The central figure of Hero on Three Continents is Sir Henry Brown, born 1901, into a prominent Anglo-Jewish family. Henry's two elder brothers were killed in action on the Western Front during World War I, an experience that had an immeasurable impact on young Henry.
After Leaving Elton in 1919, Henry, too young for miitary service in the Great War, took a first-class honors degree in oriental languages at Oxford Univserty. He then pursued a military carer at Sandhurst, and afterwards served on the staff of Lord Reading, Viceroy in India. While in India in 1926, he married Henrietta, the younger daughter of the 11th Duke of Shropshire.
After service in India, Henry was posted to Kenya and was awarded the Military Cross for a heoroic defusement of explosives in the African Hillside. He served in the War office as an instructor at England's famed militar academy, Sandhust until he was posted to Berlin in 1935 as a militar attache, under the covert director of Winston Churchhill, Chaim Weizmann, and the Marquees of Reading.
This was a difficult assignment -- to say the least, for a Jew during Hitler's rise in Geermany. He witnessed the contagious anti-Semetism after the implementation of the Nuremburg Laws. His wife threw herself enthusiastically into the upper echelons of the Nazi hierarchy, greatly influenced by the force of its propaganda and ideology. In her efforts to foster a better understanding between Nazi Germany and England, and encouraged by her German friends and British sympathizers, such as Sir Oswald and Lady Mosley and Unity Mitford, she distanced herself from her husband. This culminated with her affair with a senior member of the German Foreign Office. Henry Brown and his wife seperated, she remained in Germany with their two children. Brown, at his own request, was transferred to the British Embassy in Paris.
Upon the outbreak of the Second World War, Henry re-joined his regiment and saw active service in North Africa.