His Life

Growing up in a London village

I was born and christened Raymond John Goodman in Highgate, London, on 26 October 1916.  My mother Helena (known as Marion) Taylor Goodman was delivered of me in her father’s house in Chester Road, then took rooms in St John’s Wood where my brother David was born in March 1918, followed by Geoffrey in August 1919. My father, Joaquin (Joakey) Sedgewick Goodman had volunteered soon after the outbreak of World War I for the Middlesex Artists Rifles Regiment.  He survived four years of trench warfare without a scratch, apart from a touch of mustard gas, and stayed in the army for a year after the armistice. When he returned from France they rented a large Victorian house at number 7 Dartmouth Park Road.  Between the wars he made his living in commercial art, working for and later founding his own agency representing graphic artists and illustrators. 

In 1925, with the help of Grandpa Taylor, our parents bought one of the newly finished houses in Makepeace Avenue on Holly Lodge, a garden suburb created from part of the Burdett-Coutts estate. The house had four bedrooms.  As the eldest I was privileged to have a small front bedroom to myself; its main window looked over London and a window on the west side gave a limited view of Hampstead Heath.  David and Geoff shared one of the other bedrooms, which left a room for our parents and another occupied for some years by a lodger. 

As soon as I was old enough I went to a little private school maintained by some ladies up the street. Then I and the others attended state primary (or in US terms, public elementary) school on Burghley Road, about half a mile down York Rise and over the North London Railway tracks. After we moved to Holly Lodge that meant a walk over a mile each way.  Since we returned home for lunch, we must have walked a total of four or five miles every school day.  To relieve the tedium of the walk, we sometimes played marbles in the gutter on the way home.

When the family moved to Holly Lodge all three of us joined a troop of Wolf Cubs that had the use of an old stable in the grounds of the vicarage of St Anne’s Church, at the foot of West Hill.  It was the start of a long career in the Boy Scouts.  We went camping two or three times a year, learning to rough it in weather that memory tells was often cold and wet, and mastered the art of cooking over a log fire.  We learned other skills such as life-saving, and some less obviously useful, such as how to fend off a mad dog with a scout pole.


Choirboys are no saints

We all attended Sunday School at St Anne’s and a monthly social for young people where the girls did needlework and the boys something equally worthy, ending the afternoon with a country dance. I became a choirboy, which meant going to choir practice once or twice a week and attending services in cassock and surplice on Sundays.  For this one was paid a shilling or two a week, with an extra shilling for a choral wedding or funeral.

The organ at St Anne's was pumped by hand from a small cubby-hole behind the console from which one could not see what was going on. Geoff and I earned a few shillings now and then at that task. If one did not watch a 'float' which indicated when the organ was running out of air, it would groan and the music start to fade, then swoop up again as one remembered to pump. My lifetime reward for these duties was to be immersed at an impressionable age in the magnificent language of the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible. The music was also important, although the settings were usually by John Stainer, Hubert Parry and other composers who wrote for the Anglican service, rather than the great German and Italian masters who composed settings for the Catholic mass.

My career as a choirboy came to an early end. One Christmas when we were out carolling my voice suddenly dropped an octave while singing the page in Good King Wenceslas. I was only twelve and the choirmaster, wondering if my treble voice was simply strained, asked me embarrassing questions. But I had matured early and was advised not to sing until my voice had settled down. I became a server or acolyte at the church, which suggests I took religion seriously. But choirboys and acolytes do not have a reputation for saintliness. David recalls my sitting on a church gate with a couple of other boys smoking cigarettes when a tattle-tale lady came by and we stuffed them into our mouths until the smoke poured out of our nostrils; collapse of David in helpless laughter. In fact none of us liked cigarettes: I smoked a pipe from my teens, as did David, probably copying Father. 

When the time came for secondary school, first I and then Geoff went to University College School in Hampstead. David went to William Ellis School at the entrance to Parliament Hill Fields, having won a free place there which Mother insisted he take up. UCS was founded in 1832 on Gower Street as an adjunct of University College, one of the two principal colleges of London University established a few years earlier. Needing more space it moved in the teens of the 20th century to Frognal Lane, Hampstead. The only convenient way to reach the school was to bicycle across the Heath, which we enjoyed, at least in good weather. Former pupils are known as Old Gowers, but the only connection it retains with the College, as far as I know, is that prefects are - or were - invited once a year to meet the provost and make the acquaintance of Jeremy Bentham, the founder of Utilitarianism and the College, whose robed skeleton sits there in a glass case.

Although the College admitted women from the beginning, UCS was a boys' school, as was William Ellis. Neither school was in the top flight academically, but we all had a good sound education. UCS was strong on the side of the arts. In the nineteenth century it produced Frederic Leighton, President of the Royal Academy and the high priest of Victorian classicism; in this century [20th], Stephen Spender was a pupil. UCS had good music - the music master's name was, appropriately, Dr Chanter - and an annual stage show. When I arrived in 1928 they were doing Alcestes in the original Greek, but later we did some Shakespeare and in the sixth form we wrote and put on a revue.

There was an OTC [Officer Training Cadets] unit, which Father would not have let us join even if we had wanted to. We played the usual games, cricket in the summer and rugby football in the winter.  Geoff, being on the small side, was a nimble scrum half and I played forward, not being fast enough to be a back. There were also tennis and fives courts, for a game like squash in which one whacked the ball around the walls with a gloved hand instead of a racquet. David at William Ellis played soccer.

I began to sing again when my voice had settled down, and one of the masters suggested I try for a music scholarship at his old college: Corpus Christi, Cambridge. But whether my sight-reading was not up to snuff or whether, as I preferred to think, such scholarships were in effect reserved for the sons of clergymen, I was not successful. I would have liked Cambridge, but the life of a college chorister is a hard one and leaves little time for other pursuits. There was no music at the London School of Economics, but I took a weekly singing lesson at the Guildhall School of Music, a short bus ride along the river at Blackfriars.

Holidays from Heath to Continent

Family holidays were conventional: the seaside when we were young, and motoring tours when we were older. We once took a rowboat up the Thames to Oxford, camping along the way, and as usual got rather wet. At home we had the Heath to walk and play on. There were tennis courts and a bowling green, kite-flying, and the Highgate ponds for swimming and sailing model boats. Mother often swam in the women's pond in Kenwood. David swam before breakfast with his friend Jack, rain, shine or snow. A fellow called Tomlinson, who lived on Makepeace Avenue, was British high-diving champion and used the men's pond for training. Geoff says that he and his friend Victor were mascots of the Highgate Diving Club and used to jump off the ten-metre board until Father stopped them, concerned that it might damage their reproductive equipment.

We never went to the Continent as a family, but we collected enough money from birthday presents and the likes to travel there in our teens. The summer of 1934 I spent as an exchange student with a family in Tangermünde, a small medieval town on the Elbe. I arrived the day after Hitler liquidated the leadership of the SA (the Brown-shirts) which cast an eerie silence over the town. A day or two later I stood in the square with a crowd of townspeople listening to a broadcast by the Führer. Had I been a young German it would have been hard not to be fired up by his oratory, whatever the subject of his rantings, which I only partly understood. There were two children in the family, both younger than I. The boy was in the Hitlerjugend and the girl in the BDM, the girls' equivalent. I suppose they had no option. The father was a teacher and former Social Democrat, but the mother admired the Führer and was writing a book about race. She congratulated me on the purity of the English race, which struck me as odd when I considered our mixed origins. I also got to know some of the local youths, who were friendly enough. One of them presented me with a Wandervögel-Liederbuch, the songbook of an earlier, happier youth movement, which I still have. Later in my stay I spent a few days in Berlin, my first and only visit to the great city, which we and the Russians later destroyed.

The next summer, 1935, the young son of the family came to stay with us. As I was away much of that summer the others entertained him. David reports the following dialogue:

The boy, Harro, was very nice. He went on holiday with us to Fairlight Cove, near Hastings. I asked him once what he would do if confronted by me during war. "Shoot you, of course," he said, "It would be my duty." I replied, "I could never do that, duty or not." He merely shrugged.

Were thoughts about the next war between the two countries already in the air, or were they just remembering the last one?

I went back to Germany as a student a year later [1936] and wandered up the Rhine with Ian ('Bill') Williamson; an enjoyable experience somewhat spoiled by the troops of Hitler Youth who filled many of the hostels. My diary of that trip is entitled: Two Men on a Bummel, after the sequel that Jerome wrote to Three Men in a Boat. We, and particularly Bill, would get into arguments when we stopped for a beer or a bottle of the Heuriger (new wine), and as my German was better than his I was left to finish his sentences. The locals did not seem to mind the arguments, but we nearly got arrested once for making mock Hitler salutes. On one stretch we were given a lift by two men in one of the new Volkswagen who explained that they were supervisors of concentration camps and tried to persuade us that the inmates were well treated if they behaved.

I spent another, less political, summer in France with Marion Southwell, including a side trip to Corsica through which we walked in the heat of August. 

Economics (and politics) at the LSE

The nineteen thirties were dominated by the machinations of the Axis powers and by The Gathering Storm, in Churchill’s phrase, that presaged another world war.  It would be too much to say that these events clouded our youth, but they shaped our thinking about the world, set us against our own government, and to a degree distracted us from our studies. 

I took the first part of the economics degree at school and then spent 1936 to 1938 as a full-time student at the London School of Economics (LSE).  Professor Harold Laski, the best-known member of the faculty, propagated views outside the classroom that were well left of centre and infuriated the establishment both at the School and in the country at large. He also “moulded the minds of so many future leaders of the new majority” of Third World nations (to quote Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who also studied at the LSE).  Laski was my tutor.  Those of us who attended his seminars, or sat on the floor at his home in Fulham on Sundays listening to him talk, were especially privileged.

Having taken my final exams after two years, I had to spend a third year at the School before the degree could be awarded.  I started on a course leading to the Indian Civil Service, but was tempted by the offer of a fellowship to study social and economic policies in the Scandinavian countries, whose experiment in democratic socialism was of much interest at the time.  So I spent most of the year between Munich and the outbreak of war in Denmark and Norway, Sweden having already been rather well cultivated by others.

Had I joined the ICS I would have spent the war years in India and been out of a job in 1947 when India became independent. Instead, I met Sir Ernest Simon in Copenhagen collecting material for a book on the smaller democracies. When I returned to England he engaged me as an assistant to help write a book on marketing boards and similar government-industry institutions­­. But after­ one month the war broke out and the contract lapsed by mutual consent.

War Service part 1: at sea

September the third, 1939, was a beautiful late summer day.  We had gathered around the radio to listen to the fateful news, and when the Prime Minister, that same peace-maker of the furled umbrella, announced that Britain was a war with Germany, the air raid siren sounded and we trooped across the road to the house opposite. Being built on a slope the houses on that side had an open space under the ground floor big enough to stand in. Here we awaited the arrival of the Luftwaffe, discouraging each other from popping out to see if we could spot enemy aircraft in the blue sky. Nothing happened, and indeed virtually nothing hostile occurred for months in what came to be known as the "phoney war” until Hitler was ready to launch his Blitzkrieg against France.

By that time we three were in the armed services. Geoff joined the Army first and was sent to France, where he developed a fistula in his rear end. This fortunate occurrence caused him to be shipped back to Britain where he remained long enough to miss the Blitzkrieg and the evacuation of the British Army from Dunkirk. On his first leave after joining up Geoff decided to show off his new rifle as we were all chatting in the garden.  Slamming home the bolt, he pressed the trigger and Phtt! A bullet whizzed past my ear, went through the fence and shattered against the ceiling of a bedroom next door in which the neighbour’s baby son was sleeping.  Frantic apologies to the neighbours followed. The baby, Barry Carruthers, grew up to be a local doctor, and I survived to tell the tale.

David joined the RAF three days after the declaration of war and was trained as a radio mechanic. I opted for the Royal Navy, partly because I respected its traditions and partly to avoid the trench warfare that I expected on land. The Navy was slower than the other services to call up its needed manpower, so I spent the autumn of ’39 working on my notes of the Scandinavian experience.

Called up as an Ordinary Seaman in early 1940, I trained as a communications rating at a camp near Lowestoft, and then in the Liverpool docks which were heavily bombed, as was Belfast where I joined my ship. It was a fishing trawler masquerading as a warship, lightly armed and pressed into service as a convoy escort vessel. From Belfast and our later base in Londonderry we escorted convoys around the north of Scotland and then to mid-Atlantic, where at that time U-boats where not able to patrol. Homebound convoys were escorted through the Western Approaches.  I was a poor sailor and seasick much of the time. The rest of the crew were able fisherman, some of them barely literate, tolerant of me because I helped them write to their wives or sweethearts. My action station was on the bridge manning the searchlight, a rather exposed position as I discovered the one time we actually encountered a U-boat.

After a year at sea I was selected for officer training school in Brighton, which had been prepared (more or less) for a feared invasion after the fall of France.  On graduating as a sub-lieutenant I was lucky to be assigned to the cipher team in the battleship HMS Prince of Wales, carrying Prime Minister Winston Churchill to meet US President Franklin Roosevelt.  As the two leaders prepared to sign the Atlantic Charter, I helped encode and decode the PM’s exchanges with Clement Attlee, his deputy Prime Minister.

One evening after dinner Churchill joined us junior officers in our mess.  Mellowed by brandy and a cigar he answered our questions about the war. I asked how he felt being allied to the Soviets, considering his past attitude towards them. “My boy,” he said, “I wouldn’t care if they were a bunch of red hot devils from Hell, so long as they help us beat the Naah-zees.” When we anchored on a Sunday in Pensacola Bay, Roosevelt, supported by one of his sons and an aide, came aboard for a church service on the quarter deck.



War Service part 2: at Bletchley Park

I left the great ship when we returned to Britain. After a spell in the Admiralty, mainly on personnel work, I was ordered to Stockholm as Assistant Naval Attaché but had to go into hospital for minor surgery (I’d stepped on a nail while running on the Heath). So they sent me to Bletchley Park, the place where the enemy’s radio traffic was deciphered. From school and student travel I had tolerable German, so a job there must have seemed a good fit for me.

At Bletchley I joined the naval intelligence section which ran, naval fashion, in three round-the-clock watches.  I became head of a watch in Hut 4, promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, equivalent of a major in the arm. [Dad later told Sophia this was the highest one could go since the head of Bletchley, also a Navy man, was just a Commander.]  We worked with the cryptologists in the adjoining hut and the Admiralty in London in a battle of wits to read the enemy’s mind by cracking his Enigma codes directing the U-boat war against Allied shipping. My team comprised naval officers, WRNS (female sailors who did the tedious but essential work of sorting and collating the material spewed out by the deciphering machines) and several civilians. I remember that one of the latter was Angela Milne, niece of the author of Winnie the Pooh. Despite the military composition of some of its parts, Bletchley was essentially a collection of donnish, often eccentric, mathematicians, chess masters and literary types who did not conform to the usual rules of a large organization. That was the secret of its success.

We made our own amusements at Bletchley, with music, play-readings and an occasional stage show. I lived with the butcher in the village of Woburn where a number of musical Bletchley-ites were also billeted. We gave an occasional recital around the area. The mother of one young woman became my accompanist. Once a week we took the bus to Bedford for a lesson with Carrie Tubb, a former Wagnerian soprano of impressive proportions. Another young woman who owned a horse allowed me to share its use and grooming for some time, and I took an occasional ride in the Duke of Bedford’s park when off duty. For me, too, war had its compensations.

When Germany was overrun by the Allied armies I went to Flensburg, where Admiral Doenitz had taken over from Hitler, and attempted to pick up naval ciphers. A strange sensation to see the enemy face to face for the first time, and even talk to some of the German naval officers.


Research and policy studies, 1946-53

During my final months at BP I explored postwar career possibilities, and answered an ad for a senior job at Political and Economic Planning, a small but influential research institute founded in 1931 to address Britain’s industrial and social problems in the Depression.  PEP proposed to tackle Britain’s postwar problems in a similar way, namely by forming “working parties” of civil servants, businessmen and academics, assisted by professional staff, to prepare reports in book or broadsheet form on its chosen subject. I was appointed and headed the institute for several years.  

Still an influential think tank, PEP merged with the Centre for Studies in Social Policy in 1978 to become the Policy Studies Institute, now based at the University of Westminster.

From 1950-56, Ray also had a senior voluntary role as Chairman of a London Hospital Management Committee for the newly founded UK National Health Service.

Marriage and enterprise, 1953-56

After the war Geoff and I shared a flat for a while in South Kensington, and then for a while I had rooms in my Aunt Dorothy’s house in Hornsey Lane (she was eldest of the five Taylor sisters, two years older than my mother). When Mother sold the house in Holly Lodge, she and I bought a house in Cromarty Road, off Hornsey Lane.

In 1952, after a trip to the United States, I met Dorothy Bruchholz, an American Fulbright scholar working on her doctoral thesis at the School of East European and Slavonic Studies.  She and her friend Ning Hitchcock had rented one of a half dozen bungalows behind the Lady Workers' flats overlooking Swain's Lane.

We married on 4 December 1953 at the Camden Town Hall, with Mother, Geoff, and Dorothy’s youngest sister Betsy in attendance. Ning joined us for a 'wedding breakfast' at the Ivy in Covent Garden. We lived together in Swain"s Lane after Ning moved on, then took a house in Canonbury, Islington. 

Dorry was determined to install central heating and a steam iron in our new home, and she wanted advice on what to buy.  “Where is Consumer Reports?” she asked me. Dismayed to learn that there was no UK equivalent, she had the idea of creating a testing organization on the model of Consumers Union in the United States. Michael Young, my immediate predecessor at PEP, had proposed a Consumer Advisory Service for consideration in the Labour Party’s 1950 manifesto, only to have it rejected as a "hopeless idea" by Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Undaunted, Dorry called a meeting with Michael and other friends at our Canonbury home on 15 January 1956 (which happened to be her 30th birthday). We formed a working group with me as chairman, researching central heating, prams, razor blades and scouring powders for the dummy issue of a consumer advice magazine.  And so Consumers Association of the UK was born, publishers of Which?   

Meanwhile, I felt it was time to move on from PEP. One member of my governing council was Vice Chairman of Marks and Spencer.  He invited me to join his company’s management team. I was soon captured by the Chairman, Sir Simon Marks as he then was, who seemed to regard me as a bright young intellectual who could interpret his business ideas and ideals for the company and a wider audience. It was a fascinating experience and it remains a remarkable company, but selling underwear and ladies’ dresses didn’t quite meet my ambition to make the world a better place.

World Bank career, 1956-82 and beyond

Seeking a wider horizon than Britain and wanting to do something for countries less fortunate, I was encouraged to apply to the World Bank by Dorry's friend Cerdin Griffiths at the UK Treasury.  I was offered a post in the Asia department, and we moved to Washington in late August 1956.  That region remained my focus during most of my time with the Bank, first South Asia and then East Asia when the department split in 1964 and I became director of the latter.  

Three countries to whose development I like to think I made a contribution are India, Israel and South Korea. In the early years I organized the first international aid group that came to be known as the India Consortium (I later did a similar service for Pakistan). In Israel - not an Asian country but served by the Asia Department since it was the only non-Muslim country in its region - I took the first Bank mission in 1958 to consider whether its economy was potentially viable and a candidate for Bank lending; I recommended that it was. In South Korea I advised President Park Chung Hee who invited me to attend his cabinet meetings when in Seoul. He was later assassinated, but not before he had sent his poor, subsistence economy on the road to becoming the prosperous, advanced country that it now is.

Ray continued serving as a consultant to the Bank for many years, listing the following positions and assignments in a résumé dated August 1993:

World Bank Career, 1956-82

From 1957 - Division Chief responsible for Bank operations in India, later Pakistan, and various countries of the Middle East.

From 1962 - Deputy, later Acting, Director of Administration and Personnel.

From 1964 - Director, East Asia and Pacific Department. Chariman of international aid groups ('Consultative Groups') for Korea, Sri Lanka, The Philippines and Thailand.

From 1972 - Director, Financial Policy.

From 1975 - Senior Assistant to the Senior Vice President, Operations.

Consulting assignments since retiring from the World Bank in 1982

1984 a) Resident Representative pro tem. of the Bank in Ghana;  b) member of a team to prepare a confidential report for the Government of Nigeria on its public investment program, recommending a 'triage' of major projects. 

1985  Leader of a team, commissioned by the Governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea, to review the prospects and aid needs of the PNG economy. 

1986  Chief of mission, organized by the Bank for the Government of the Netherlands, to report on the economic situation and prospects of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. 

1988/9 Chief of mission to advise the Bank on the functions, responsibilities and organization of its resident staff in Indonesia. 

1989  Leader of an independent team to advise the Government of Australia and the Australian National University on the external relationships, financing and internal organization of the University's National Centre for Development Studies, Canberra. 

During and since the 1980s, various short-term assignments by the World Bank to advise on internal questions concerning staff relations, staff health, and Bank lending to selected countries. 

Extra Curricular

Formerly chairman of a hospital management committee under the UK National Health

Formerly president, Group Health Association of Washington, DC

Currently president, American Friends of the London School of Economics 

The growing family

Dorothy and I sailed for America in August 1956 with our first child in utero and have lived in Washington ever since. After Jeremy was born in December 1956 we had three more children: Harriet, Matthew and Sophia. Between them, with their spouses Maureen, Andrew, Patty and Matt, they have presented us with nine grandchildren. The cousins in birth order are: Alexander, Elizabeth, Lucy, Diana, Maggie, Misha, Miranda, Will and Helen.

Dorothy has devoted her energies to education, founding and for many years running the Washington International School. She is an authority on international education and is leading a drive to improve the standard of education in Washington.

Final stanza from 'Sexagesimal', Ray's poem for their 60th wedding anniversary:

The marriage's four offspring, now in mid career:
Astrophysics, education, economics and the law,

And its nine grandchildren so far this year.
So the Bruchholz-Goodman clan still grows.
Is there a limit to its fecundity? Who knows?