Major Richard ("Dick" or "Ruby") Rubinstein MC TD MiD Croix de Guerre, SOE Jedburgh in France and Burma
Submitted by SWW2LN supporter and AJEX Archivist Martin Sugarman. Martin writes:
'I met Dick by accident when a colleague member of AJEX attended an Air Show at Duxford in 2002 and Dick was there signing prints, probably of RAF Special Duties Squadrons/Jedburgh subjects. My colleague got me Dick’s contacts and I telephoned him and he invited me to interview him on audio tape at his home in Hendon.'
Most of the chapter about him in my book, (‘Fighting Back’ 2017, Valentine Mitchell), came from the verbatim, long interview, as did many photos he gave me to copy, now in his file at our Jewish Military Museum Archive in Camden. But, he also had an archive he had donated at the IWM which I had free access to, and he wrote a note to allow me to see his original SOE file at the TNA. So, it was just about everything I could possibly wish to have that had ever been written about him!
He then read and fully approved the article before it was printed. He was the most modest of men and quietly spoken, his wife, Gay, having sat with us at the interview and occasionally prompting him to recall certain stories he had missed out. He was totally proud of his Jewish heritage and never changed his name, but, was not practising in any way. My pride in being able to speak to a living Jewish SOE hero was enormous. I missed several, and of course so many had died in Service. Only my interview with Vera Atkins (Rosenberg) – which she firmly forbade me to tape at her home in Pevensey – was comparable, but she never let on about her Orthodox Jewish roots and I never knew till after she died (I visited her grave in Cornwall at Zenor, but her family forbade me to place a Jewish Star of David British Legion peg by her grave in the churchyard (as per the lady vicar’s instruction).
One footnote on Dick not in the article – after he died some years later, I received an e mail from his sons. They told me they had discovered the article by me in the Military History Society Journal among his papers ; Dick had never shown it to them and they said he NEVER told them about his war and the story had been a total and astonishing revelation to them. Such was his modesty.
Credits: Martin Sugarman.
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