Bardens, Dennis (Conrad) 1911-2004
BARDENS, Dennis (Conrad) 1911-2004
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born July 19, 1911, in Midhurst, Sussex, England; died February 7, 2004, in London, England. Journalist, broadcaster, and author. Bardens, who began his career as a newspaper journalist and editor for the BBC, was a prolific author of nonfiction books ranging from biography to investigations into the paranormal, one of his favorite subjects. Coming from a home that was absent parental supervision—his actress mother left the family, and his father, a major in the army, was usually away on military assignments—he did not finish grammar school. Instead, he traveled to London in the hope of becoming a poet. But he wound up becoming a journalist, joining the staff at the Sunday Chronicle in 1930. Jobs with other newspapers, including the Sunday Express, Sunday Referee, and Daily Mirror, followed during the 1930s. With the onset of war, Bardens joined the Royal Artillery and later became press officer for the Ministry of Information, building a reputation as a reporter on the Blitz. He also worked with Czechoslovakia's government in exile and was involved in the secret service in eastern Europe. After the war, Bardens was hired by the British Broadcasting Corp., editing weekly radio documentaries for Focus and becoming the founding editor for the current affairs program Panorama in the early 1950s. This was followed, in the late 1950s, with positions in the information research department of the British Foreign Office and with a three-year stint in the British War Office. During his time with the BBC, Bardens wrote several radio plays; he also authored over a hundred documentaries for independent television producers. Bardens, who began publishing books by the mid-1940s, started as an author with such works as Training for Democracy (1945), and Crime Doesn't Pay: A Galaxy of Notable Rascals (1948). In the 1950s and 1960s, he penned several biographies, such as Elizabeth Fry (1961) and Princess Margaret (1964). His involvement with the Ghost Club Society and his interest in the paranormal led to the books Ghosts and Hauntings (1965), Mysterious Worlds: A Personal Investigation of the Weird, the Uncanny, and the Unexplained (1970), and Psychic Animals: A Fascinating Investigation of Paranormal Behavior (1987).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Independent (London, England), February 18, 2004, p. 34.
Times (London, England), March 10, 2004, p. 37.