Henley, Kenley…

Above: Celia Johnson (1908-1982) as Laura Jesson, with Cyril Raymond (1899-1973) as Fred Jesson in Brief Encounter (1945).

Brief Encounter was released before Christmas in 1945. By the start of 1945, Celia Johnson was working as an auxiliary policewoman when she could, and was employed on the police station switchboard. ‘I can say “Henley Police” and “hold the line” with exactly the right air of boredom and slight malice that all telephone girls affect,’ she boasted.

During the Second World War, Cyril Raymond served in the Royal Air Force from 1939 to 1945, and was awarded the MBE. As a fighter controller in the Battle of Britain, Raymond controlled the Kenley sector. He re-enacted his wartime role in the film Angels One Five (1952).

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