Obituary: Charles Courtenay Lloyd, educator

Charles Courtenay Lloyd, who has died at 102, was a wartime Navy veteran who contributed to the liberation of Norway and became an intelligence officer with the Allied Control Commission in Germany, before going on to educate spies during the Cold War.
Charles Courtenay LloydCharles Courtenay Lloyd
Charles Courtenay Lloyd

An English gentleman who married a Russian princess, he was also an inspirational Master of Modern Languages at Bradford Grammar School for nearly 20 years.

For his wartime work, he was awarded the Haakon Medal for outstanding services to the Norwegian liberation, yet he was nowhere more at home than wandering the hills of his beloved Ilkley Moor during his time in Yorkshire.

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Born on May Day 1919 at Amington, near Tamworth, he was the son of a vicar and accomplished pianist, Canon John Collins Lloyd, and his wife, Dorothy (nee Scull). His father moved with his family to serve several parishes in the West Country, the last of which was St Mary’s at Henbury, near Bristol, where a vicarage was built for them. They lived there for from 1928 until 1957 when Rev Lloyd, who was also the honorary Canon of Bristol Cathedral, retired.

His son was a day boy at the local Clifton College and in 1938 went on to read modern languages at Selwyn College, Cambridge. But the war interrupted his studies.

He signed up as a seaman in 1940, and was made a British Liaison Officer of the Royal Navy on board the HMS Mansfield, on loan to the exiled Norwegian Navy. His job was to pass messages and instructions from the British Admiralty to the Norwegians and he later took part in a raid on a German-occupied fish oil factory near Hammerfest.

He then helped supervise the surrender of the enemy forces in Norway before working as a post-war intelligence officer in Germany between 1946 and 1948.

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Fluent in German, Russian, French, Norwegian and Spanish, and acquainted with Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish and Danish, he returned to his university and in 1953 gained an MA in modern languages with a distinction in Norwegian.

It was after this that he joined the Joint Services School of Linguists, which taught languages to thousands of National Service conscripts to meet the needs of Britain’s intelligence operations. The KGB called it “the spy school” – it was known that Guy Burgess attempted to pass on information about it to his Soviet paymasters – and it was where Mr Lloyd met his future wife, Elena Von Lieven, a princess whose family had fled the Russian Revolution.

Mr Lloyd took up his post at Bradford Grammar in 1964, and remained in the city until he moved to Spain in 2005 to be closer to his daughter, following the death of his wife six years earlier, and their son, George, in 2001.

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