Interview with Harry Hambrook

Title

Interview with Harry Hambrook

Description

Harry Hambrook was born in Hackney and when he left school he became an office boy. He volunteered for the RAF and became an air gunner. He was posted to 3 Air Gunnery School in Stranraer for gunnery training flying in Ansons. From there he went to 23 Operational Training Unit at Wymeswold where he crewed up. He joined 166 Squadron at Kirmington, and was posted to Scampton to form 153 Squadron, and at the war’s end had completed 26 operations. At the start of one operation his pilot blacked out and the flight engineer had to take control of the aircraft. His last operation was to Kiel on the 9 April 1945. He remustered to join the RAF Post Office and was posted to India and was demobbed in 1947 on his return to the UK.

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Date

2018-01-09

Temporal Coverage

Language

Type

Format

00:27:57 audio recording

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

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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.

Contributor

Identifier

AHambrookH180109

Transcription

GR: Hang on a second.
Other: Stop a minute.
AM: So, my name’s Annie Moody and I’m working with the International Bomber Command Centre and Lincoln University and it’s Tuesday the 9th of January 2018 and today I’m with Harry Hambrook in Harrogate and I’ve also got Gary Rushbrooke with me and Harry’s daughter with me. And what I’d really like to know Harry to start off is where you were born, you’ve just said you’re a Cockney, and a little bit about your childhood. What your parents did and school and stuff like that. So where were you born first of all?
HH: As far as I can recall I was born in Hackney.
AM: Right.
HH: And I lived in Dalston.
AM: Yeah.
HH: Which is a part of Hackney.
AM: What did you, what did your dad do?
HH: My father was a cabbie. A London cabbie.
AM: Yeah.
HH: He was, I think he had many different types of jobs but I can remember him as a cabbie.
AM: Right.
HH: Driving a cab.
AM: And what sort of house did you live in?
HH: It was two houses, terrace one. Just two houses in a, I mean a long line of houses, but and we lived in a basement, semi-basement and the first floor and the top floor was let.
AM: Right.
GR: Brothers and sisters?
HH: I had one sister, eighteen months younger than me and one brother, five years younger than me.
AM: Right. And what about, can you remember what school you went to? What was school like?
HH: Oh, well I enjoyed school but I couldn’t get away from it quick enough. and I didn’t do very, I didn’t do very well at school at all because I had no intentions of staying. All I wanted to do was to get out to work.
AM: So how old were you when you left? Fourteen?
HH: Fourteen.
AM: Fourteen. So what did you do then to find —
HH: I was an office boy.
AM: Right. How did you find your job?
HH: I think it was through the Labour Exchange.
AM: Right. And what sort of company was it? What sort of things did you do?
HH: Oh just, ‘Do this,’ ‘Do that,’ ‘Do this,’ ‘Do that, Harold.’
AM: Dogsbody.
HH: Yeah.
AM: But that’s at fourteen years old.
HH: We had another office about three or four miles away and I used to cycle back and forward to that four times a day to collect post.
AM: Right.
HH: And inter-office material, you know.
AM: Yeah. Can you remember how much you got paid?
HH: I think it was twelve and sixpence.
AM: A week.
HH: Yeah.
AM: And how much of that did you have to divvy up to your mum?
HH: Ten shillings. Two and six for me.
AM: You kept two and six. What did you spend your two and six on?
HH: Oh, I couldn’t tell you. I couldn’t tell you.
GR: Had war broken out by then?
HH: No.
GR: Right.
HH: No. I was fourteen in March ’39.
AM: Right.
HH: And the war broke out in September. What was it then? ’39.
GR: Yeah.
AM: So at, so at fourteen then, war has started. You were working as an office boy. So at what point did you decide to join the RAF? What made you decide to join the RAF?
HH: Well, I was coming up to when I had to register. Eighteen.
AM: Yeah.
HH: And I didn’t fancy going in the Army so I volunteered for the RAF the week before I had to register.
AM: Right.
HH: And they said, they had an office not far from us and so I went to join the aircrew. So they said, ‘Well, we haven’t got any vacancies for aircrew except gunners. So I said, ‘Well, that’s alright.’ So that’s what I did.
AM: And that’s what you did.
HH: I was, I wasn’t called up until September October the same year. Quite some time.
AM: So what year would that be? ’40?
HH: ’39.
GR: No.
HH: ’43.
GR: ’43.
HH: ‘43.
AM: So you’re coming up to eighteen.
HH: Yeah.
AM: In ’43. So what —
HH: That’s right.
AM: So you went and joined up. You were told you were going to be an air gunner.
GR: Sorry. Going back to 1939/40 and obviously you said you were born in, was you living in Hackney still? What was it like in London during the Battle of Britain, the Blitz and all that?
HH: Well —
GR: You would have been fourteen, fifteen.
HH: Well, as I say we had two air raid shelters in our garden. We had the Nissen one which the government put in.
GR: Yeah.
HH: And also we had quite a big garden and quite near to us there was a local firm of engineers that made these invalid tricycles. You know, the —
GR: Oh, I know, yeah.
HH: Like that.
GR: Yeah.
HH: And my father was very friendly with the people there and they wanted somewhere for their men to go during the day. So they built an underground air raid shelter in our back garden.
GR: Garden.
HH: Which we used to use at night.
GR: Which you used as well.
HH: And they used to use in the day but it slept nine. All through the Blitz that’s where we went every night. We didn’t wait for the air raid to sound. Just went there automatically.
GR: Because in, obviously in the Hackney area —
HH: We never lost a window.
GR: Never because it was bombed a lot, wasn’t it? Yeah.
HH: Yeah. It was all around us but we never lost a window.
GR: Yeah.
HH: Yes.
GR: So you went into that air raid shelter every night.
HH: Every night.
GR: Yeah. Did you ever end up in the Underground?
HH: No.
GR: Because a lot of them did didn’t they when they were bombed out?
HH: Yeah.
GR: And all that.
HH: No.
AM: So were there, were there nine of you in the air raid shelter and did it have, did you have beds or —
HH: Yeah. Well, there was seats to sit on and then, and then another one which was lowered and that was pulled up and hung up so that someone could get up there. A couple at the other end. It wasn’t, wasn’t as big. About half the size of this room.
AM: Right. But nine of you in there.
HH: I think it was either seven or nine slept in there every night. Yeah.
AM: Right.
HH: Yeah.
GR: And do you have any recollections of the —
HH: We had electric down there. Electric light and electric, you know.
GR: Yeah.
HH: And a primus stove.
GR: Any recollections of the Battle of Britain with the fighter boys going on above you at the time? I think you’d be —
HH: Well, not —
GR: No.
HH: No. Not a lot really. I think most of it was down more southeast to us.
GR: Yes. Yeah. And then obviously yeah then they moved in to the Blitz and everything else. But yeah, obviously very interesting also living there during, well, 1941/42. And then you volunteered for air crew in ’43.
HH: Yeah. I passed out in ’44. Was posted to [pause] Oh, I forget what it’s called now.
AM: What was the training like? Where did you do your training?
HH: Well, it’s all in there actually.
GR: Yeah.
AM: Is it in the logbook?
GR: Yeah.
AM: We’ll have a look at the logbook.
GR: But when they called you up you’d been waiting, you’d been waiting a few months and then you got the call up papers to go.
HH: Yeah. St Johns Wood we were sent to to start with.
GR: Yeah.
HH: Initially to report to —
GR: Was that Lord’s Cricket Ground?
HH: The cricket ground. That’s right.
GR: Yeah.
HH: Yeah.
GR: And then —
HH: And then from there I think I went to —
GR: Wymeswold. I’ve got Wymeswold.
HH: Oh that. Yeah. That’s later on.
GR: Yeah. Later on is it?
HH: I went to Bridlington for the six weeks square bashing.
GR: Square bashing. Join the RAF and you’re marching up and down.
HH: Yeah. In the winter and it was quite cold.
AM: I was going to say what did you think of Bridlington then? A southern boy like you?
HH: Didn’t think much of it to be quite honest.
AM: Were you staying in digs like?
HH: Yeah.
AM: A lot of people stayed in the holiday digs, didn’t they?
HH: That’s right.
AM: Yeah.
HH: In houses we were. Yeah.
AM: Yeah.
HH: Going for dinner at night and you got sardines on toast and things like that.
GR: And that would have been the first time you’d been away from home wasn’t it?
HH: Yeah. Apart from holidays, you know.
GR: Yeah.
HH: We had relations in North Wales which we used to go to quite often during the summer as kids.
GR: That’s better.
HH: In fact, my mother and father used to put me and my sister on the train at Euston.
GR: And send you off.
HH: In the guard’s van, in the care of the guard. And my grandmother used to meet us at Chester.
AM: Yeah.
HH: Couldn’t do that today could you?
GR: No. You couldn’t.
AM: With a little label on.
HH: Yeah.
AM: So after Bridlington then have I got it right that you ended up in Stranraer?
HH: Stranraer. That’s where we, I think that’s where we passed out.
GR: That was —
AM: Even further north.
GR: Number 3 Air Gunnery School.
HH: Yeah. I think that’s where we first started flying.
GR: Yes.
AM: So what was that like? First time in a plane.
HH: Well, to be quite honest I was quite scared actually but I wouldn’t show it. Otherwise they wouldn’t let you fly any more.
AM: Right.
GR: Yeah. I think it was Ansons, wasn’t it?
HH: Ansons. Yeah.
GR: Yeah. Which was the original training aircraft. And you’re obviously there for a couple of months and then passed out and then on to 23 OTU at Wymeswold.
HH: Yeah. I think that’s where we went to, to crew up.
GR: Yes.
HH: About three or four hundred airmen all in a hangar and we were just told to crew ourselves up.
GR: Yeah.
HH: We weren’t told, ‘You go there and you go there.’ You had to find your own skipper.
AM: So who found who? Did the skipper find you or did you find the skipper?
HH: I can’t, I can’t remember.
AM: You can’t remember.
HH: No. No. It’s just wandered around blank. ‘Have you got a gunner yet?’ ‘No.’ ‘Alright. I’m here.’
GR: Because that have been a tried and tested way for really the whole of the war.
HH: Yeah.
GR: For some reason they didn’t sort of say, ‘Right,’ you know, ‘You’re with him. You’re with him,’ putting you all together. And in general I think the pilot used to start walking around and then —
HH: Yeah.
GR: Try and find a flight engineer, a navigator, an air gunner.
HH: Well, our pilot at that time was a sergeant.
AM: Right.
HH: Whereas most of the pilots in those days were, I think were commissioned.
GR: They were commissioned. Yeah.
HH: He was only a sergeant.
GR: What would you have been at the time?
HH: Sergeant.
GR: You were a sergeant as well.
HH: Yeah.
GR: Yeah. Yeah.
HH: And that and, then that’s when we first started training as a crew, you know.
GR: Yeah.
HH: Doing cross countries for the navigator and experience for the pilot because he’d never flown two engine aircraft and we were on Wimpies.
GR: Yes.
AM: Right.
GR: So when you said you’d crewed up that would have been a crew of five would it? There wouldn’t have been —
HH: Seven.
GR: There were seven of you on the —
HH: Seven. Pilot, engineer, bomb aimer, wireless operator.
GR: Mid-upper and rear gunner.
HH: Two gunners.
GR: Yeah.
HH: And who have I missed out? No. That’s right. That’s seven.
GR: That’s seven. Yeah. Yeah. That’s seven. Yeah. So, and did you keep the same pilot all the way through once you’d crewed up?
HH: We did. Yes. We had him right until he blacked out on take-off, and he was grounded. They wouldn’t let him fly any more.
AM: During training?
HH: No. During operations. We were actually going down the runway on take-off with a full bomb load and he blacked out.
AM: So what happened?
HH: The engineer managed to pull off all the power because we hadn’t even, we had been, we were going but we hadn’t, hadn’t got to that point. Couldn’t do anything you know.
GR: It wasn’t.
HH: About a minute short of it.
GR: It wasn’t the first operation was it?
HH: Oh, no. No.
GR: No. You’d done a few ops by then.
HH: Oh yeah. We’d done loads.
GR: I know we’re jumping forward but —
HH: We’d done over twenty ops by then.
GR: And did you ever find out what the reason was he blacked out or —
HH: No. No. He was, he was sent somewhere else for tests and all that sort of thing and we never saw him again. They wouldn’t let him fly though.
GR: Well, no. Not if he’d, not if he’d, certainly if he’d blacked out.
HH: The CO came out, ‘Don’t worry chaps,’ he said, ‘I’ll get you another pilot.’ You can imagine what they said to him. So he got another crew instead.
GR: Yeah. So you didn’t fly that night. You —
HH: We didn’t fly but they did.
GR: Yeah.
HH: They took it out. Then came back.
GR: Yeah. I was just going to say, took your aircraft because some of the stories you hear something like that the aircraft doesn’t come back and its fate that you didn’t go.
HH: They came back. Came back. Yeah.
GR: So I notice also then you moved on to Heavy Conversion Unit and you were training on Halifaxes.
HH: That’s right. Yeah. Four engine. Four engine aircraft.
GR: Yeah. With the same pilot. Flight Sergeant Potter.
HH: Yeah. By that time he was a flight sergeant. Yeah.
GR: Yeah. And then a month later they moved you on to Hemswell which was Lancasters.
HH: Lancasters. Lancasters.
GR: Yeah.
AM: Right.
GR: Yeah. Which one did you prefer? Lancaster? Halifax?
HH: I don’t have a preference really.
GR: I suppose being —
HH: Because I mean the rear turret was basically the same in either.
GR: I was just going to say the rear turret was, yeah.
HH: And you got in the same. The same way, you know.
GR: Yes. Yeah. Down the chute.
HH: So —
GR: And then around about —
HH: I think, I think the pilot preferred a Lancaster.
GR: Yeah. I’ve heard some aircrew say that they, certainly aircrew who flew on operations on both aircraft that the Halifax was more roomy and if they ever had to get out of it quickly they preferred to be in the Halifax.
HH: Yeah.
GR: But obviously that never happened to you but, yeah just checking your logbook around about September ’44 you were sent to 166 Squadron at Kirmington.
HH: That’s right. That was our first operational squadron.
GR: Yes.
HH: I don’t think, I don’t think we did. We might have done one trip from there but I’m not sure whether we did any like actual operations.
GR: No. You’re quite right. You did some cross country.
HH: We did cross countries and that.
GR: Yeah.
HH: And then, and then we were sent to Scampton to start an operational squadron again because at that time Scampton was non-operational.
GR: Right.
HH: So, so the skipper said, ‘Come on, gather your things up,’ he said, ‘We’ll get there first so we’ll get the best [laughs] best accommodation.’
GR: Did other people go from 166 go or were you the only crew that went?
HH: No. The, all the chaps that went to Scampton that day to form a new squadron were all from Kirmington.
GR: Oh right. Yeah. And that was 153 Squadron.
HH: 153. Yeah.
GR: Yeah. And then again just checking the logbook you did a couple of cross countries and then October the 31st you went to Cologne. Was that your first operation? Cologne.
HH: If that’s what’s in there —
GR: Yeah.
HH: For our squadron that’s where we went. Yeah.
GR: How did you feel about that?
HH: Well, it was just an operation.
GR: Yeah. Your first time was —
HH: I can’t remember anything about it.
GR: But it was, yeah.
HH: Just —
GR: As a crew you just you just did it.
HH: You just get out and do it.
GR: Yeah. And then over the next few months any, any near misses or anything?
HH: I never pulled the trigger. We were lucky. We never had, you know, we never got attacked by enemy fighters. One or two shells burst quite near. You could feel the vibration, you know.
GR: Yeah.
HH: But apart from that when we got back we would walk around the aircraft to see if there any holes anywhere.
GR: Like you say. Yeah, so as an air gunner and I’m sure the mid-upper gunner was the same you never saw any night fighters or have any —
HH: No. No.
GR: No. And then, yeah just going through your logbook. Cologne, Dusseldorf.
HH: We not only had to keep our eyes open for night fighters but other, other friendly aircraft because I mean when you get three or four hundred aircraft going on a trip.
GR: Yeah.
HH: You know, you’d often see one just floating over the top of you.
GR: It’s when the bomb bay doors open, which I know has happened to a few people.
HH: Yeah.
GR: But again no near misses.
HH: No.
GR: Yeah. So —
AM: A charmed life.
HH: Charmed.
GR: Yeah. And I notice you flew on New Year’s Eve so that was a nice way to see in the new year.
HH: That’s right. Yeah.
GR: But yes. As Annie just said a charmed life. Not to say it was easy but you escaped.
HH: Oh, I escaped. Yeah.
GR: Unharmed most of the time.
HH: Well, that’s it. I mean each trip was a trip. You got in it, did it and then we never gave it another thought really.
GR: Yeah. Which is the best way to do it. And, yeah jumping back to what you said about your pilot that night who was a flying officer by then, Flying Officer Potter. I’m just trying to [pause] here we go so that was around about February. So you were off ops for a little while and then back in.
HH: Yeah. I missed. I was also off ops about that time because I had a lot of sinus trouble. Because you can’t fly —
GR: No.
HH: With sinus trouble. You get terrible pains.
GR: Serious headaches and pain. Yeah.
HH: So I was grounded for about three weeks. I missed three trips. The crew did three trips without me.
GR: Right. And they were flying with a spare bod, were they?
HH: They had a spare bod. Yeah.
GR: Yeah. So that when you came back did you have a new pilot then?
HH: No. I can’t remember. I think we were still flying with Potter at that time. It’s difficult to remember now exactly.
GR: Yeah.
HH: The dates.
GR: I think Potter’s, his last op was around about March the 7th to Dessau.
HH: Yeah. Well, I was back flying by then.
GR: Yeah. You’re back flying and then literally at the beginning of April, Flight Lieutenant Williams.
HH: That’s the chap who took over from our skipper.
GR: And he was taking over a crew that had probably done —
HH: We’d, at that time I think we’d done twenty six.
GR: Twenty six. So you were near the end.
HH: I’d done twenty three and the crew had done twenty six because I missed three.
GR: Yeah.
HH: And I think he needed three trips to —
GR: Complete his.
HH: Thirty.
GR: Ah right. So he was an experienced pilot.
AM: Oh, so yeah.
GR: Yeah. Which is good.
HH: So that brought out the rest of our crew to twenty nine and me twenty six and the war was nearly over so they grounded us.
GR: Yeah.
HH: So then I went home on leave.
GR: Yes. 9th of April. Last operation to Kiel, and back safely.
HH: Yeah.
GR: So, and what, they just grounded you because you were near the end of your tour.
HH: Well, they didn’t need us anymore. You know. They were more or less pack it in.
GR: Yeah.
HH: What they were using them for was to move troops about. Get people home.
GR: Right. Did you do any of that?
HH: No.
GR: No.
HH: No. They didn’t need gunners for that. No. They only needed a pilot.
GR: Oh course not. No.
HH: Navigator and that, so and a flight engineer.
GR: Yeah. Of course, yeah because then they could get more prisoners of war and —
HH: That’s right.
GR: Those type of people in the aircraft couldn’t they? So the last op was the 9th of April. They sent you home.
HH: Sent me home, and I was home until August.
GR: Right. With the family.
HH: With the family. Yeah.
GR: With mum and dad and that. Yeah.
HH: Yeah.
GR: Yeah.
AM: And then what happened? How long was it before you were demobbed?
HH: Oh, I wasn’t demobbed until 1947.
AM: So what did they do with you in those, in those last two years then?
HH: Well, I was eventually posted to a unit in the Midlands. I forget what it was now. And the officer in charge there had all these people that had been posted to him. He said, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with you lot.’ [laughs] You know. He pulled out a few jobs that might be vacant and he said, ‘Post Office,’ I said, ‘That’ll do me,’ because it was on the domestic site so you’ve got the journey backwards and forwards you see. So, the officer in charge of the Post Office, he said, ‘You don’t want to go into the RAF — ’ [pause] I forget what they call it now. Equivalent to the army.
GR: RAF Volunteer Reserve? No.
HH: No. No. And anyway, so I said, ‘No, I don’t really think I want to do it,’ because I wasn’t really looking forward to all the physical training that would be involved.
GR: RAF regiment.
HH: RAF regiment.
GR: Yeah.
HH: So I said, well he said, ‘Remuster to the Post Office,’ he said, ‘We’re short here,’ he said ‘That’s why you’re here.’ So I said, ‘Yeah, ok. I’ll do that.’ So he signed my remustering form and I was sent to Kirkham on a fortnight’s course. Postal course. And when I got there we were told that everybody when they finished their course goes overseas [laughs] So I was on a boat to India. So I was out there for eighteen months until I got my demob.
GR: Right.
AM: What? What was that?
HH: Working in a Post Office.
GR: Working in a Post Office.
AM: Yeah.
GR: In India.
HH: And on the local RAF station. Yeah.
GR: Yeah.
HH: Kanpur.
AM: Right.
GR: That’s, sorry what rank?
AM: Kanpur.
HH: Kanpur.
GR: Oh, I thought you said corporal.
HH: Kanpur. That was the name of the station. No.
AM: No.
HH: No. And while I was out there, I mean as you probably know the RAF rank was automatic.
GR: Yes.
HH: In aircrew.
GR: Yeah.
HH: Sergeant, flight sergeant, warrant officer and then it finished. I got, I got to the station when I got my WO.
GR: Yeah.
AM: Yeah.
HH: And about three weeks after I got it everybody above the rank of sergeant was reduced to the rank of sergeant.
GR: So you went out to India as a sergeant.
HH: So I went back to being a sergeant again.
GR: Did they pay you as a warrant officer though?
HH: I think. I think they did. Yeah.
GR: They did. Yeah. From speaking to other gentlemen that for some reason yeah they demoted everybody.
HH: Yeah. Because there was too many of us coming along.
GR: Yeah. But you kept the same pay grade.
HH: Yeah.
GR: Which obviously was decent of them.
HH: Yeah.
AM: So you were working in the Post Office in Kanpur. Where were you living? What sort of living quarters were you?
HH: Domestic site on the station because Kanpur was a big, a big RAF unit, you know with loads of huts.
AM: Right.
HH: Yeah.
GR: Yeah.
HH: Yeah.
GR: A lot of ex-aircrew ended up in India.
AM: Yeah.
GR: For a couple of years after the war.
HH: Because they wanted, as soon as the war finished they wanted to get the people who had been out there a long while —
GR: Yeah.
HH: Get them home.
GR: Get them home, yeah.
HH: And they had to have people out there to replace them because they couldn’t just have empty units.
GR: And obviously India at the time there was going towards —
AM: Partition.
GR: Partition and everything else.
HH: That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. We came out in spring of ’47.
GR: Yeah. And was it, was it straight back home and demobbed from India?
HH: Oh, I went straight, I went straight back to the company that I left to go in the RAF to. They had, they had to take you back.
GR: Yes.
HH: So I was there until I retired at fifty, sixty one.
AM: Good heavens.
HH: So I did fifty odd years.
GR: Living down in Hackney or that area.
HH: Well, I lived in Hackney until I got, until I got married.
GR: Right.
AM: So, so what did —
HH: And then, and then we had reps all over the country.
GR: Yeah.
HH: And the chap who was doing Yorkshire was retiring so, and I knew all the reps because I had, when they came in to the office I had a lot to do with being on the sales side you see. So I said to him, ‘I wouldn’t mind doing this. Your job is a bit of cake.’ Anyway, I applied and I got it so that’s what brought me to Yorkshire.
GR: Right.
HH: So I came to Yorkshire in the ‘60s with my family. Susan was about what? Five or six.
Other: I was five.
HH: Five. Yeah.
Other: Yeah. Steven was a few years —
HH: And I’ve been in this area ever since.
GR: Yeah.
AM: Yeah. So you started off in that company as the boy cycling from one to the other delivering mail.
HH: That’s it.
AM: And ended up in Yorkshire.
HH: Finished up as a sales rep. For the last six years I spent back in the office.
AM: Yeah.
HH: They were [pause] things were getting smaller. They weren’t the amount of customers about, you know. They were retiring and, or not, or closing businesses and that sort of thing, so they amalgamated territories and they took me inside to run the sales office.
GR: Yeah. But still forty odd years with the same company.
HH: Oh yeah. Yeah.
GR: Is —
HH: From ’39 to [pause] I forget when it was. Seventy. Seventy something.
AM: Seventy. Yeah.
HH: I think it was about.
Other: It was later than that because you retired after Laura was born. She was born in ’85.
HH: Yeah. Well —
Other: So it was —
HH: It was about ’86 then when I retired.
GR: Yeah.
Other: I was pregnant with Philip so it was ’86/87. Yeah.
HH: Yeah.
Other: When you retired.
HH: I think, I think it was about forty eight years. I think I was about two years short of doing fifty.
AM: Right.
HH: What was it? I forget now.
AM: You know, thinking back now to the war years and the way it’s been portrayed since what, what do you think about what we actually did?
HH: I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it really.
AM: No. Because people have different views. Most, most men actually that were there just say, ‘Well, we did it.’
GR: Yeah.
AM: You know, they started the war, we did it and it helped turn the war.
Other: I think people then were more used to doing what they were told to do, weren’t the?
AM: Yes.
Other: Then they are these days. We question things more.
AM: Yeah.
HH: Well, that’s probably quite true that, you know. You were there to do what you were told.
AM: Yes.
GR: Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if you —
HH: Well, I mean it happened and you had to go with it.
GR: Yeah, because obviously I’ve spoken to a lot of people you’re —

Collection

Citation

Annie Moody, “Interview with Harry Hambrook,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed January 28, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/10847.

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