Trevor Kenneth Baker

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My name is Trevor Kenneth Baker and I am 64 years old. I have been running my own software companies since 1980. I am interested in fast cars and flying, having held a private pilot’s licence since 1990. I have always been interested in books.

I bought the Leuchars Visitors Book at an auction in 2012. I had previously bought an RAF Leuchars Visitors Book which covered the years 1988 to 2004 and contained the signatures of well-known senior RAF personnel and some royalty. The seller told me that he was going to auction a Visitors Book covering the years 1938 to 1966 but he needed time to identify the signatures so that he could put a reserve on its auction price. Three months later, he put it up for auction, basing his reserve price on just 30 signatures, albeit some very rare RAF signatures, including Battle of Britain pilots.

At that time, I was only interested in the RAF, so I contacted the seller to try to persuade him to remove it from the auction and negotiate direct with me. During our negotiations, he pointed out that the Visitors Book contained nearly 1,000 non-RAF signatures, many of which related to BOAC pilots, but most of which seemed “foreign”. Like the seller, I wasn’t interested in the “foreign” signatures, so I agreed a price which was based on the RAF signatures. Since the seller had gone through the book, I wasn’t expecting to make any discoveries. My first shock was the number of signatures: about 3,800. I started the painstaking task of working my way through each page. At first, I couldn’t read many of the signatures but, slowly, I was able to do so. I had to start buying reference books to help me. When I came across the BOAC and foreign signatures, I ignored them. After a year, I had identified hundreds of RAF signatures including many who were awarded the DSO, DFC and DFM. A UK military bookseller said that the book would be worth at least £50,000 based on the UK signatures.

By chance, I opened the book at random and saw the signature of Leif Tronstad. Although at first I was not aware of who he was, I could easily read his signature and so I was able to find out about him using Google. I decided to spend a few days looking at the other “foreign” signatures and quickly realised most of them were Norwegian. I then realised that many of the RAF signatures related to people who had escaped from Norway (often with the help of Norwegians), made their way to Sweden, from where they were flown to RAF Leuchars. They include Jens Jenssen who assisted Pilot Officers Don MacIntyre and Ian Hewitt (both of whom signed the book on 15 June 1942) after their attack on the Tirpitz. You’ll see the signatures of Terence Corkran, Rae Walton and E J Booker who were shot down on 28 May 1942 near the Lofoten Islands whilst on a reconnaissance mission to find the Tirpitz. On 1 September 1942, they were flown from Bromma airfield to RAF Leuchars in an aircraft of the BOAC courier service. All three signed the visitors’ book on 2 September along with Anne Waring and Paal Frisvold.

It quickly became obvious that the Visitors Book was, as Geoff Ward put it, “truly a treasure trove.” In fact, it is probably the most complete original archive of Norwegian SIS and SOE agents in existence.

By using technology and a lot of help from people like Geoff and Bob Pearson, I have identified most of the signatures. Along the way, I have acquired a passion for Norway during WW2.

My plan for the Visitors Book is to eventually offer it for sale in Norway, where it belongs. I would like to see an interactive version where people can identify those signatures that I’ve been unable to read; relatives can use hyperlinks to see the SOE files; people can add comments and ask questions; schools can use the signatures as the basis of projects; and so on.


The 3,800 signatures, covering the years 1938 to 1966, include:
• Marshal of the Royal Air Force Hugh Montague Trenchard
• pioneers of aviation such as Ian Harvey, Bernard Frost, Arthur Wilkinson, Robert Mayo and Donald Bennett
• many Battle of Britain pilots including Paddy Finucane
• dozens of air chief marshals, air marshals, air vice marshals and air commodores
• some VC holders
• over 200 pilots who were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
• over 100 Distinguished Service Order holders
• over 100 escapees and evaders including, for example, Terence Corkran, Rae Walton and Ernest Booker who were shot down on 28 May 1942 near the Lofoten Islands whilst on a reconnaissance mission to find the Tirpitz. Their story was the basis of Graham Pitchfork’s Shot Down & On The Run. On 1 September 1942, they were flown from Bromma airfield to RAF Leuchars in an aircraft of the BOAC courier service. All three signed the Visitors’ Book on 2 September 1942.
• the 12 pilots from Leuchars who, on 11 February, participated in the search for the German warships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prince Eugen
• over 60 signatures (mainly British but some Canadian) of volunteers in Finland’s Winter War. I have identified all of them.

For me, the book’s main interest relates to Scandinavia and the SOE during WW2. There are about 800 Norwegian signatures, many belonging to Norwegian Resistance fighters.
Here’s a small selection of well-known signatures (the 3-digit numbers in red refer to the page in the actual Visitors’ Book):

• Sir George Binney 024, 033, 034 & 052
• John Cordeaux 071 & 075
• Andrew Croft 071
• George Harold Neville Larden 097
• Hugh John Marks 024
• Cecil Cuthbert Parrott 051 & 107
• Reginald Spink 090
• Vernon Alexander Spinks 077
• Reginald Sutton-Pratt 023
• Peter Frank Tennant 051 & 115
• Henry McLeod Threlfall 076
• Ronald Turnbull 024, 027, 037 & 070
• Anne Elizabeth Tindal Waring 082
• Henry William Allen Waring 109 & 121

• Leif Andreas Larsen 095
• Leif Hans Larsen Tronstad 025
• Max Manus 106
• Einar Johansen 025 & 099
• Konrad Mathias Nordahl 025 & 121
• William Strömer Houlder (mentioned in 037
• Claus Urbye Helberg 038
• Sverre Midtskau 038
• Johan Ingebrigt Rognes 042
• Bjørn Arnold Rørholt 025 & 061 (as Rolf Christiansen, his alias)
• The Gunnerside Team, each of whom using their SOE alias when they signed the book:
o Joachim Holmboe Rønneberg 102
o Knut Haukelid 102
o Fredrik Kayser 102
o Kasper Idland 102
o Hans Storhaug 102
o Birger Strømsheim 102
• Henning Nordhal 071
• Ragnvald Alfred Roscher Lund 024 & 098
• Olav Crown Prince of Norway 061 & 125 and his father Haakon VII 108 & 125

Linge Company Roll of Honour
• Peter Vogelius Deinboll 101
• Gregers Winther Wulfsbery Gram 106
• Sverre Granlund 052
• Nils Uhlin Hansen 071
• Sigurd Ingolf Haugen 085
• Konrad Anker Hennum 066
• Torbjorn Kaare Hoff 044
• Odd Nilsen 066
• Johnny Pevik 063

• Mogens K. A. Hammer, (26 September 1942) 088
• Otto Erik Johannes Lawaetz (15 April 1942) 051
• Jens Harald Christensen (20 April 1942) [almost certainly an alias for an SOE agent] 053
• Knut Arnold Arntsen (20 April 1942) 053
• Erik Boelskov (7 May 1942) 061
• Thomas Christian Sneum (15 June 1942) 071
• Gerhard Henrik Schaumburg (13 September 1942) 085
• Eigil Sophus Lorenz Borch-Johansen. (7 October 1942) 090
• Henning Pedersen (12 December 1942) 097
• Knude Thrane AKA Gerd Christensen (18 July 1943) 110
• Lars Lassen-Landorph AKA Fritz Vibeck (18 July 1943) 110
• POSSIBLY Nils Henrik Bohr 112

RAF Tempsford
• John Nesbitt-Dufort 020
• James Ansford Pulton 021
• Stanislaw Krol 035
• Franciszak Sobkowiak 037
• Walenty Wasilewski 037
• Oscar Næss 042
• Erling Voldberg 048
• Per Berg 080
• Arthur Clement Bartter 118
• Clarence William Fry 118
• Ernest Howell 118
• Eric John Palmer 222
• Air Vice-Marshal Fielden 189
• Air Commodore Atcherley 169, 181 & 184
• Air Chief Marshal Embry 169, 184 & 186

Here is the original Visitor Book.

Here is the 4165 pages Visitor Book with TREVOR KENNETH BAKER's comments.