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   Evacuated from Conoor

In April 1942 the Japanese Task Force which had attacked Pearl Harbour, bombed Colombo in Ceylon and threatened an attack on Madras, which could have cut off the south of India from Calcutta in the north and prevented the return home of Justine and her sister, who were then at school in Conoor. So they were hastily evacuated to the semi-hill station of Dehra Dun, where their mother had rented a large house.

 The Indian Military Academy

The I.M.A , situated  in Dehra Dun was the Indian equivalent of the British Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and had been extended so that British cadets could also be trained there.

 The three cadets

Justine, her sister and mother attended the local cantonment church on Sunday mornings and one morning they met three cadets from the Academy, Peter, John and Bill, who were invited to tea that afternoon. Of the three, it was Bill who caught Justine’s attention. Her mother gave them a standing invitation to call at the Calcutta home if they happened to be in the district. Following his training at the Academy Bill was posted to a Gurkha battalion in Bengal, which before it was sent into the Arakan, was within fairly easy reach of Calcutta, so was sometimes able to visit the family and two years later met Justine again.                                                                                                                                                           Bill