Welcome back to our Story of the week publications. We had a small break in December. We hope you did too.
This week’s story of the week is a long, but interesting read.
It tells the life of John Henry Smythe from Sierra Leone, his adventures with the RAF (Royal Air Force) in World War II, and his life afterwards. The story is told via his son, Eddy.
The story of this man is very interesting: he was one of the first black men in the Air Force, he was captured by the Nazis during the war, he went on to meet John F Kennedy.
We recommend a B2 level or above to enjoy the story.
The story is here, via the BBC. If you enjoy the article, you can watch and listen to an interview with Eddy Smythe on the Museum of London website.
Vocabulary to look out for
Empire Windrush / Windrush – a ship well known for bringing West Indian migrants to the United Kingdom after WWII.
barrister (n) – a type of lawyer in the UK
in the clutches (n) – a hold on someone or something
groin (n) – the place where your legs meet the front of your body
strafe (v) – to attack an enemy by shooting from aircraft that are flying low in the sky
bluff (n in the article, v:) – to deceive someone by making them think either that you are going to do something when you really have no intention of doing it, or that you have knowledge that you do not really have, or that you are someone else
sap morale (v) – to make someone weaker or take away strength or an important quality from someone, especially over a long period of time
Colonial Office – a government department dealing with colonies of the British Empire
banner (n) – a long piece of cloth with words written on it, sometimes stretched between two poles
Inns of Court – professional associations for barristers in England and Wales