Has this Wolverhampton war hero been forgotten?
READING my library of old miltary books recently, I noticed one from 1979 entitled ‘MI9 Escape and Evasion’, by M.R.D. Foot and Jimmy M Langley.
Langley was born in Wolverhampton in 1916. The jacket biography says:
‘J.M. Langley was born in Wolverhampton in 1916, and was educated at Uppingham and Trinity College, Cambridge. He lost an arm at Dunkirk as a subaltern in the Coldstream Guards. He was taken prisoner but escaped to London, where he was taken on by MI6 to organise the safe return to England of Allies escaping from the Germans in occupied territory.
‘He became head of the departments of MI9, dealing with north-west Europe and responsible for bringing about 3,000 people back to England.
‘He was awarded MBE and MC. Demobilised as Lieutenant-colonel in 1946, he spent many years with Fisons before becoming a bookseller in Suffolk, from 1967 to 1976. He is now retired.’
A picture of him on a faked French ID card is shown in the back of the book. He died not long after the book came out, in 1983. He was married to Peggy Van Lier, a guide for escapees in 1944 and they had five children.
I have never seen mention of Jimmy Langley before, even in recent years, to recognise famous Wulfrunians in the town’s Hall of Fame.
Stephen King, Leicester Street, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton