Reach for the stoicism

March 15, 2012

While it is good to see Sir Douglas Bader get an honourable mention ("Holding on to hope", 8 March), you are wrong to state: "In 1931, for example, Sir Douglas...could describe a ghastly crash with the phlegmatic words: 'the leg, the Spitfire and I had all parted company'." Were this the case, Bader must have possessed a time machine, as the Supermarine Spitfire did not make its maiden flight until 1936.

Bader lost both legs in 1931 in a crash while flying a Bristol Bulldog biplane. The quote refers to Bader's escape by parachute from a badly damaged Spitfire over France in 1941, during which he lost one of his prosthetic legs. Bader's 1931 logbook entry, "Crashed slow-rolling near ground. Bad show," is perhaps a better indication of his indomitable and inspiring spirit.

John Rule, Deputy registrar - research, York St John University

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns