank you for a wonderful article. Marlene Buchhalter

  14. Subject: Thank You for 'Lessons Of Nuremberg'
    Date: 17-04-98 13:20pm
    Received: 17-04-98 14:49pm
    From: Fadil Dizdarevic, etofd@[nospam]
    To: Christopher Long,

    Thank you very much for your wonderful article about Lessons Of Nuremberg.
    Once again I was reminded that, after all, the truth is always one, simple and direct. Everything else is, as you put it, "'adjusting' history to accommodate, justify or deny the unacceptable horrors". Yours gratefully, dilFa

  15. Subject: Ian Garrow
    Date: 06-04-98 4:26am
    Received: 06-04-98 10:05am
    From: Sherri Ottis, sherri@[nospam]
    To: Christopher Long,

    Dear Mr. Long, I am a graduate student at Mississippi College in the USA and am writing a master's thesis on aid given to downed Allied airmen by the French Resistance during World War II. My professor discovered your web page and sent me the address. I was very interested in the information as the Pat O'Leary line is my favorite of those I have studied and the one that I have had the most difficulty getting information on, particularly that of a primary nature. I have copies of the books Safe Houses Are Dangerous (are you Helen's son?), The Way Back and The Tartan Pimpernel, as well as some others in which the Pat Line is discussed. I am hoping that you might be able to help me.
    Is there any chance that you might be willing to share with me copies of some of the Garrow letters? Also would you be able to put me in touch with any of the former workers on the Pat Line. It has been more difficult to find contacts on this line. My understanding is that there were so many collaborators involved in Vichy France that many people are closed mouthed about events that took place there.
    I would also be interested in contacting the descendants of the families of Caskie, Garrow and O'Leary if possible. If you are interested, I could put you in touch with the nephew of Bruce Dowding who worked with the Pat Line and was arrested when Paul (Harold) Cole betrayed the line.
    I am including the email address of my directing professor if you would like to check my reference. It is ford@[nospam]
    I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Sherri Ottis.

  16. Subject: Rev. Dr. Donald Caskie
    Date: 02-04-98 12:26pm
    Received: 02-04-98 12:45pm
    From: Ian & Jenny Johnston, elocin@[nospam]
    To: Editor @ JTN,

    Dear Christopher, My name is Jenny and I'm from Brisbane, Australia. I have been doing our family tree and just playing around, I punched in Donald Caskie on a search engine and came up with your Secret Papers site. I'm new at this net stuff so was thrilled with my find.
    My husband's father's cousin, is, or was, Donald Caskie. We found out through the article that he died in 1983.
    We have lived in Australia for 32 yrs and have completely lost touch with that side of the family. We have Dr Caskie's book The Tartan Pimpernel and a few family photos but do not know much else. I was wondering if you knew anymore about him?
    My husband says he remembers his mother talking about 'O'Leary & Rodocanachi' when he was a child but not what they were talking about. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated. Regards, Jenny Johnston.

  17. Subject: Searching... [for Stones]
    Date: 01-04-98 3:03am
    Received: 01-04-98 10:01am
    From: ricripn@[nospam]
    To: Christopher Long,

    I am trying to locate the cutter of the 'Heart of the Ocean' blue sapphire from the motion picture, Titanic. Terry Davidson at Asprey's would know his/her identity. I am writing a brief article for a gem and mineral magazine and would like to ask a few questions. If you have any addresses to help me locate this person or Mr. Davidson it would be most appreciated. Thank you, Richard Crippen

    [Presumably prompted by an article on Asprey's of Bond Street, London – CAL]

  18. Subject: Bosnia
    Date: 02-12-97 9:20am
    Received: 02-12-97 15:13pm
    From: Richard Geib, cybrgbl@[nospam]
    To: JTN – Journalist Tracking Network,

    Dear Mr. Long, I was pointed towards your website by Rosie Goodman of Canada and have spent a good hour or so reading your various URLs. I read about single affluent women in London, the Somme, Miss India and her Libyan boyfriend, the drug trade, etc. You appear to so far have had a very distinguished career. I congratulate you, as it is only through journalists like you that the world can understand what is happening. May Mr. Paul Jenks rest in peace!, and his murderer find an ultimate justice that probably will evade him during his earthly existence. I also have seen my share of violent death and have found it to be a transforming experience. I put a URL up about Bosnia some time ago which more clearly expresses how I feel about that fiasco.
    I found my blood pressure rising as I read some of your dispatches from the early 90s Balkans – especially the one which started.... "It became clear today that Serbian gunmen deliberately used a British aid convoy of twelve lorries as a shield against Muslim retaliation during a fierce fire-fight at Sarajevo airport today." Ahhhhhhh! I am a bit hesitant to talk about Bosnia and the rather emotional response it brings up in me, since you know so much more first hand about the conflict. I can only imagine what you have seen there!
    Why did the West put up with this year after year? It seems to me the complex answer can be summed up in that not many people had the stomach to go in and risk getting shot up to stop it. If such a thing happened in Manchester, one could call the police or someone comparable. But to move into a foreign country and act essentially as policemen... that is different. Typically foreign countries only act in such a way when their national security is directly threatened. Don't get me wrong – I would have liked to have seen NATO involvement much earlier for purely humanitarian reasons! Yet the lack of any real law in international affairs makes it difficult. Well, there is law, but who is willing to be the policeman and knock the necessary heads? To be more exact, who want to risk igniting open combat again in Bosnia rounding up war criminals. It seems everyone knows who are the guilty parties, but arresting them is a more touchy matter as they are heavily protected. Does Great Britain have the stomach for that fight? Does the United States? NATO as an organization? It is complex (and I would dearly love to see many of the worst war criminals sitting in the dock a la Nuremberg!).
    I am not sure about your Nuremberg bit (although your personal opinion shines through on that one – something I liked). Applying courts and law to criminals is a primarily domestic action by sovereign governments, and bringing any sort of comparable 'justice' to the Balkans I think will never happen. It makes you wonder at the idea of 'justice' in this world.
    By coincidence, I had planned to put up a URL with a first hand account by a Mr. Kingsbury Smith of the executions of the various Nazi leaders. I recently stumbled upon the article and was very much moved by the drama of it. I will let you know when it is posted on the Web.
    Thank you again for your webpage and professional work. Despite your thorough reporting, the various Western governments seemed to have been blind-sided by the horrific events of the Bosnian conflict. But everyday citizens like myself were watching and noting, bearing witness to the truth of what was happening (let history judge). I hope that is some consolation to all the frustration, etc. Let us hope a happier tomorrow is blossoming in the Balkans. Very Truly Yours, Richard Geib

  19. Subject: H.M.S Albemarle
    Date: 19-10-97 20:32pm
    Received: 19-10-97 23:05pm
    From: Michael P Fox, RYHQ67A@[nospam]
    To: Christopher Long,

    My aunt has a small object that looks like a very small porthole from a ship it is approximately 6 inch in diameter with glass in the middle. H.M.S. Albemarle is painted on the front. I was wondering if you could sent me some information regarding Albemarle. My Grandfather came to the States from a small town not far from Norwich in the 1920's.

    [Probably prompted by the HMS Implacable article – CAL]

  20. Subject: Love At The Top
    Date: Wed, 09 Jul 97 17:25:00 PST
    Received: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 09:10:41
    From: scovarrubias@[nospam]

    Christopher, Today I run across your article [Love At The Top] while I was surfing the Net. It amazes me that after over ten years we seem to be dealing with the same issues. Nothing has changed. I am myself an independent single woman and I must say I felt quite identified with your article. I just thought I would let you know. Susana
    [... and, writing again later...]
    ... I think that there is a lot of truth in the those things said by the interviewees. Nevertheless I am not sure I would myself dwell too much in the 'sex differences' between men and women: 'men don't understand...', 'men feel threatened by...', 'men don't...' seemed to be repeated statements throughout the interviews.
    I believe that the key is to find out what is it that we really want from a relationship. As a career woman and having been exposed to so many options in life I am afraid I find it very hard to now. Many times we women think we need this and that because our society conditions us to believe so, but perhaps we don't. It is always easier to follow 'set patterns' but this of course has its down side which is that sooner or later we will be very unsatisfied (once we realise we've chosen the wrong partner!). When we are unsatisfied we 'might' blame it on 'them' (men). It is not to say that there's nothing to blame them for!
    It would seem too that most of the interviewees where very well off which in some cases was a good console for being alone. I ought to say that I myself seem to have failed picking the right career because on top of everything my profession is far from being the top of the list salary wise. It is very rewarding otherwise though.
    Anyway, I thought I would share my thoughts with you. By the way, it is quite interesting that you have written about love and war.
    PS. I hope I made some sense. English is not my native language and sometimes it plays tricks on me. Bye bye, take care, Susana

  21. Subject: Section D and SOE
    Date: Sat, 31 May 1997 21:03:53
    Received: Sun Jun 01 13:05:33 1997
    From: G M Sherrington, sherro@[nospam]

    Dear Christopher, I have been attempting to track down the title of a book I read 10-15 years ago regarding the activities of an organisation which was a subset of the Ministry of Economic Warfare in the period when the German invasion of England was expected at any time.
    My own research since has established that this 'left behind' organisation was established by that ministry around about 1941-42. Dalton was in charge of it.
    It is one of the most shadowy of all of the pre-SOE organisations, charged with providing guerrilla forces in the event that England was invaded. They were well armed with the most modern weapons, Brens when there was a critical shortage of them after Dunkirk, land mines, hand grenades, Thomson sub-machine guns and even silenced .22 cal rifles (to execute quislings).
    There was a deliberate policy of excluding identifiable military personnel and I saw a brief reference several years ago in the media when one of the former quartermasters handed over a whole barn full of land mines, weapons and highly unstable explosives. His heart was getting a bit dicky and he was worried about all of the stuff. Apparently his secrecy agreement was of the 100 year variety.
    I believe that perhaps the continuing secrecy is because the organisation was never disbanded because of the cold war threat, or perhaps embarrassment at just what the documentation may reveal on invasion-planned actions.
    This organisation was merged into SOE and Z force in Australia was under SOE orders. We also had something similar here advised by the same people. I have seen brief reference to it in one or two books, Baker Street Irregular by Bickham Sweet-Escott, p.38, is one.
    If you could supply me with the book's name I'd be eternally grateful, as I'm in the early stages of writing a book on the Australian experience in similar circumstances in 1942. Graham M. Sherrington. SLTG

    [Presumably prompted by Secret Papers – CAL]

  22. Subject: Fate of my uncle Bruce Dowding
    Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 21:27:08 +1100
    Received: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 16:38:27
    From: Peter Dowding dowds@[nospam]

    I am researching the fate of my uncle Bruce Dowding who was a young Australian in France in 1939. After joining the British Army and being captured and escaping, he worked for the Ian Garrow/Pat O'Leary escape route based in Marseilles and region. He was betrayed by an Englishman, Paul Cole, and was arrested and executed 2 years later in 1943. He is mentioned in books about the escape route – code name André Mason – but I am interested to gather what I can after all these years. Thanking you in anticipation. Peter Dowding

  23. Subject: Somme Article
    Date: 18-12-1996 17:45
    Received: 18-12-1996
    From: Mike Iavarone, mikei@[nospam]

    Christopher, Thanks for your note. I found the Somme article haunting. I've added a link to it from my Somme pages – hope this is OK with you. Happy holidays, Mike Iavarone, Trenches on the Web.

  24. Subject: Bosnia/Rape
    Date: Mon, 18 Sep 1995 15:03:14 EST
    Received: Mon, 18 Sep 1995 20:18:11
    From: DSLADE@[nospam]
    To: calong@[nospam]

    Let me explain a little of what I am doing. I am on the forensic team here at Berry College. I compete in several oratorical events. This year I am preparing a rhetorical criticism on the systematic rape in Bosnia. What I am trying to establish is that rape has been used as a rhetorical act to persuade Muslim and Croatian women to leave Serbian Bosnia and never come back: ethnic cleansing. I know that men have been abused, tortured, etc. along with Serbian women as well. I am only concentrating on the Serbian systematic rape of Muslim and Croatian women for my analysis. Do you think this is legitimate? Why? Thanks for your time and consideration. David Slade

    [Presumably prompted by Drawing Lines In The Balkans – CAL]

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