John Gregers Rosenstand Elbo was born on 7 May 1922 in Finsbury, Greater London. He is the son of Max J M and Karen R Elbo (née Rosenstand). His parents were Danish. He was educated at Mill Hill School, but the war interfered with his further education.
He volunteers for the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and is chiefly engaged in intelligence work using his linguistic abilities. In December 1942, he is included in a list of Danish ground crew in the Royal Air Force. He is then at Air Ministry Wireless Telegraphy, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, as Leading Aircraftman (1213104). He is later promoted to Sergeant. He is demobilized in 1946.
In December 1946 he was appointed Assistant in Scandinavian Studies at the Scott Polar Research Institute. He became an undergraduate at Trinity Hall in 1947 in modern languages. He took his degree in 1950.
He continued to work part time for the Polar Institute, and specialized in study of northern Scandinavia, Svalbard and Greenland.
He dies at the age of 31 in 1954 following a long illnes.
- Archive of Danish Council, Danish National Archives, Ancker, 2001, T.E.A, 1955, England & Wales, Marriage Index: 1916-2005