ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard has lived for 46 years in Overton, Hampshire, close to Southington House which was Bertram Portalâs home. One of his grandchildren is a family friend.
Richard studied medicine at Pembroke College, Cambridge and St Thomasâs Hospital London, qualifying in 1966. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
As a consultant he had no time to pursue his life-long interest in history but on retirement he published a number of monographs about Overton. This led to a major project in which he led a team of researchers to produce 'A History of Overton from 1500' which was published in 2019. Though more academic in style, it proved to be very popular.
Richard knew from this research that Hampshire Archives holds a very large collection of Bertram Portalâs letters and papers deposited there by the family. Having perused them, he was convinced that his story deserved to be better known. He then discovered Bertramâs war diaries, an album of photographs at the National Army Museum and more of his letters at the British Library. When Bertramâs grandchildren shared his enthusiasm and showed him many more letters and photographs, Richard knew that the project was viable.
Richard is too old now for climbing mountains and offshore sailing but he still restores antique furniture which he finds much easier than restoring people.