Pamela Joan Radford (born 1908 in Dublin), like many of her colleagues, was the child of a military man (her father Charles Radford was an Army chaplain).
Pam’s nephew remembers her vividly: “Pam drove ambulances out of the garage in the King’s Road that is now the Bluebird – it was still an ambulance station after the war. Somewhere there’s a photo of Pam in uniform outside the garage (I’m pretty sure!),” he told me.
Sadly, the photo has not yet turned up, but here she is probably in the 1940s flanked by her younger sister Monica and father Charles. At the time war broke out in 1939 Pam, her mother Ada and her older sister Betty owned and ran a café in Lincoln’s Inn called Fickett’s (the area was once known as Fickett’s Fields).
In The Suma Oriental of Tomé Pires (published 1944) Portuguese historian Armando De Freitas Zuzarte Cortesão (1891-1977) made a point of thanking “Miss P.J. Radford” for her “varied assistance throughout this work”.
Armando, who had represented Portugal in the 1912 Olympics, had two marriages and three sons behind him and was a political exile from the Salazar regime in Portugal. Like many refugees, he volunteered for the war effort but at 50 he was too old for active service; he operated anti-aircraft batteries in London.
Pam and Armando married some time after 1944. At that time women lost their nationality on marriage, so she automatically became a Portuguese citizen. By 1959, however, the couple had separated – the final straw was a row over Pam’s beloved dog.
Pam returned to England and officially changed her name back to Radford. She died at Liss in Hampshire in 1973.