WHEN Raymond North read the wartime letters published in the Examiner, it jogged a few distant memories.
The graphic and emotional epistles to an unborn godson were penned by war correspondent and former Examiner editor Alfred Lee – and they rang a bell with Raymond, 75, who promptly went to ferret out more information from his loft.
He remembered a war correspondent from Huddersfield visiting him in Hong Kong in 1957 during his National Service days as a Private in the Royal Corps of Signals.
The “gentlemanly” journalist met Raymond and another serviceman and bought them both a meal while asking about their work, although the trio ended up talking mostly about rugby.
Raymond’s trip to the loft was not in vain, as he returned with a bunch of weathered newspaper cuttings written by Alfred Lee following his Far Eastern travels, which brought memories flooding back.
Raymond, originally from Helme Lane, Meltham, said: “I got a letter from my mother, Hilda, to say that Mr Lee was going to come and see me. It was part of his interviews with servicemen for his articles.
“He was the perfect gentleman. He bought afternoon tea for us and even allowed us a beer.
“The article in the Examiner was really interesting and his writings were 100% spot on. He told it like it really was back then. I was amazed to read that he came face-to-face with Hitler.
“Mr Lee’s writing was very detailed and so colourful and atmospheric, very detailed.
Raymond was so impressed with the Far East that after being demobbed, he lasted just a few weeks back in Meltham before emigrating to Hong Kong. In those days the 8,000-mile trip took five days.
There he met his wife, Rose and together they have three children and eight grandchildren. In 1974 they left and now live in Leeds.
The former Holme Valley Grammar School boy won’t say exactly what he was doing during his National Service in Hong Kong, as it is still covered by the Official Secrets Act.