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Francis Duncan

Francis Duncan is the pseudonym for William Walter Frank Underhill, who was born in 1914. He lived virtually all his life in Bristol and was a 'scholarship boy' boarder at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital school. Due to family circumstances he was unable to go to university and started work in the Housing Department of Bristol City Council. Writing was always important to him and very early on he published articles in newspapers and magazines. His first detective story was published in 1936. In 1938 he married Sylvia Henly. Although a conscientious objector, he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in World War II, landing in France shortly after D-Day. After the war he trained as a teacher and spent the rest of his life in education, first as a primary school teacher and then as a lecturer in a college of further education. In the 1950s he studied for an external economics degree from London University. No mean feat with a family to support; his daughter, Kathryn, was born in 1943 and his son, Derek, in 1949. Throughout much of this time he continued to write detective fiction from 'sheer inner necessity', but also to supplement a modest income. He enjoyed foreign travel, particularly to France, and took up golf on retirement. He died of a heart attack shortly after celebrating his fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1988. List of published short stories:* Enter Trigger Gallante [Trigger Gallante], (na) Detective Weekly Oct 23 1937* Getting On in the World: Back-Yard Floriculturists, (ar) The Saturday Evening Post Apr 5 1930* The Girl with the Million Pound Secret [Trigger Gallante], (na) Detective Weekly Jan 15 1938* The House of the Lost Men, (na) Detective Weekly Jan 9 1937* Househunting for Luck, (ss) Gloucester Journal Feb 8 1936* The Man Who Shrugged [Trigger Gallante], (ss) Detective Weekly Feb 19 1938* The Mystery of the House Nobody Owned [Trigger Gallante], (ss) Detective Weekly Jan 29 1938* The Riddle of the Cheshire Cheese [Trigger Gallante], (ss) Detective Weekly Feb 26 1938* The Secret of the Tramp Ship [Trigger Gallante], (ss) Detective Weekly Feb 12 1938

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