Jasper Maskelyne reported for duty at the newly created Camouflage Development and Training Centre (CDTC) based in Farnham Castle. His service record gives October 14th 1940 as the arrival date.
According to Hartcup, author of Camouflage (1979), three hundred people applied for only thirty places, so the selection process was competitive.
The following passages are suspiciously similar:
Fisher: “Besides the magician Maskelyne, the group included Victor Siebel, a well-known couturier, painters Blair Hughes-Stanton, Edward Seago, Frederick Gore and Julian Trevelyan, designers Steven Sykes, James Gardner and Ashley Havindon, sculptor John Codner, Oxford don Francis Knox, at forty-two the oldest recruit and an animal-camouflage expert, circus manager Donald Kingsley, zoologist Hugh Cott, art expert Fred Mayor, who decorated his room at the Castle with Rouaults and Matisses from his London gallery, and Jack Keeler, a West End set designer. Among their other classmates were a restorer of religious art, an electrician, two stained-glass artisans, a magazine editor, a Punch cartoonist and a Surrealist poet.”
Hartcup: “The artists ranged from the avant-garde to the traditional and included the painters Blair Hughes-Stanton, Edward Seago, Frederick Gore and Julian Trevelyan, who since his experience in civil camouflage had been approved for a commission by Buckley, and the designers Steven Sykes and Ashley Havinden. Others connected with the arts were Gabriel White, later a pillar of the Arts Council and Fred Mayor, who decorated the rooms with Rouaults and Matisses and other modern masters from his London gallery.”
Significantly, Hartcup includes the name Jasper Maskelyne: “There was the conjurer Jasper Maskelyne who, on account of recent events, had just had an unsatisfactory season at the seaside resorts he usually frequented.” He then makes reference to Hugh Cott, an expert in animal camouflage, and Roland Penrose, the surrealist painter.
Fisher probably lifted his Farnham list from Hartcup, and then creatively inserted the name ‘Frank Knox’.
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