Interview with Hilary Crozier

Title

Interview with Hilary Crozier

Description

Hilary’s uncle, William Frederick Burkitt (known as John), was born in North London. He joined up in October 1943 and after training as a flight engineer, was sent to RAF Bardney. During their first operation they were badly hit and the rear gunner was killed and another badly injured. On another operation the crew had to jettison the bombs, apart from one crate of incendiaries. Their aircraft, LM 430 was hit, and the incendiaries and fuel tank exploded: John and all the crew, except one, were killed on 22 March 1944 crashing into a house in Belgium.
Marcel Dubois was a child in Belgium at the time and because some wreckage of the aircraft landed in various gardens in his village he became fascinated with the crew and extensively researched them and the details of their last flight. The station commander had also been on the flight.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

2018-02-16

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

00:34:31 audio recording

Language

Type

Identifier

ACrozierH180216

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

RP: This interview is being conducted on behalf of the International Bomber Command Centre. The interviewer is Rob Pickles. The interviewee is Hilary Crozier. The interview is taking place at Mrs Crozier’s home in Cornwall on the 16th of February 2018. Also present is Trevor Crozier. Good afternoon, Hilary and thank you for inviting me to your home. We’re here to discuss your uncle, William Frederick Burkett. Perhaps you could start by telling us when and where he was born, some of his background and when he joined the RAF.
HC: Ok. Yes. Well, he was christened William Frederick but everybody in the family called him John. He called himself John so I will refer to him as John during the course of the interview if that’s ok.
RP: Yes. That’s fine.
HC: Right. He was, he was born in North London. He was the third child with two older sisters. Desperately need, wanted a son. My two grandparents desperately wanted a son and he came along quite quickly after the second daughter was born. My grandfather was a master carpenter and he’d been in the, sorry [pause] he’d been in the Royal Flying Corps during the war and not flying but I think he was there doing maintenance. But he was caught in a mustard attack, a mustard gas attack and he was never fully healthy after that and I think it was a bit of a problem within the family afterwards. But anyway, when the war broke out John was seventeen coming up eighteen. Engineer, mechanic or whatever by trade. I think he was in a Reserved Occupation but I don’t know what he was doing exactly. So he didn’t actually have to sign up and volunteer. My mother recalled some disagreements between him and his father because John was desperate to, to join up and sort of join the effort. Join the RAF. And his father was very very set against it and, you know they had quite a few debates I gather about this. But his, eventually his father said to him, ‘You will not join. You will not join up. Over my dead body will you join up.’ And sadly in March 1943 at the age of forty nine he died. My grandfather. And —
RP: Was that as a result of bombing or natural?
HC: No. No. He was ill. I mean, he never really fully recovered. He had a heart attack. He never, never really fully recovered from the mustard gas —
RP: Oh right.
HC: Attack. And so he just, he just sadly had a heart attack and died. That was in March 1943 and by October ’43 John was at Bardney. You know. Sort of preparing to fight the war. So sadly it was over his dead body really. John himself was a lovely chap actually from what I gather. He was very well, very popular, very well loved by everybody. My mother and her sister Irene, Rene we used to call her, they were very fond of him and it was a terrible terrible loss when he eventually died. To the whole family. But he loved tinkering around with mechanics, engineering, doing that sort of thing. He had the motorbike which he spent hours working on and just generally he was a happy, cheerful, nice man as I gather. So his, yeah their upbringing was quite comfortable really I think initially. My grandfather being a master carpenter he used to build pianos and somebody else did the work. He was in partnership. But then in the ‘20s the Depression came along and things got hard and he turned his carpentry skills to making coffins and he became an undertaker. Did both really. And my mother used to recall the children coming home from school in, in you know after school and they’d be sitting on half-finished coffins eating their tea in the kitchen.
RP: In the coff [laughs]
HC: It was. Yeah. So I mean they didn’t think anything of it really.
RP: No. No.
HC: I don’t think.
RP: Yeah.
HC: But it was just the life. The life that they knew.
RP: Yeah.
HC: But anyway I think he was a respected man, their father, in the community and he was quite popular as well. But sadly as I say his health never recovered from the war, the First World War and he died very young. And so that was, that was them really.
RP: So, when John had joined then do you know his sort of his history at Bardney? The numbers of sorties and —
HC: Well, I’m not entirely sure. He joined up in, he actually arrived at Bardney on the 11th of October in 1943 and his final mission was on the 22nd of March 1944.
RP: So when he arrived at Bardney he’d obviously been through training.
HC: Yes. Yes.
RP: So he must have joined quite, almost —
HC: Yes. Almost immediately after my grandfather died I imagine.
RP: Yes.
HC: He joined because yeah, they had the, they had their initial training, didn’t they?
RP: Yes.
HC: And then went on to another training —
RP: Yes. They trained.
HC: Centre.
RP: They trained as an airman.
HC: Yes.
RP: Then trained for the particular skill you have. Yeah.
HC: That’s right. And so he went to his, the second part of the training and that was when they selected, where the crews were selected.
RP: Yes. They have —
HC: Self-selected as I always think.
RP: That’s right. It is If you sort of liked —
HC: Yeah.
RP: The look of the guy who was a navigator you spoke to him and —
HC: Yes. Yes.
RP: If you gelled I think that that’s how they went about it.
HC: That’s right. And my understanding is is that Flying Officer Manning and Flying Officer Hearn, John and another sergeant called Peter Warywoda. Warywoda. He, the four of them formed the core of the crew. Other people came and went but those four were the initial sort of heart of the crew if you like. There was others joined them a little bit later. John Zammit who was possibly from America. We’re not entirely certain about that.
RP: I have heard it. Yes. He’s referred to as from the USA but —
HC: Yes. Yes.
RP: Someone might be guessing of course.
HC: Yes. I mean, I mean the only thing I’m saying is, or the thing that makes us wonder a little is Marcel who was, Marcel Dubois, the plane eventually fell in their in their little village really and he has been doing a lot of investigation to, in to the last flight of the LM4.
RP: So, Zammit is a Maltese name.
HC: Yes.
RP: Zammit is a Maltese name, isn’t it?
HC: Yes. That’s what Marcel was saying was that he’s gone to, he’s contacted many people in Malta. Many people in New York.
RP: Yeah.
HC: Where there are quite a lot of Zammits as well.
RP: Yes. Yeah. Because they would have emigrated of course.
HC: But he never had any response. He never had any reply so he doesn’t really know who, you know sort of where he came from.
RP: Has he tried the War Museums in Malta? Because they —
HC: I think he’s tried everywhere.
RP: Tried them all. Yeah.
HC: He’s been very extensive.
RP: Yeah.
HC: The interesting thing is that after they, after they died they were all buried in the, together in the cemetery in Brussels, Evere, and subsequently Zammit, John Zammit was actually, actually exhumed from that position and moved to the American War Cemetery. But after a while, I mean I don’t know why they did it but after a while he was re-removed from the American Cemetery and put back.
RP: Dear oh dear.
HC: In to Brussels. But unfortunately there’s now a complete crew between him and his crew. So, so they didn’t put, you know he wasn’t put back where he came from.
RP: I wonder if that was because they proved he wasn’t an American.
HC: It may be that they thought he wasn’t an American.
RP: Yeah.
HC: So, we don’t really know really.
RP: Ok. But tell me a little about your friend Marcel then. He seems to have been instrumental in finding out the information of John.
HC: Yes. Yes. It, I mean we didn’t know much more. We had a photograph in one of the bomber squadron books which had a picture of the crew including John out, behind the famous Johnny Walker Lancaster. We didn’t really know any more, too much more about what had happened. And then completely out of the blue in the mid-90s, around about ’94 ’95 I think it was we received a letter from the council, the North London Council where my, John’s family home had, well had been. And it was about, Marcel was trying to find people who were relatives of the crew of LM 430 which was the last mission for John and his crew. And the council were very good because by that time my mother had died, my aunt had died and the house had been sold. So somebody from the council went to the location and then they knocked on a few doors and fortunately they found a friend of my aunt who was still alive and still living there just a couple of doors down. And she happened to have our details and so they were able, the council were able to get us in contact with Marcel Dubois. Now, Marcel was thirteen years old as I understand it when, I may not have that exactly right but I think he was about thirteen when the plane came down in his small village in Belgium. And some of it fell in, it was broke into two big parts and a number of other parts and of course it fell into various gardens and some of it was in his aunt’s garden and some of it was, I think in his. I’m not entirely sure about that. But he just then became fascinated by the crew and what happened to them and their last mission. And in the ‘90s he very painstakingly tried to build up a view, or a picture of what happened, the last crew. Where they went. The last, sorry the last mission. Where they went and how the flight sort of came to its end really. And he was very successful.
RP: So I assume they, they’d bombed Frankfurt. They were on the return leg. Yeah?
HC: Yes.
RP: Yeah.
HC: Yes. Yeah. That’s right. They had. They left at, he had all the timings. I mean he was, and he’d actually worked out a little plan about their exact route and everything so we’ve got maps and things for that. So he did an awful lot of work. They, they left Bardney at ten past nine in the evening. Sorry. Sorry. Ten past seven, 19.10 in the evening and flew as though they were making for Hanover rather than Frankfurt and then, because I think they were trying to put the Germans off a little bit as to their route. And then they then diverted to Frankfurt as they got a bit closer but of course the Germans apparently already knew where they were going. By ten to ten they knew that. But they, they John’s plane was a little bit unfortunate that they’d sort of drifted slightly off course. So they were supposed to arrive for the bombing mission and I think the main bulk of them did arrive almost on time. I think Marcel said they were a minute late which was pretty good going for, for the main run. The main run. But John and his crew were a little bit later. They arrived a bit, a little bit afterwards so they were a little bit on their own which is not a good position to be in.
RP: No. No. Which is why you get picked off, I assume. Yeah.
HC: Yes. Yeah.
RP: Which is a very —
HC: Well —
RP: Just a twist of fate, isn’t it?
HC: Yeah.
RP: You’re a few minutes late and, but that’s you’re, that’s what happens.
HC: That, that’s right. Yes. Yes.
RP: Yeah.
HC: And they managed to, they managed to jettison all their bombs bar they had a crate of phosphorous bombs. Or a carrier of phosphorous bombs. They couldn’t, they couldn’t get them, get them to go. It was jammed or something. Now, under normal circumstances they, they would have just jettisoned the whole thing but there had been an order that very afternoon. That very day when they had had their briefing that they were getting short of these bomb carriers and that they should not unless they absolutely had to jettison them. They should bring them back.
RP: Oh right.
HC: Now, Marcel could never work out whether it was an order from the Bomber Command itself from higher up or whether it was just a local thing and Group Captain Pleasance had made that [pause] you know the station commander had made that order. So that subsequently was going to have some disastrous results for them.
RP: So they were carrying phosphorescent bombs. They’re hit. Which it just adds to the fire I guess.
HC: Yes. As far as I understand they had one crate. Just the one crate of these bombs but they didn’t, they did not jettison them. Together with the normal crew I haven’t mentioned that but the actual, the group captain on this particular occasion had joined them for their flight. I think it’s, and they weren’t really supposed to do that but anyway he was there. George Caines, who was the w/op the wireless operator in the crew he said that he actually didn’t really interfere with them. He sat behind the pilot and didn’t, was quietly spoken and didn’t really say anything or didn’t interfere with the actual mission really. So not, nobody sure why he went or what he went for or what the reason was. I understand he’d been two or three other times in different aircraft. So I —
RP: So do you know how many sorties John had done before that? The last one.
HC: No. I don’t. He, his first mission, he arrived on the 11th of October in Bardney. Their first mission was a few days later. I thought it was that same day but actually I realise now I’ve re-read it and it was a few days later and they got quite badly shot up on that first journey. And that first, their first mission and they lost their rear gunner and, who was, who was killed and another gunner, I think it’s the middle turret gunner, I think —
RP: Mid-upper. Yeah.
HC: Yeah.
RP: Yeah.
HC: He was quite badly injured. But they got the plane back safely. They then I believe and again this information from what Marcel found from George Caines when he interviewed George Caines. He, they were then shot up again sort of a day or two later. So they had a pretty sticky start really to their, their flight. The four original crew members who we originally mentioned were still together but they started to lose a couple of other. I mean obviously the rear gunner was killed and the other one was injured so they had to be replaced. And the wireless, the original wireless operator who was not George Caines he, well he sort of had a little bit of a breakdown. He’d had a tough time of it and so he was sort of quickly removed from the vicinity. I understand they didn’t like —
RP: No. They tended to —
HC: Lack of moral fibre I think they called it but —
RP: Yeah. Yes. They tended to be posted to a particular area in Scotland, I think.
HC: Yes. Yes. He was [pause] So, so the rest of the crew were coming and going and they said there were another, another ten missions before I think it was they [pause] I think that might have been before Zammit, John Zammit joined them. So I really don’t know how many missions he did. In the one archive it says possibly twenty but to my mind that doesn’t seem that many for an experienced crew in —
RP: It depends how, the frequency because they might fly the sortie and then have two days off and —
HC: Yes.
RP: Or if the aircraft had been damaged it could be another a week or so.
HC: Right. Yes.
RP: But you probably, you would expect probably maybe three or three or four a month at least I would have thought.
HC: Right.
RP: Possibly.
HC: About right then because it was five months.
RP: It depends on the serviceability of the aircraft.
HC: Yes.
RP: And as you say if there was a crew member had been injured and they can’t get another one.
HC: Yeah.
RP: Although towards 1944 yes they were starting to feel the pinch in getting crews I think.
HC: Yes.
RP: Because so many of them had died. I think that was the problem.
HC: Yeah, that was the thing I think. That’s, that was right.
RP: So training. They still kept to the same training regime so they still had a fairly lengthy training period.
HC: Yes. Yes. So that may well have been right then. Twenty in five months.
RP: It was a possibility. Yeah.
HC: It would be possible wouldn’t it?
RP: You mentioned someone actually survived the crash. Did they bale out?
HC: Yes. What happened, let me tell you what exactly happened.
RP: Yeah.
HC: And then —
RP: Please do. Yeah.
HC: And so, so they, they arrived at the, where they, at Frankfurt a little, a little bit behind the others but not much. They jettisoned all their bombs bar this crate of phosphorous bombs. They then decided, well obviously returned, wanted to return as quickly as they could and they thought that they could catch up with their other comrades really and the other, the other aircraft and they didn’t think there was that much time, that much gap between them. That they could make, make the time up. But unfortunately again they wiggled off course slightly. They just drifted again off course. It was quite bumpy I gather. It was a bit rough up there I think that, on that particular time. Night. Whether it had any difference, made any difference I don’t know but anyway they were still slightly off course. One aircraft on its own a little bit away from the others was fairly easily picked up really and they were flying back. They were just around about the Halle area of Belgium when they suddenly got hit by what they thought was flak. It got the bomb, the crate of bombs that they hadn’t jettisoned because of the instructions. Whether, they would have done had the group captain not been on board the plane. They may have done. We don’t know. But anyway, this what they thought was flak hit the plane. It then, the bombs exploded, caught fire. Immediately what they thought was flak had hit them the pilot, the skipper, Manning he said to them, put your, told the people to put their, put their parachutes on. Told all the crew which they did. And then before jettisoning oh before jumping out he thought he could try and put the flames out. So he did the —
RP: Yeah.
HC: Fast manoeuvre that they do but still thinking it was flak he didn’t, I don’t think he took evasive action. He just did the, I think he just did the, he flew fast to get the flames out. But unfortunately what he didn’t realise because it was the phosphorous bombs, that the air in the phosphorous it just made it worse and the flames then licked along the undercarriage of the aircraft, caught the fuel tank. But also, and the fuel tank exploded. Now, the assumption was it was either more flak or the, you know the fuel tank just got, just exploded because of the fire but what had happened in fact was that one of the German top night, well I think he was probably the top fighter, night fighter ace, Schnaufer was his name had actually come up underneath the aircraft and shot them. The first shot seemed to hit the phosphorous bombs. And then he hung around and then came in for the kill and he shot them a second time. So whether it was the flames that got the fuel tank or whether it was the, you know Schnaufer’s guns I don’t know. So, that was what, that was what happened. The plane then broke in half. Nobody obviously by that time, nobody could get out really. It was a bit too late. Perhaps they should have jumped immediately. I don’t know. But they didn’t. And as I understand from Marcel that because of the way the Lancasters were built, the very large bomb compartment it’s a weakness. It has a, as he called it a bit of a weak backbone. And so where the wireless operator which was George Caines sat was right at the beginning of the bomb bay. So the plane split open and George Caines fell out. Fortunately, he had, as I said they had their parachutes on and George, he was sort of semi-conscious but just enough to be able to pull his ripcord, and so he fell out. The parachute didn’t fully open but he landed in amongst the trees which broke his fall. And then he said by the time he got to the ground his parachute had gained sufficient air just to sort of not kill him really. He was injured but not critically badly as far as I understand it. I mean, I don’t know what his, the full extent of his injuries were but I do know he had a dislocated knee but I don’t know what else had happened to him. And he was picked up by a local chap from the village. A man called Mr Pissens and he took George into his house and he was able to eat a meal so he obviously was sort of sufficiently ok. And George stayed overnight with Mr Pissens in his house. Mr Pissens then went to look at the plane and all the other, the others were all were all dead. I’ve seen two accounts. Marcel mentioned that they were all still strapped in their seats.
RP: Yeah.
HC: And they had probably died very quickly. Lost consciousness with the oxygen depletion. But some other people, there was another report that their bodies were outside the plane. But I don’t know. I don’t know which is correct. But anyway all of the others died very quickly as I understand it. Anyway, the following, George stayed overnight in Mr Pissens’s house. The following morning a detachment of Germans arrived. They were billeted in a farmhouse fairly close by and had been searching and they picked up George Caines and he was then a prisoner of war for the rest of the war. And the rest of the crew were removed from the aircraft and taken to Brussels where they were buried on the 24th of [pause] it may have been the 25th but they were buried a couple of days later in Brussels.
RP: So, the chap who rescued George Caines. Did he get in trouble then for hiding him?
HC: Well, I don’t, I’m not, I don’t think so. There was, there was, I saw one report that said he had been arrested but I don’t think he, I don’t think so. He may have been temporarily. I don’t think he got into bad trouble. He just held him overnight. I mean he gave him up immediately in the morning when the Germans arrived. I don’t think it was in his mind to try and hide him but I don’t know. I can’t give you [any information] about —
RP: So George Caines survived the war as a prisoner.
HC: George Caines survived the war and he lived until 2011. So —
RP: Oh, that’s good.
HC: Yes. Marcel was able to track him down, trace him and he interviewed him on the 20th of, sorry not on the 20th, in the year 2000 and so he got a lot of his information —
RP: Oh, that’s good.
HC: From George Caines so it’s as accurate, I think as we can make it.
RP: Yeah. Yes.
HC: But interestingly enough nearly all the records say that the plane was shot down on the 23rd of March but it was, which was the following day but it was actually the 22nd of March. The day they flew out. It was shot, the plane was shot down at ten past eleven in the night. And we have evidence of that because of Schnaufer’s logbook. And there was somebody, I think he was called Rumpelhardt was his co — I don’t know. I don’t think they called him a co-pilot but the, the other person who was in the plane with him and perhaps he’d be a navigator. I’m not sure. But he, they both in their logbooks had recorded the shooting. The time that, they weren’t sure whether it was a Lancaster or a Halifax but subsequently it was obviously it’s the Lancaster. And there was some other correspondence, some other information as well that confirmed that from the radar I think. The German, sort of radar people. So it was, it was actually the 22nd that they were all shot down and not the 23rd. Which was a bit, a bit sad really.
RP: Yeah. It is.
HC: Yes.
RP: So it’s a fairly comprehensive report though because you don’t always get that when someone’s been shot down. It’s always hard to find out information.
HC: No. No. It’s just, you were just shot down. I mean, in a way you don’t want to know.
RP: That’s right. Yeah.
HC: I mean, you know it feels so tragic because there was, I mean there was, you know the drifting off course didn’t help.
RP: No.
HC: Not being able to release their phosphorous bombs clearly didn’t help. The pilot being a little unsure and trying to put out the fire with oxygen and air which would actually cause the phosphorous bombs to burn more. You know. It was just [pause] The group captain being on board the plane. Did that make any difference? You don’t know. I mean we just can’t. We just don’t know. And so it was yeah quite a —
RP: It would be interesting to read the form 540 of the squadron to see why the group captain went and what the explanation is in there.
HC: Yes. Nobody’s been able to find out. Marcel, I’ve seen a, because he writes, I’ve seen something he’s written on the internet as well and he says he’s got his theories but he’s not saying what he thinks his theory is. So, so we don’t really know what that is. But I mean how much impact it had or how much you know sort of him being there we just don’t know. We don’t have a clue really, do we?
RP: No.
HC: And it may have had no significance at all. I mean I wish to heavens they’d jettisoned their phosphorous bombs but, you know right at the scene. You know. But they didn’t.
RP: No.
HC: And that was that. Which was a shame but having said that Schnaufer was the top fighter ace and they probably wouldn’t have stood a chance regardless anyway. But, yeah which is a great shame really. Yes. I think Schnaufer ended up with a hundred and twenty one kills which it’s, it’s a lot of people.
RP: It is.
HC: Yeah. Yeah. They used to, it was a technique that he was very skilled at was actually sort of creeping up underneath the aircraft because they were blind in the middle.
RP: That’s right.
HC: Sort of in the belly of the aircraft. It was just a technique that he perfected. And he just was able to shoot down so many planes. And the other interesting thing is when Marcel interviewed George Caines even in 2000 he still believed that they got, that they were caught by flak. He didn’t believe that it was a night fighter ace until Marcel was able to provide him with the evidence and there was the information then that they were actually shot down by Schnaufer and not unluckily caught by flak. But my understanding is and George, I think George Caines sort of indicated it when he was speaking to Marcel was that the [pause] they mostly chose to think it was flak. I suppose they didn’t really like to think there were these aircraft because they were pretty lethal. It was a pretty lethal thing if they were got from underneath like that.
RP: I don’t think they ever solved the problem to be honest.
HC: No.
RP: Because it’s got such a large bomb bay you can’t have a really a mid-lower observation post.
HC: Yes.
RP: It’s just because that was the point of the Lancaster. It was one big bomb bay.
HC: Yes. Yes. So, so I think it was easier to think that you were randomly hit by flak than actually there’s people stalking you from underneath and coming up and shooting you dead. I mean it’s just a, yeah, it’s a, a terrible thing to have to think about each sort of when you go out.
RP: So have you been able to visit the cemetery to —
HC: Yes. Yes. We, we I mean Marcel has been fantastic and I think he, you know sort of so much credit should go to Marcel for everything that he’s done really, and yes I acknowledge what he’s done. He, he what he did in the end he found, you know he sort of that he got as much information as he could about as many of the crew as he could. There’s just one outstanding and that was somebody called Albert Finch who was the rear gunner on the night. He can’t find any information about him and, but he’s still trying. I mean Marcel must be you know sort of well into his eighties now I suppose but I still communicate with him occasionally on email and whatever so —
RP: Yes.
HC: He’s still —
RP: Yeah. Its unusual. Even if they’ve not registered interest or no one in the family.
HC: Yeah.
RP: Has researched him there won’t be any information about him that’s the thing.
HC: He’s still searching. Still searching. So, but anyway what he decided to do and it was a wonderful gesture they had a plaque made with all the names of all the individuals of the individual crew members who had died that night. And they they’ve fixed the plaque on to the side of the wall of one of the nearest house to the main part of the aircraft that crashed and we actually had a, just a wonderful visit there. Marcel had arranged it all. And it was like the grand opening of the plaque. Or the grand unveiling the plaque I should say and, but first of all though he organised a service in the Cathedral and there was many of the dignitaries from Halle in Belgium were there. 9 Squadron was represented by the squadron leader then who was a man called Watson. Squadron Leader Watson. And there was somebody from the Belgian, I think it was the military attaché I think from the Belgian [pause] government I suppose, isn’t it? Really.
RP: Yes. Must be. Yeah.
HC: Yes. And he attended. There was many local people and all the old veterans had turned out. Probably a little bit like our Royal British Legion, I think. And so we had a very moving service there. We went to the, to the cemetery and we spent time with the, at the coffin and you know accompanied by all these people. And then we went back to the village and there was the grand unveiling of the plaque and the local people had provided a really nice tea for everybody and it was just, it was just a wonderful occasion.
RP: That’s very good of them, wasn’t it?
HC: Yes. It was tremendous.
RP: Amazing.
HC: And they’ll be remembered now forever more.
RP: Oh yes. Well, thank you for that. I think we’ve probably covered everything there but it’s amazing that you’ve had, you’ve had so much research done.
HC: Yeah.
RP: It’s great.
HC: I think it’s Marcel really. Everything we know is down to him and his sort of just doggedness really. And yeah, we just, well we just you know sort of feel as though his contribution should be acknowledged but you want to acknowledge the contribution of the, the sort of the people who died. I mean they were so brave going out night after night, weren’t they?
RP: That’s right.
HC: Doing this job.
RP: Well, hopefully through this, you know the IBCC with the digital archive will have, you know many interviews like this you know about all the crew.
HC: Yes.
RP: Various people.
HC: Yes.
RP: And that’ll be there. So his name, John’s name will be remembered and we’ve obviously mentioned Marcel.
HC: Yes.
RP: In this interview so that will be —
HC: Yes.
RP: That will be remembered.
HC: That’s good. I’m pleased about that. So, yeah I mean there’s one other very, well a great irony. I always consider irony of life that on the, at the age of twenty two on the 22nd of March John’s life came to an end. For me at the age of twenty two on the 22nd of March —
[recording paused]
HC: For me on the 22nd of March my life started. I got married. It was, I mean what a coincidence.
RP: Twenty two.
HC: Yeah. I was aged twenty two. On the 22nd of March I got married.
RP: Goodness me.
HC: On the 22nd of March at the age of twenty two John died.
RP: Amazing.
HC: It’s terrible.
RP: It’s strange, isn’t it?
HC: Yeah. Dreadful irony.
RP: Well, thank you very much for talking to me Hilary, it’s been fascinating. I appreciate your time. Thank you.
HC: No. Thank you.

Citation

Rod Pickles, “Interview with Hilary Crozier,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 19, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10756.

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