The expression 'j'avais dû' means I had had to do something but rather the contraction of the first 'had' in English ---> I'd had to ...
In French, we use the verb 'devoir' in the pluperfect for 'to have had to do something.
To use other forms:
Nous avions dû partir à 4h du matin = We'd had to leave at 4 am
Elle avait dû quitter son travail à 15h = She'd had to leave her work at 3 pm
Ils avaient dû quitter la France en vitesse = They'd had to leave France in a hurry
Hope it helps!
I'm not getting the "I'd had ... " as "I had had ... "
The English contraction of "I'd" is usually for "I would" not for "I had had ..."
As in "I'd go if I could" --- "I would go if I could" not "I had go if I could"
Does that make sense to English speakers out there?
Having double-checked the contraction of I'd can be either I had or I would -
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