Captain Michael Alfred Raymond TROTOBAS

Michael Alfred Raymond Trotobas was born on 20 May 1914, the son of a French father, Henri, and Agnes (née Whelan) from Ireland.  The two had met in Brighton where Henri Trotobas was a chef in the hotel industry.  When the First World War broke out months later, Henri had returned to France to serve in the French Army, but had been captured the following year and spent three years as a prisoner of war.  When he returned to Brighton to his wife and son, he resumed his work as a hotel chef, but his ill-treatment at the hands of his German captors later made a lasting impression on Michael.

The family home where Michael had been born was a small terraced house at 1 North Place in Brighton, originally built as married quarters for army personnel stationed at the local barracks, the rear windows of the house looking out onto what is still known as Barrack Yard. His childhood was one marked by physical endeavour, swimming in the sea and becoming a useful boxer, but when he was still only 9 years old tragedy struck with the death from TB of his mother, aged only 30, in 1923.  For father Henri, the demand of a job with long and unsocial hours meant he could not cope with raising his son on his own.  Neither could he afford help, so he was obliged to send Michael to live with his sister, Marie-Louise, back in the Var departément of France from where Henri originated.........[Remainder of case study is complete - contact author for further details].

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