The story of a Golden Globe nominated actress who’s done much of it and advice to those who want to do it!

The word Prisoner has popped into my life quite a bit recently.  In September I will in the UK for the 50th anniversary of “The Prisoner“, the iconic series created in the ’60’s by Patrick McGoohan, a wonderful and sadly missed talent.   I worked with him four times in 3 episodes of “Danger Man” (“Secret Agent”) in the US, another terrific series, largely devised by Patrick.  I loved working with him…his professionalism, his energy and strength were stimulating.  I was warned that he did not much like actresses and could be intimidating if you were less than absolutely “on message”.   So I was well prepared and we got on well…the experience of working with him was thrilling.

SAS troops in N.Africa, where Uncle Lee was captured

A different kind of Prisoner is a Prisoner of War.   I recently came across letters written by my uncle to his mother (my grandmother))from the Italian POW camp, where he was held Prisoner during World War II. He later escaped and walked all the way down and across the Italian Alps to find the British who, with the Allies, were fighting their way into Italy to free it from fascism.   This uncle Lee, was rather a hero of mine..he was a Commando with the SAS when he was captured and rarely spoke of his experiences.   But he did to me, when we spent quite a lot of time together just before he died.  He was a tough old man.  His letters were a mixture of loneliness and longing to be free and with the family again, but nonetheless very constrained as all letters were censored by the Camp.   “The only shortage here is cigarettes so if you can send me some they’ll be a godsend.”  and “I lost weight when I was captured, the shock more than anything, but am putting it on again in the lazy life”.  

It’s strange to read these letters, when also I have those from my Aunt Lisemaria, my father’s German sister, sitting in her convent in Holland, knowing that the Nazi’s were on their way to transport her and the other Sisters to Auschwitz.  What a strange world we live in.

And now aren’t we all becoming Prisoners too, of our own isolated lives in front of computers, with Social Media, becoming a such powerful source of companionship.

All for now friends!   

5 thoughts on “Prisoners – Aren’t we All?

  • July 21, 2017 at 10:35 pm Reply
    Moira Callaghan says:

    Patrick McGoohan was great and very principled.

    Was thinking of you today as went into Sainsbury’s where, as I went in, there was a stand of DvDs for sale and the first one I noticed as I passed it was The Lion in Winter.

  • It’s good to have friends in all ‘areas’ … the Social Media has done a wonderful job for many, I think, putting them in touch, or back in touch, with so many who might otherwise have ‘got away’. I include myself in this … were it not for the ‘net, what, for example, would have been my chances of ever ‘conversing’ with you, Jane ? 🙂 It has been lovely for me to renew old contacts and to make new ones, but I agree it shouldn’t be a *substitute* for meeting people in the flesh, and sending/receiving hand-written letters (which i particularly like). Roger

  • hi, jane.

    – by the way, just so you know, we’re all aware of, and hugely enjoy, the unique chemistry that obviously existed between you & mr. mcgoo. it’s given a lot of pleasure over the years; two especially attractive never-gonna-happeners playing off & with each other – entertainment just doesn’t get any better than that (!)

    heavy family history, there; thanks for sharing it. being a modern man who’s had a fortunate, comfortable life, i’m blown away by such stories as uncle lee’s, especially the aspects of them involving amazing physical & mental feats, like his walking over the mountains; that’s, as the kids now say, Next Level toughness.

    and aunt lisemaria (what a beautiful name, wow); i’m not sure we can handle the rest of her story, that whole scenario being – duh – the level Beyond ‘next level’. we’re, again, so damned comfortable – at least those of us not directly caught up in the madness taking place in the world today. it’s in fact sort of mind-blowing for me to hear that the lady jane merrow is herself so closely connected to what was the horror and the misery of nazi germany [line stolen from rod serling]; to we out here in radioland, you special ones always seem like Reallly special ones, wholly above the fray. i wish that it were so.

    re our having become prisoners of this damned Thing that we’re typing and reading on, yes; it is so. but that’s a whole other conversation. let it suffice that you’re not alone in feeling even deep grief over what’s happened. it does seem that the die is cast, but i’m keeping alive a little hope, a little flame; maybe, somehow, sometime, we can recapture some of what we had before. time will tell.

    anyway, i’m glad to have a chance to check in & ‘talk’ to you again. be happy & well. love from radioland; see ya. -kk

    • Thank you for your great comment! Yes I think my family history is interesting with a close aunt and uncle on opposite sides…though Aunt’s heart was far from the Nazis.

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