Interview with Len Harper

Title

Interview with Len Harper

Description

Len Harper registered for the air force in April 1939, influenced by the positive experience of his brother who had joined in January. Upon completing training at the Wireless Training School, RAF Yatesbury, he was posted to RAF Wittering, where he undertook radio maintenance for two years. Harper was posted to India in 1942, after marrying his wife, a Women’s Auxiliary Air Force based at RAF Newton, in February. He describes servicing radios for Blenheims and Spitfires, sightseeing with his friends, and sensing the political tensions. After two years, he was posted to Burma, where he completed radio maintenance for the Third Tactical Air Force. He recalls his impressions of the country, the living conditions in the jungle, and retreating from the Japanese. Eighteen-months later, an illness caused him to return to India, where he was hospitalised with dysentery for eight months. Harper returned home and despite enjoying his work, left the air force in 1945 following the wishes of his wife. Finally, he describes his service at RAF Wainfleet, his post-war career, and how fondly he remembers his time in India.

Creator

Date

2019-05-21

Temporal Coverage

Language

Type

Format

00:55:02 audio recording

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

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.

Contributor

Identifier

AHarperL190521
PHarperL1901

Transcription

DE: So this is an interview with Len Harper for the International Bomber Command Centre Digital Archive. My Name Is Dan Ellin. We’re in Len Harper’s home in Chapel St Leonards. It’s the 21st of May 2019. Put that there and then we’ll try and forget about it. So, Len could you tell me a little bit about your early life before you joined the RAF?
LH: Yes. Well, before I just went to the ordinary primary school, which I enjoyed and I left school at the age of fourteen, and from then on I was out of work but I managed to find myself a job and by the end of 19 — Come on. Come on.
Other: Alright.
[recording paused]
LH: I decided that the RAF was the place for me. So having worked in a shop Wednesday afternoon was always our half day off and I told my brother, who worked with me, I said, ‘Tell mother that I shan’t be home for this afternoon.’ Instead of that I went off to Hanley in the Potteries and joined the Royal Air Force. That was in the April of 1939. From then on that’s where it started. I joined the Royal Air Force and I went down to Cardington where I did all my foot slogging, and then from Cardington I was sent to the Wireless Training School at Yatesbury in Wiltshire, and that’s where I took my course on radio repairs etcetera and I passed the course at the end of 1939. Of course, then the war had started in the September. And from then on I was posted from, from Yatesbury. I went to RAF station Wittering which was a lovely RAF station and I was there for two years when I was posted to India and Burma. That is a short account of my RAF.
DE: Okey dokey. What was, what was training like? Can you remember?
LH: Training was very, very good really. It was very good indeed. We did, we did learn and it was, it was easy to learn. I mean nothing was too complicated. I know I started, I started at the RAF Wireless School at Yatesbury in the September, and a three month course took me through to the end of December which was then supposed to have passed us through to the, to the training that we’d had. And of course I went straight on to radio maintenance, which I enjoyed very, very much indeed and that’s how it started with me. I had two years. Two years in, at RAF station Wittering. And from there I was posted to, overseas to South Africa and from South Africa to Bombay, India.
DE: Ok.
LH: And Burma.
DE: So what, what did your work entail when you were at Wittering? What was, what was your, what was your job like?
LH: It was repairing radio. Repairing. Mostly it was damaged radios that were damaged during the overseas work and we had a real full time job in trying to get everything going as quick as you could when the aircraft came down. This wanted doing, that wanted doing, and it had to be done.
DE: So was it lots of soldering and changing valves and things like that?
LH: Absolutely. That.
DE: Yeah.
LH: Oh yes. A lot of that. It was good really. I don’t know why I didn’t take it on after the war but I didn’t and that was it. And then in the February 1942 I was on leave to go abroad when I went to South Africa for three days strangely enough. And then from South Africa I went through to Bombay where I was there for what should, what should I say? About two years there and then I was posted to Burma. And from Burma I went almost down the east, east coast picking up various jobs that were required of me to do with regards to radio repairs. But India was quite nice. Well, what shall I say? A rare place. It wasn’t what I expected. We were looked on, some of us were looked on as fighters and what not. We wanted to get rid of India, sort of thing. Others thought the world of us. And we went on like that. And then of course I was posted overseas to Burma where I spent eighteen month. And it was illness that brought me back from Burma, back in to India and then I came back and did another year in India doing the same job that I’d done right the way through.
DE: What was the illness that you had?
LH: It was, what was it? Oh, I can’t think [pause] I’m just trying to think of it. I can’t —
DE: Dysentery or —
LH: It was dysentery.
DE: Right.
LH: Dysentery is correct. Yes. Yes. I had dysentery which I had, I’ve never even got rid of it. I even get yet touches of it nowadays. At my hundredth birthday. But it wasn’t that that took me out of the Force. I automatically left the Force in 1945, and my wife didn’t want me to go back. And having plenty of conversation I thought well she doesn’t want to go back in to the Women’s Royal Air Force so I tore my papers up and that was it and I went to work on the railway.
DE: What did you do on the railway?
LH: I was a railway signalman on the Derby-Crewe line. I enjoyed that. It was very, very nice. I could have stayed on there but once again lines were being taken up and we were knocked out and that was it. Good old days. And from then onwards I went in to various industries. I did work in the man-made fibres division with the ICI. I was there for approximately eleven years, and after then I didn’t see any sense in stopping. I learned what I wanted to learn and I left and I went into the newspaper business. And that’s how it went on. Going from place to place. It was a good life really because I’ve always been interested in trains and —
[pause]
LH: I’m trying to think what else happened.
DE: That’s ok. We can, we can go back over some of this stuff and you might, you might think of some more things to say. I’m rather interested in why you decided to join the RAF.
LH: Yes. Well, it was rather strange because my brother joined the RAF in January 1939, and he came home after a while and said how good it was, this, that and the other. I said, ‘Oh, I might have a go myself.’ Which I did. I liked the idea of it. So, in the April of ’39 I decided to go and join the RAF, which I did and I’m glad I did. I could have stayed in the RAF for years if, if my wife would have liked the idea. But she didn’t want the idea of being [pause] well, what should I say? Being under the RAF.
DE: Sure, yes. When did you meet her? When did you marry?
LH: I met her long before I joined the RAF. We were married. We married in February 1942 but I met my wife long before that. And she joined, she joined the RAF. She was from Nottingham and there we were.
DE: So it must have been fairly hard. Only getting to see each other when you both had leave, I imagine.
LH: Oh, yes. Yes. We always managed to get together when leave was on the records. Yes. We did.
DE: What did she think when you got your posting to India?
LH: She didn’t like the idea at all but of course she was already in the Women’s Royal Air Force so it didn’t make much of a difference to her. We were, she put up with it and I explained to her that it was all for the best, which it was really. But to go out to India was rather strange. I never thought I should be sent out to India because I went to Bombay where we [pause] and then from Bombay I went [pause] I went to Quetta. I was at Quetta for three, four months taking a wireless course. And then we were posted. I was posted down to Calcutta. And from Calcutta I went through to the postal region, and I went into Burma. To a place called Dohazari. A very nice place. And I was there for two years until I got this dysentery and I had to go back in to India and I went to central India, to Agra where I was hospitalised there for eight months.
DE: What were conditions like in the hospital?
LH: Pretty good. Pretty good really. Oh yes. They did look after us. There’s no doubt about that. I had plenty of time to get about and I had some good times. I had, well I met a lot of people in India. I went to Bhopal, to Agra, to Quetta and all various places. And I got to know quite a lot of the Indian people and to me they were, they were quite, quite a nice lot in my opinion. But of course there was this time when they were wanting to get out of the British Raj and this, that and the other, and you didn’t know who you could really rely on for a friendship. And there it was. But Burma was a strange place. The Burmese didn’t like us. They liked the Japanese more than they liked, liked us. However, we got over that and as I say the third time I had to, I was posted back in to India with dysentery.
DE: So, were you part of the Third Tactical Air Force over there in Burma?
LH: Yes. Yes.
DE: Yeah.
LH: Definitely. Went down as far as Rangoon and it was quite good out there but Burma seemed a funny place. They didn’t like us. They liked the Japanese. They were more fond of the Japanese than they were of the British troops and I thought, well, that’s what I thought. That was my opinion.
DE: What were the living conditions like out there?
LH: Out in —
DE: In, in Burma.
LH: Pretty jungalised. We more or less lived like we should have done in the, in the jungle but it’s quite good. It was. We had some good food. We had our own, we had our own cooks and what not, so we didn’t do too bad. I suppose if I hadn’t had dysentery I shouldn’t have got back out of Burma.
DE: So, it was, it was airstrips in the —
LH: Yes.
DE: In the forest.
LH: Yes. Yes, it was. Actually it was a very interesting time. I mean people said oh this, that and the other, it was terrible but I didn’t find it terrible. I mean, you took it as it came and that was it. You knew what you’d got to put up with. You knew what you had to do, and you did it. And then of course when I went back in to India I was posted to a place called Santa Cruz just outside Bombay which was more or less, well it was like being on the Underground in London. It was very very good. And then from then on of course I came back in to, in to England.
DE: What was, what was the transport like? I mean, you say you liked trains. You must have used trains a bit and then obviously the, the troopships.
LH: Well, trains. I could do with trains all the time. I was really a train man. I was brought up on the railways. I mean I was in a signal, signal box on the Derby-Crewe line for eleven months and I really got to know the railway. And I liked it very much. Training was good and you could move about if you wanted to or you could stay where you were. I moved from Derby-Crewe down to Uttoxeter, and then back to Ashbourne and then from then it was wiped out. The junction was wiped out altogether and I was made redundant.
DE: Was that the cuts? The Beeching cuts.
LH: It was Beeching’s cuts.
DE: Yeah.
LH: Yes. It certainly was.
DE: What were the troop ship transports like that took you out to India and brought you home again?
LH: They were pretty groggy, let’s put it that way. As long as you did as you were told you were alright. But I didn’t like it at all. But then again if you did as you were told you were alright. The troop ships. No.
DE: Were they long journeys?
LH: Well, we started off from South Wales. Went up to Glasgow and from Glasgow back down to the, what was it, the Mediterranean. Then we were sent in to Freetown. We were there for a week because the Germans were outside waiting for us to get out and make after us. But we did go and we finished off going down to South Africa. South Africa we went to, to Bombay, and that’s how I got to know India. Karachi was, Karachi was quite nice. I liked India actually.
DE: What in particular?
LH: I liked the country. I liked some of the people. I met some very nice friends. And that was the main reason and I could get about the country which I did, and that was it. I could have stayed in India.
DE: You didn’t, you didn’t mind the climate then.
LH: No. No. The climate. No. Never worried me a little bit. Not a bit. As I can say I never wore, never wore a sunhat all the time I was in India. I still wore my old RAF hat. And I got some very nice friends.
DE: Was that other RAF personnel or, or —
LH: Well, Anglo-Indian most of them.
DE: Right.
LH: Most, most of the ones but I worked with them. We were BBC but we had taken a part of the Indian radio over and of course we met a lot of the Anglo Indians who had been drafted in to the Force and we got to know them very, very well.
DE: And this was, you were still working on the wirelesses, the radios from the aircraft.
LH: Oh yes. Yes.
DE: Yeah.
LH: Yes, definitely.
DE: So what sort of aircraft were they flying?
LH: We were flying, well mostly it was, what shall I say? We saw a lot the Bedfords, Blenheims, and Spitfires. Anything that came down that wanted repairs to radios we did it.
DE: Did you ever fly?
LH: Not to the extent to work flying. No. I did fly. We often used to manage to get lifts, you know around the countryside but I wasn’t aircrew.
DE: No.
LH: No.
DE: Did you ever consider it?
LH: I did think about it. As a matter of fact I was offered the chance to take a commission. The only thing that stopped me was the fact I knew I should have to do another two years out in India and I didn’t want to do that so I didn’t take it.
DE: What was the contact with your wife like?
LH: Oh, she was, she was in the RAF and of course she could get home from Nottingham back in to Ashwood. She was quite happy and she left the WAAFs before I left the RAF, and it was through that that I didn’t go back.
DE: Yeah.
LH: I wish I had have stayed in the RAF.
DE: But did you used to write to each other?
LH: Oh yes. Yes, we had. We did.
DE: How long did a letter take?
LH: Not too long. About a couple of, a couple of weeks sometimes. Sometimes you got a quick reply. Your answers would come a lot quicker. Correspondence was pretty good during the war. And then of course when I finished, I finished up with going to work on the railway [pause] which I did between Oxford and Uttoxeter. Pomfrey Junction, Leek and various places.
DE: I’ll just pause this.
[recording paused]
LH: But India is the fact that I only saw India, the places that I visited. I mean New Delhi, Delhi. I went there. Fatehpur Sikri, the forbidden city. That was all boarded up.
DE: What was it like?
LH: Pardon?
DE: What was it like?
LH: Well, we never, we never managed to get in to Fatehpur Sikri. We could go around it. I don’t know why it was, it was, it was shut off from the country. It was really quite a nice place. There was the pink city. Jahal. The best place I liked was the central India, was Agra, and of course I saw places that they advertise in the papers nowadays. It costs thousands of pounds to get there whereas I had it all free. Especially through the Taj Mahal. I did enjoy that.
DE: So you did some sightseeing then.
LH: Pardon?
DE: You did see some sights then.
LH: Oh, yes.
DE: Yeah.
LH: Yes. I did.
DE: Did you take a camera?
LH: Yes, I had a camera, and I had a bicycle which I bought to get around the countryside, where ever I wanted to. And I got in with some very nice friends who had been to India for years. And they took us in alright. We got on very well.
DE: So, you went, you went exploring when you had some leave then.
LH: Oh yes.
DE: Yeah.
LH: Yes. I went all over the country, even right down as far, as far as Ceylon [pause] They were good old days, you know when I look back. Really, really good holidays. You can come in Mike, don’t worry about upsetting us.
Other: I was looking to see where your photographs are.
DE: I’ll just pause it again.
[recording paused]
DE: So, I’ll just start recording again. I’ve —
Other: I’ve got the tea coming.
DE: Ok. I’ve been suggested that I should ask you about being chased out of Burma.
LH: Oh yes. We were chased out of Burma soon after we got in there. We’d just got in, more or less settling down and we were chased right out again. But we went back and that was it.
DE: What was it, what was it like when you were retreating from the Japanese?
LH: It was rather strange because the only thing they had between us was about a four foot wide, four foot, four hundred foot river. The River Ramu. And that was as far and they used to shout across to us across the river and they got two of our fellas because we brought their, all their stuff back with us when we left.
DE: So it was quite, quite a close run thing then at times.
LH: Oh, yes. Yes.
DE: Thank you. I’ll just pause it again because there’s tea.
[recording paused]
LH: [unclear] was the place in Burma that we went to. Cox’s Bazaar. That was a place. Ramu, The River [unclear] That was all on the, all on the west coast.
DE: So, were you involved in the Battle of Kohima then? That sort of —
LH: No.
DE: No.
LH: No. I’m not really involved in any of the big battles. We had times when we, we had to be careful and this, that and the other but, no. It’s, I was pretty lucky actually. I’d say very lucky. I don’t know. Yes. But like everything, I mean say you think about these things. You try to remember all the things you’ve seen and it’s impossible to remember everything. Oh, I liked Delhi. I liked Mandodari. That was very nice there. And what was it? Agra was very very nice. And so was Bhopal. That was very nice. We were there just before they had that trouble in Bhopal.
DE: Going back to to Burma what did you think about the Japanese? What was your attitude to them?
LH: Well, we didn’t see a lot of them. We heard a lot of them but we didn’t see a lot of them and we were sort of one side the river and they were the other side of the river and that was it. And then we were suddenly moved off and we went back, we went back in to India. Well, I’d say we were pushed off really.
DE: When you were, when you were being pushed out of Burma. Burma. Were you, were you worried about being taken prisoner?
LH: No. No. We were lucky in that respect in as much that we, Burma we, we did hold the border. We held the border very well there and it was just a hop across on to the ferry and back into India. But then the second time when we went in of course we went right down as far as Rangoon, and of course the Japanese were pushed right out. But I did meet a few Japanese. A few Japanese prisoners. They didn’t like being taken prisoners. They seemed all right. I mean, they were only humans like we were but they seemed to be funny people. They thought nothing of committing suicide and things like that which we wouldn’t even dream of. I’m just trying to think of the point where we were stationed.
[pause]
LH: A lot has gone through my head and that. I can’t just recall it.
DE: Yeah.
LH: It’s seventy years ago.
DE: It is. Yeah. It’s a fair old while.
LH: But it’s nice of you to come and have a talk about things. Is there anything else that’s —
DE: Well, I’ve got, there’s other things we could talk about. So, where were you when the war ended? Were, were you on —
LH: When the war ended I was in central India. That’s when, that’s when it ended in India and Burma and we were, I was then enroute back to England and I remember passing, passing Malta and then we went through, right through until we got to England.
DE: So, did you, did you hear about Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
LH: Oh yes. We heard all about that.
DE: Yeah.
LH: Yeah.
DE: What were your thoughts?
LH: I thought it was scandalous. I’d never even think that they used bombs like that but of course that was it.
DE: So, did you celebrate the end of the war then?
LH: We did, yes. We celebrated well. I finished up at Morecambe funnily enough. We were all posted off to a camp outside Morecambe and we did a real good celebration there. A very good celebration. And from Morecambe I went home on disembarkation leave and I went there. I was there in 1940, ‘45. Christmas. I never went back. Never went back, which I ought to have done. I never went back in to the RAF.
DE: What was demob like?
LH: Ok. I went straight on to the railway when I, when I came out of the RAF [pause] But I did, I met quite a nice lot of people.
DE: Sure.
LH: In India.
DE: What did you think about the Partition of India?
LH: Well, we didn’t know really a lot about it. We knew what was happening and you could tell at the time that you’d got to be careful what you said and what you did and that was that. You never used to mention politics. You thought it better to remain silent. I mean you was always the British Raj this that, the British Raj that and they were going to do this and they were going to do that, but it never came off. I know there was a very good hairdresser in Agra I got to know. He used to do my hair pretty well.
[pause]
A place called Juhu, just outside Bombay. That was a very nice place. I could have stayed in India.
DE: So they offered you a promotion.
LH: Yeah. I could really have stayed in India.
DE: What would you have been doing then if you’d have stayed?
LH: I don’t know what I should have been. I should have had to take a commission I think. I think that was the only way that I could have stayed in.
DE: So then would you —
LH: It was when they said it would mean I would have to do another extra two years in India I thought oh no, that’s not for me. Bombay was a nice place in parts. I’ve got some photographs there which I took because I always had the camera with me.
[pause]
LH: Well, I think that’s about all I can recall.
DE: That’s really interesting. Thank you. Just one other question that I usually ask is is have you any thoughts about the way the Second World War has been remembered? I mean you said it’s seventy years ago now.
LH: In the way that, well I don’t remember very much of the end of the Second World War because as I say we were coming home from India at the time when it had happened in India and Burma, and we were getting back to England. But with regard to celebrating should I say, the end of the Second World War in England, it had already been done more or less. We all went back to our normal stations. I went, I went back to Cardington and then from Cardington back to Wittering and from Wittering I was demobbed. But it didn’t seem a lot to us, the celebration of the end of the Second World War.
DE: But what about the way it’s been remembered in the history books and on television?
LH: A lot of it was true. A lot of it was false. A lot of it was just made up as one might say. I know, my experience, the fact that I came out and I was posted back to the Army in Yatesbury, to the RAF in Yatesbury and I went back to my Unit and everything went just as normal. It was there that I was recommended I should stay in the Royal Air Force, but of course you know what. It didn’t happen. The one thing about it, we did see the world.
DE: Yes. Because you said you had three days in South Africa.
LH: Yes. That was a strange lot. We got off the boat, went walking around the city and this, that and the other and back to the boat. Back again in to the city. And on the third day we weren’t allowed out. We knew we were moving. We knew we moved from South Africa. We went on to Bombay then. Mumbai as it is now. All I remember of Bombay is the fact that in the harbour when we got there we’d nothing but a sea of floating turbans. Everybody had thrown their turbans into the sea. They were good old days, they were bad old days but I think the good seemed to mix in enough with the bad for it to say well it was just as you saw it.
DE: So even with retreating from the Japanese and being ill for eight months it was a, it was a good time.
LH: It was. It was, yes. It definitely was. The only Japanese we actually saw were prisoners. We didn’t see many of those. I had some good times, had some bad times. Taking it, taking it all in it wasn’t all too bad. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. I did enjoy it. It was an experience. An experience which thousands of people would never experience. The only thing was, as I said if it hadn’t been for my wife I should have stayed in.
DE: Yes.
LH: Full time. But I didn’t.
DE: What did she do in the, in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force?
LH: She was a typist. She was just outside Newton. Outside, just out Nottingham and of course she wasn’t far from home. She could get home when she had a couple of days off and she was very, very happy about that but she left the Air Force before I did. Aye.
[pause]
DE: And I’m just wondering why you’ve, why you’re living here now? When did you move?
LH: Pardon?
DE: When did you move here?
LH: From [pause] I went to, I was born in Reading, and we moved down into Reading from Derbyshire. We were there for ten years in to the cottage where I was born. My aunt who lived in it bought the place and she left it to us in her will when she passed away. The only thing about Reading was the fact we couldn’t get a bungalow to suit my wife. She couldn’t climb stairs so we decided that we’d see what Lincoln had got. But having been six or seven months at Wainfleet during the war we went to Wainfleet. We went all around and we found this place in Chapel St Leonards and we liked it. My wife liked it so we decided that we would stay and we did.
DE: Right.
LH: I’ve always enjoyed it here. I still like it. I still like Chapel St Leonards. I like Lincolnshire.
DE: We haven’t talked about your time at Wainfleet. What were you doing there?
LH: Oh, at Wainfleet I was on the bombing range.
DE: Right.
LH: I was doing radio repairs on the bombing range. It was a crude place but mind you we didn’t half soup up some aircraft. It altered quite a bit after a while. It was just, it was just like a hut on the bombing on the side of the runway [pause] and we we held the radio communications for the station. Mango, Mango. That was our call sign.
DE: Was it, was it very busy then, the bombing range?
LH: It was very busy indeed. Very, busy. It was.
DE: And were they, were they dropping live, live bombs or —
LH: Practice, yes. Live bombs on the proper bombing range but practice bombs. They dropped quite a few of those. That was the days of the Blenheims. Most of them were Blenheims, and the Wellingtons. I always remember all those.
DE: And how accurate were they? How close to the targets did they get?
LH: They were pretty good. They got pretty good at it.
DE: So were you in communication with them when they were doing?
LH: Yes.
DE: Right.
LH: Yes. Oh yes. Radio communication. I can see it all now.
DE: So, how did it work? Were they told how well they’d done and how close they’d got to the target?
LH: Yes. Yes. They were given a report sheet as to what they’d missed and what they’d hit and it all added up I suppose to whatever they did. Of course that was the days of, like I say the American heavy bombers, our Blenheims and what not.
DE: Yeah. So, I suppose being posted to India when you were you, you didn’t see the big bomber fleets of Lancasters and Halifaxes.
LH: No. Only Halifaxes. Halifaxes. Saw all those aircraft in the hangars at the base.
DE: Did you ever work on radar?
LH: Yeah. Oh, yes. Yes, we had radar. We had a lot of radar repairs to do. We went down to the Isle of Wight for that.
[pause]
DE: What was that like to work on?
LH: Quite good really. You could see how things were developing. You could see as it was going to be the, well the means of communication in the end which it was.
DE: So, did you do any work with the navigation aids like Gee and H2S and things like that or —
LH: No.
DE: No.
LH: No. We used to go up in the bombers and test radios when we’d repaired them or when they wanted repairing. We used to go up with the, with the bombers. It was very [unclear] But I never really wanted to, to be in the flying crew. I don’t know why. I didn’t mind the odd journey in an aircraft. That was great. Absolutely was wonderful. Has it been of interest to you?
DE: It’s been fantastic. Thank you very much. Yes.
LH: Anything, anything else you would like to know?
DE: Well, usually the last thing I say is is there anything else that you would like to tell?
LH: Not really. Not as, not as I know of. Except I’ve had all the encouragement with my in-laws and family in doing the jobs that I wanted to do and, and there we are. But with regards to finishing with the Royal Air Force well it just, it came as I’ve told you if it hadn’t been for my wife who didn’t like the idea of [pause] what should I say, being out with me in the aircraft, and having our own, our own aircraft err our own houses, she didn’t like that idea at all. That’s what really put it down.
DE: Yeah. Right, well, I shall, I shall switch the recording off. Can I just say thank you very much again for —
LH: It’s been a pleasure.
DE: For the interview.
LH: I only hope I’ve told you enough to make you realise it was worth coming for.
DE: Well, there’s, there’s nearly, nearly an hour’s worth on the tape so—
LH: Oh.
DE: Right. So thank you very much.
Other: I want to ask you a question.
DE: Oh, ok. I should —
Other: You’ve mentioned Wainfleet.
DE: We have mentioned Wainfleet.
Other: Right. And was it the sergeant or the corporal coming on the motorbike?
DE: Oh, not had that. Is there a story about a non-commissioned officer on a motorbike at Wainfleet?
LH: Oh yes. Yes.
DE: Right.
LH: We, we were on radio station and this corporal, Corporal Green he had a BSA motorcycle, and he often wondered I think why we were always busy working when he came. We got the beat of his engine, you see. We knew somebody was there so we were all ready for him. That was the —
Other: You used to speak to him on the radio.
LH: The good old days. The good old days.
DE: I shall leave it there then. Thank you very much.
LH: Thank you.
DE: Cheers.

Citation

Dan Ellin, “Interview with Len Harper,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 2, 2021, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17229.

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