British civilian worked as Consular Official with Foreign Office in Tokyo, Japan, 1951-1953 and Moscow, Russia, 1953-1954
REEL 1: Aspects of period in GB, 1923-1945: family background and education in Berkshire; description of work with Women's Land Army in Suffolk and Middlesex during war; story of being directed into Foreign Office work with German and Russian signals at Northolt; reads out poem written during war; description of secretarial course; story of obtaining post with Foreign Office German Department despite communist sympathies; attitude to working in Foreign Office; story of taking up post in Japan and family's links with Far East.
REEL 2 Continues: description of voyage to Japan via Hong Kong aboard SS Canton; disembarked Kobe; description of train journey to Tokyo with American GI's. Aspects of period with Foreign Office in Tokyo, Japan, 1951-1953: description of base in Marunouchi Hotel and contacts with Commonwealth personnel; first impressions of Tokyo; description of Japanese language course; relations with Japanese people; description of British Embassy; friendship with New Zealanders; story of visit to Hiroshima; story of visiting wounded soldiers from Korean War in hospital; reads out poem about wounded soldiers by John Mackie; description of consular work dealing with visas for British subjects in Tokyo; story of setting up Osaka Consular Office, 1953; effect of Korean War on work and life in Tokyo; reaction to recalling of General MacArthur, 1951; comparison of physical condition of British and US troops.
REEL 3 Continues: attitude of Japanese people to General MacArthur; opinion of Chinese during Korean War; importance of 1952 Peace Treaty and effect on Anglo-Japanese relations; further comments on British Embassy and role of Ambassador Dening; attitude of Japanese people to Emperor Hirohito; use of bowing as means of greeting; story about reading diary written by Japanese soldier; reaction to casualties in Gloucestershire Regt during Korean War; opinion of living conditions in Tokyo; description of visits to various places in Japan; story about death of King George V1, 1952; description of voyage back to GB aboard the USS Tucson; attitude of Allies in Japan to victory in Korean War.
REEL 4 Continues: Aspects of period with Foreign Office in Moscow, Russia, 1953-1954: story of posting to Moscow, 7/1953; description of flight to Moscow via Helsinki; description of accommodation in house near British Embassy; first impressions of Moscow and Russian people; various memories of British spy John Vassall; reaction to defection of Burgess and Maclean while at British Embassy in Tokyo; problem of travel restriction in Soviet Union; story of becoming unwittingly involved in spying operation during visit to Kiev; reaction to leaving Moscow, 1954; attitude to Soviet political situation and leadership changes; story of engagement and marriage to diplomat Richard Freeborn.
REEL 5 Continues: Various recollections of experiences in Eastern Europe during the Cold War period: reaction to fall of Berlin Wall; description of post-Soviet visits to Russia with husband; further description of life in Moscow, 1953-1954.