LEDBURY couple John and Barbara Hooper will have pride of place at a book launch in Malvern College, where the work of war-time boffins will be celebrated.

Mr and Mrs Hooper, of Biddulph Way, both worked during the Second War World at the Telecommunication's Research Establishment (TRE) in Malvern, where John played a pioneer role, while still in his teens, in the development of ground-following radar.

Mrs Hooper used to trace the new design's of boffins onto linen, so that they could be printed off.

Mr Hooper, aged 92, modestly stresses how he and Barbara, also 92, were on the "lower rungs" at the establishment.

But both are acknowledged in a new book - SAS Shadow Raiders, by Damien Lewis, which will be officially launched at Malvern College on November 13, with Mrs and Mrs Hooper given front row seats.

The TRE was based at the college during the war, and Mr Hooper recalls being in touching distance of King George VI, when the monarch paid a visit.

Concerning work specifically carried out for the SAS, Mr Hooper said he was often not told about the purpose of his work.

He said: "It was a closed book in those days."

But he does remember the pot of glue and iron filings he used to create a miniature landscape, to test the bounce of radar waves off a landscape.

And this research became the basis of ground-following radar.

He said: "It was such a pain, glueing the iron filings on a landmass, and I was moaning, as I usually do! But in fact we both enjoyed our work, very much.

"A lot of the boffins came from university, and they were brilliant people and very nice, and also helpful people.

"They took their time to explain things to you."

Barbara said: "It was a very nice place to work."

Mr Hooper, who went to the TRE straight from Ledbury Grammar School, recalls working there until 1949, and into the Cold War years.

One project, like something straight out of 'James Bond', was putting a radio in a Russian doll.

"Some of the boffins were weird!" he said.

This time of year, as Remembrance Sunday approaches, Mrs and Mrs Hooper's thoughts turn back to the war years and the times which are still so vivid in their memories.

Mr Hooper said: "I've bought my poppy."

The memories are likely to endure.

The Malvern Radar and Technology History Society has an archive in several rooms at QinetiQ, and the hope is that this archive will eventually form the basis of a new museum in Malvern.