WHEN asked in recent years about his experiences in the Second World War, Charles Courtenay Lloyd’s response was: “I had a lucky war really.”

Mr Lloyd served as a Royal Naval officer and went on to capture Nazi war criminals. He later taught Russian to British spies in the Cold War and became an inspirational teacher of modern languages at Bradford Grammar School for nearly 20 years.

Now, aged 102, Mr Lloyd has died. On a day when we remember those who served in the two world wars, and other conflicts, we pay tribute to this remarkable man, who was one of the last surviving servicemen from the Second World War.

Mr Lloyd died on Monday at his home in Madrid. His daughter Masha Lloyd said: “It is very fitting that the Telegraph & Argus runs an obituary to my father as he was a T&A subscriber for more than 40 years and an exceptional man who did so much for Bradford pupils. He was, until Sunday, one of the few surviving WW2 veterans.”

Mr Lloyd was born on May 1, 1919 near Tamworth, Staffordshire. His father was a vicar and the family moved to parishes near Bristol. Mr Lloyd attended Clifton College Bristol school, along with his younger brother, Raymond, who died of polio in 1938. Their sister, Gloria, died with all her family in an air crash in Rijeka in 1971.

In 1938, Mr Lloyd went to Selwyn College, Cambridge, to read Modern Languages but his studies were interrupted by the war.

He signed up in 1940 as a seaman and was later made an officer. Lt. Courtenay Lloyd served on board HMS Wells and later HMS Mansfield, loaned to the exiled Norwegian Navy. As the British Liaison Officer on board, his job was to pass on messages and instructions from the British Admiralty to the Norwegian Navy and back, coding and decoding them. While on board he learned Norwegian. For his part in the Liberation of Norway, he was awarded the Liberty Medal from King Haakon VII for outstanding services. Nearly 80 years later, the King’s grandson, King Harald V, sent CC Lloyd a 100th birthday card.

Once Norway was liberated, the Navy posted him to Oslo where he worked for the British Admiralty as chief disarmament officer, also helping supervise the surrender of German forces and helping the country back on its feet. When, in 1946, the Allied Liberation Forces handed back the government to Norway, he was offered a post as intelligence officer with the Allied Control Commission in Germany. Stationed with the British occupied zone from 1946-1948, he was involved in dismantling the Nazi regime and catching war criminals.

In 1948, he returned to Cambridge and graduated with a degree in German and Scandinavian languages. In 1953 he gained an MA in Modern Languages, with a distinction in Norwegian. He was the oldest living graduate of Selwyn College.

He taught Russian with the Joint Services School of Languages, a major Cold War initiative known by the KGB as “spy school”. Other teachers included Winston Churchill’s interpreter to Stalin. About 5,000 National Servicemen attended the courses, learning Russian for Britain’s intelligence operations.

It was here that Mr Lloyd met Princess Elena Von Lieven, whose family fled Russia during the Russian Revolution. They married in 1953 and had two children, George and Masha (Maria). Elena had also worked for the Allied Control Commission after the war; she was involved in the repatriation of dispersed people and helped Russian soldiers to escape Stalin’s Soviet Union.

Mr Lloyd spoke fluent German, Russian, French, Norwegian and Spanish and could also speak Icelandic, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish and Danish. He taught French, German and Russian at Bradford Grammar School from 1964-1983. In her biography of her father, Masha writes that aged nearly 100 he was still reading in these languages: “As well as a formidable linguist he is remembered as an inspirational teacher. Many of his former pupils remember an extraordinary teacher who set them on their careers. David Whitlam, ex head boy, said he taught him Norwegian and prepped him for Swedish O-level, neither of which were on the school curriculum, and did so during the lunch hour. He called him “the greatest influence on my academic life”.

“John Asquith is grateful to his old teacher for lending him records of Russian operas and choral music, sparking a lifelong interest that led to a career as a choir conductor and opera coach.”

CC Lloyd retired in 1983. After his wife and son died he left Bradford to live in Madrid, in 2005, with Masha and her family.

For his 100th birthday, in 2019, he received a card from Master of Selwyn College, Roger Mosey, former Head of BBC News and a pupil of Mr Lloyd at Bradford Grammar.