Humphrey’s father served in the Australian army in Palestine during the First World War. On his return to Australia, he gave a lecture about his experiences of war-time Palestine and Jerusalem.
Humphrey and his sister Kate were sent to Canada during the Second World War to avoid them being brought up as Nazis should the Germans have invaded. The numerous letters exchanged between Humphrey’s parents in England and the foster parents in Canada form extensive archival material now housed at the Research Centre for Evacuees and War Child Studies at the University of Reading. The archivist there has commented that the collection is unusual for containing mainly letters between the parents and host families. You can read an introduction to these unusual letters here.
Soon after Humphrey and Kate crossed the Atlantic westwards, Humphrey’s future wife Helga crossed eastwards as a child. Born in Lima, Peru of German parents, the family returned to Germany when Peru declared war on Germany in 1942. The journey involved mother and three children being separated from their husband/father, being interned in the United States, crossing the Atlantic in a Swedish Red Cross ship, and being welcomed in Germany as returnees — the three children feature in a propoganda poster of the German Red Cross. Read about Helga’s account of her war experiences here.