Interview with George Rogers

Title

Interview with George Rogers

Description

Summary: George Rogers joined the RAF in 1930 at 16 as an aircraft mechanic. He talks about the build up to war, rationing and the fall of France. George was sent to India with the Royal Navy. Holidays and relaxation are discussed with stories from his time abroad, his feelings about leaders and morale in the RAF. Towards the end of the war he was sent back to the UK and enjoyed being back with his wife, becoming a Chief Engineer at Gatwick after leaving the service.

Creator

Date

2016-06-13

Language

Type

Format

01:12:08 Audio Recording

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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

ARogersG160613

Transcription

TO: Right, good morning, good afternoon or good evening, whatever the case may be. This interview is being filmed for the International Bomber Command Centre. I’m interviewing Mr George Rogers.
GR: Just a little louder.
TO: Okay. Also in the room with us is Nina Bruce and my name’s Thomas Ozel and we’re recording this interview on the 13th of June 2016. Mr Rogers what year were you born in?
GR: 1914, yeah.
TO: And whereabouts were you born?
GR: I was born in a little village called Oxon, in, near Banbury.
TO: And were your parents in the First World War?
GR: Erm, not directly involved, cause my father was in what would have been called today a reserved occupation. He was actually a farmer his job, but he turned into a butcher for the, during the war which was 1913, wasn’t it.
TO: And do you remember hearing the celebrations when the First World War ended?
GR: No, I don’t remember much about that, because at that time I would only have been thirteen or fourteen years old, or even less.
TO: And what was your first job?
GR: My first job was in the RAF, as an aircraft mechanic, putting right aircraft that had gone wrong!
TO: And were you interested in aircraft when you were young?
GR: I was a little bit, yes, because in the village where we lived, an aeroplane landed, which was quite unusual, and my sisters took me to see this. So that was the very first thing they got into trouble over, I was too young for them to bother.
TO: And did you collect model aeroplanes?
GR: I did once or twice. I had a go at making model aircraft, yeah.
TO: When you were growing up did you remember hearing about Hitler in Europe?
GR: When you say growing up, what age are you talking about?
TO: Late teens onwards.
GR: I mean I may have heard a bit about it, not much though. In those days it was, not, people weren’t too interested in the rest of Europe as they are today.
TO: Did you go to the cinema much?
GR: Did I what?
TO: Go to the cinema, very much?
GR: I went to the cinema, yeah, but I only saw about two films as far as I can remember, and I can’t remember those now.
TO: And do you remember when Chamberlain went to Munich?
GR: Yes. I remember that fairly well. Came back and thought, I don’t know what he thought really because, it was, I think he tried to give the impression there would be no war, when he came back. I don’t know, I forget from history whether he actually met Hitler. I don’t think he did. I think he met a lot of German generals.
TO: Do you think he made the right decision?
GR: Did he [emphasis] make the right? Yeah. The decision you were, was it his decision to go, or -
TO: His decision to let Germany have part of Czechoslovakia.
GR: Sorry, you have to be a bit louder.
TO: It was Chamberlain’s idea to go to Munich and appease Hitler. What do you think of his decision?
GR: I don’t really know, well honestly I don’t know. I, it was all, in my working life I could say, when Chamberlain went there, and we did notice a little bit that the forces were increasing, and aircraft were being built and used much more extensively.
TO: And when did you join the RAF?
GR: When? I joined the RAF when I was sixteen years old. Add that on to 1914 and you’ll get it there. But that’s, I can’t remember the exact date when I joined.
TO: Would it be in 1930?
GR: Somewhere about that, yes. Now you’ve said it was, round about 1930.
TO: What attracted you to the RAF?
GR: What attracted me? Well, I would probably say two things. Number one, we lived out in the country with no work for people and so it was, to my mind, I can remember even now, it was a way of getting a permanent job and the other reason was well, after seeing an aeroplane I was curious about it.
TO: Do you remember what the first aircraft was that you worked on?
GR: The first one I worked on was a Tiger Moth, little aircraft. And it crashed! Unfortunately, but that wasn’t my fault. Hah!
TO: Was anyone injured in the crash?
GR: No. Not in that [emphasis] crash, nobody was injured.
TO: And when, do you remember if people in the RAF thought that war was coming?
GR: I don’t think anybody really thought a war would come. No, I don’t think we thought that there was going to be a war, no.
TO: Do you remember when modern aircraft like the Hurricanes and Spitfires first came in?
GR: Well it was after I’d been in the service about couple of years I knew about the Spitfire and the Hurricane.
TO: And can you tell me about what tests you were given when you joined the RAF?
GR: What tests? Well written tests of a lot of, what we called in our day I suppose, physics. Maths too, when I think about it, maths and physics.
TO: And what would be your routine for a day at an airfield?
GR: What would be?
TO: Your routine.
GR: Routine. In, at that time, well when we got, cause there were paths, I say paths, there were three hundred of us boys all in a place called Halton. RAF, and we were roused by Reveille and after breakfast there would be marching and then from then we would go to the school, either the academic school or an engineering school.
TO: How old were the people you were working with?
GR: They were all about my age. About twenty one or two.
TO: And what were your duties as a mechanic?
GR: What were my duty? To put right what were gone wrong! And repair anything that was, needed repairing because we’d been taught in the metal work and so I was able to make things.
TO: Did you work with anyone who had been in the First World War?
GR: No, not that I remember.
TO: When, were you surprised when war started in 1939?
GR: You know, not really, I wasn’t. I hated the idea, but I could, the way everything was preparing for it, it was it.
TO: And do you remember the preparations that were being made for war?
GRL: Yeah. The building up of the forces was, I thought was the main thing and more of our boys as I was there, were being trained as pilots.
TO: And were the, were you getting new aircraft as well?
GR: Yes, there was some new aircraft. I was [cough] I mean were mostly training aircraft at that time and the only ones I can remember of course was the Tiger, Tiger Moth which I said, and later on one called the Lysander.
TO: Were they good aircraft?
GR: Yes, they were good aircraft in their day, I mean what constitutes a good aircraft? [Laugh]
TO: I suppose one that’s reliable.
GR: Yes. I don’t think that the general public thought we were very reliable at first, but after a while they got used to the idea.
TO: How did the public treat you before the war?
GR: They were very silent about it, nobody spoke much about it at all. I don’t know whether the general public ever thought, really, that we should have a war. They may have done.
TO: Do you think Britain could have been better prepared for the war?
GR: Sorry?
TO: Could Britain have made more preparations for the war?
GR: [Cough] Yes, I think they could have done, but I suppose after the First World War nobody wanted a war again and they didn’t want to think about it.
TO: Did you have any relatives in the armed forces?
GR: Did I?
TO: Any relatives, in the armed forces?
GR: Do you know, I don’t think I had one, not one relative, well until my, the war started then my two brothers were both called up into the Army. But my other brother, my elder brother, he was in Canada, way up, but it was just my two brothers and they both got called up in the Army.
TO: And do you actually remember the day that Chamberlain announced that war had started?
GR: No. I don’t, I could visualise it, and say it was, that was the day I remember, but no, I didn’t really remember the day we went to war.
TO: Was there a fear of bombing when war started?
GR: Was there?
TO: A fear of German bombers?
GR: During my time? Oh yes. There was bombing all over the country for that matter, mostly in the south I suppose, cause I was in London at one period of time doing a course and we were bombed all night.
TO: Were people, but before the war, were people afraid of bombing then?
GR: I don’t know, I really don’t know. I think they probably were.
TO: And how did you actually feel when the war started?
GR: I felt, upset’s not the word, I can’t think of the correct word to say, but I didn’t like it. Didn’t like the idea at all.
TO: And do you remember the rationing?
GR: The what?
TO: The rationing, the rationing of food?
GR: Sorry.
TO: Do you remember when food started being rationed?
GR: Sorry, I still can’t hear.
TO: When food was being rationed. Do you remember?
GR: Oh yes. I can’t remember the date when it started but I remember it very well when we were having it.
TO: Could you describe how the food changed?
GR: How the system worked? Everyone had a rationing book. And in that book was sort of a butcher’s page, a grocery page and you were allowed so many points, for a joint of beef say, or sausages or something and they’d, it was the butcher or grocer who had cross them off and it worked I suppose more on weekly basis.
TO: You mentioned that you were at a place called RAF Halton.
GR: Yes.
TO: What were your, do you, was there anything that happened there stick in your mind at all?
GR: It was mostly training. We were either in the workshops learning to do doing metalwork, or were in the school learning the academic side. In between there was a lot of marching and military training, with rifles if I remember rightly.
TO: Could you describe this training?
GR: Did?
TO: Describe this training, please.
GR: Describe?
TO: What you did during this training?
GR: During that time. You just get up in the morning, you do your march, your meals and marching. You’d go to the probably go to the workshops and you’d spend, yes, practically the whole day. There were, we had instructors there who taught us how to deal with certain situations like how to use the lathe, or, I used major instruments too.
TO: And did they have good teachers?
GR: Did they have?
TO: Good teachers. Good teachers. Did they have?
GR: Procedures?
TO: Teachers.
GR: Sorry.
TO: Did they have good teachers?
GR: Oh! Teachers, yes. I think we got the impression they were more or less men who’d been in the job for some time and then the RAF employed them as tutors and teachers for us boys. I should think that was about it. I can remember vaguely the appearance of one or two of them.
TO: Do you remember hearing when France was defeated?
GR: When?
TO: France was defeated, in 1940?
GR: No I didn’t, not really. I seem to remember, Churchill I think it was, saying we are now on our own, after France had gone. I mean, think France more or less split up, didn’t it, and one section joined up with the Germans in effect, and the other sections fought against them in any way they could!
TO: And after France was defeated, were people worried that Hitler would invade?
GR: Were people what?
TO: Worried that Hitler would invade?
GR: I don’t know, I think they may have been.
TO: And were you worried about an invasion?
GR: I was?
TO: Were you worried, yourself? Were you worried about an invasion?
GR: No, I wasn’t really. Coming to the period when the RAF shot down so many aeroplanes in one day and we began to think we will win this war anyway.
TO: Where were you stationed during the Battle of Britain?
GR: I don’t remember if I, by that time I’d got to India, I think I probably had, because I left England in the very early part. We went across to South America, and from South America went to South Africa, up to Egypt, from Egypt to Ceylon, called Sri Lanka now, and from Sri Lanka into Southern, Southern India. Now the reason I went all that way round, was because we were supposed to, I only learned this later, supposed to be a decoy for the Germans where they thought we would invade – that’s what we were told, anyway. But of course all that time I’d been, I call it shanghaied into the Navy! Hah! T’isn’t probably the right word but still, that’s what it appeared to me to be like. I do remember the one dread, in the early days of the war was I never wanted to go to India and I never wanted to fight. That’s about the way I see it. It’s a job to talk about things like that, which, what, 1929 was it, when war broke out?
TO: It was in September, 1939 when war broke out.
GR: ’39, yeah. Yes it was September, that I do remember.
TO: So, you mentioned that you’d been shanghaied into the Navy. How did that happen?
GR: Well at that time I was a member of the RAF, they just transferred me into the, to live with the Navy and what we really went for was to teach the Navy something about our aircraft, or any aircraft for that matter at that early stage the Navy didn’t have many aircraft, if the main, or in fact only a very few.
TO: So did you, so were you in Britain when the bombing started, or had you left by then?
GR: I’d gone! I read about it, in, I’d say the letters from my wife but then they were all censored, she wasn’t allowed to and I wasn’t allowed to send her letters except having them, everything was censored.
TO: When you were going to India on the ship, was there a fear of u-boat attacks?
GR: Was there a period?
TO: A fear of u-boat attacks?
GR: I never feared it, but it could happen. No, I don’t think we did fear it, but it had happened, and it did happen.
TO: Can you remember the conditions on the ships you were on?
GR: Well, we were more fortunate in the fact that we, there were eight of us all of the same rank, lived in a, what had been a first class cabin and we had to join the rest for meals and everything, but we lived fairly comfortably all that time we were going round as I told you.
TO: So were you on a passenger ship?
GR: A passenger. Yes.
TO: And what did you think of Churchill’s decision to order the bombing of Germany?
GR: Sorry.
TO: What did you think of, what did you think when the RAF were ordered to bomb Germany?
GR: We didn’t think too much about it. In fact I doubt if we hardly realised it had happened.
TO: So what, do you remember what your, what squadrons you were in?
GR: What?
TO: Squadrons you were in. In the RAF. Which squadrons were you in, in the RAF?
GR: What squadron? I started off in 33, but I left there of course when they as I said, transferred me to the Navy and so I maintained the rank I had there in the Navy, which was, the rank was around about Petty Officer I think, they called them.
TO: And were your duties as a mechanic?
GR: What did I do as a mechanic? What, in the Navy or?
TO: Both, both.
GR: Mostly teaching other mechanics. What faults had happened and what was likely to happen.
TO: What were the main faults that you had to teach them about?
GR: Failure of the engines, I suppose was the main thing, and most of that was due to the ignition system.
TO: Do you have a favourite aircraft of that time?
GR: A favourite?
TO: A favourite aircraft.
GR: No.
TO: Were you worried that Britain would get defeated?
GR: Sorry?
TO: Were you worried that Britain would get defeated?
GR: No. No, I don’t think that thought ever entered our heads.
TO: And what do you think was the most important battle of the war?
GR: The Invasion I suppose, and it took place. The other important battle if you like, was when we were retreated, back from the Germans, and lots of soldiers killed on the beaches at that time.
TO: And had you ever considered joining the Army?
GR: No. No, that was the last thing I thought of. I only joined the RAF because I thought it was technical and I should learn something.
TO: And when you were with the Navy, were you stationed on warships at all?
GR: Was I?
TO: Stationed on warships?
GR: Stationed on warships. No, not on warships because we were all on, they had lots of naval bases and they called them ships, and the ship I spent a lot of time at, on, was down at Lee on Solent and I forgot what they called the ship there, but we spent a lot of time there because it was the [emphasis] base for the Navy I think. Or when I say Navy, I should really say Fleet Air Arm.
TO: How were you treated by the rest of the Fleet Air Arm?
GR: By what?
TO: How were you treated by the Fleet Air Arm?
GR: How was I?
TO: Treated.
GR: Sleeping?
TO: Treated. By the Fleet Air Arm.
GR: Sorry, I’m..
TO: How did the Fleet Air Arm treat you, as a member of the RAF?
GR: Oh they treated us all right, they tried to train us to be sailors if you like [chuckle]. I mean when you went out from the camp, or the ship, you never allowed to go out through the main gate, had to go out a little side gate.
TO: And what kind of entertainment did these ships have?
GR: I don’t know, actually I saw any entertainment at all, at the places I was in, but that’s not to say it didn’t take place, but I cannot recall any place where there was entertainment, except [emphasis] what the soldiers or sailors did themselves.
TO: And what did they do to entertain themselves?
GR: Well they, they did small plays, I suppose that’s the main thing I can remember, taking part in some of the small plays where lots of soldiers, I say lots, some of them, had to become females, if you like.
TO: And what did you think of Churchill?
GR: I think we admired him; and I think we all admired him in the period he was alive. After I read, later on, I learnt that he was not quite the angel we expected or had appreciated, still, because he got into a lot of trouble in South Africa, but then that was all forgotten. His speeches enthused the country.
TO: Did you listen to his speeches?
GR: No. No, I don’t remember listening to any.
TO: And what was the climate like in Southern India?
GR: The?
TO: The climate, in Southern India.
GR: Well the climate in India was very warm, like it is today. All the time we were there we had very little rain as far as I remember.
TO: Did you have to take medicine to avoid disease?
GR: Did what?
TO: Did you have to take medicine to avoid disease?
GR: Yes, we take some medicine. I’ve forgotten. I think we took tablets of some sort, as against malaria and things like that. I think it depended a bit where you went in the world as to what tablets you took.
TO: And what was your ship like in India?
GR: My ship? It was all on dry land and I can’t remember anything unusual about it. One or two places where there was grass. Ah, but I remember we used to be able to take holidays. And to take holidays you went up in the hills to a place called Ootacamund and that’s where we’d take our, took our holidays. I was lucky in the war really because during all that time I was in India I avoided a lot of the restrictions and rationing that took place. We didn’t have any rationing in India at all.
TO: Did you hear about Japan attacking Pearl Harbor?
GR: No. Not till after the war, we heard about it. Oh, I don’t know, I think we probably did, because I think that was one of the things we hoped would pull America into the war.
TO: Did you hear about Japan conquering Singapore?
GR: Japan’s sovereign.
TO: Conquering Singapore?
GR: No.
TO: Were you worried that Japan might attack India?
GR: What?
TO: Were you worried Japan might attack India?
GR: No. They were too far away and there were other countries bordering India which the Japanese would attack, and they did, with Burma for instance.
TO: When you were in India, did you ever see anyone protesting for independence?
TO: Anybody?
TO: Protesting for Britain to leave?
GR: No, they just accepted us, as we did, but no, wasn’t a lot of English people living in India at that time. I remember one experience I had. I went for a holiday from Utali Command to somewhere up north and on the way back, and while we’re there we stayed in a hotel, we had, we played bridge with a couple of ladies who happened to be there. Now the reason they were all there was their husbands were in North Africa and the next day we had to go back and we went back by bus, and one of these ladies said well you’re coming past my place - call in. So we did. And she was living in her home, her husband was in North Africa. She told us she’d had a baby, the baby died, she had had to bury the baby and deal entirely with all the things that she’d had to deal with, on her own! Funnily enough, at that time, we never worried about wild animals but there were a few jaguars around, so we were told.
TO: And did you ever witness any racism in the forces?
GR: Did I what?
TO: Witness any racism, in the forces?
GR: Any?
TO: Racism.
GR: No. I’m sorry I didn’t get that at all.
TO: Did you ever see any racism?
GR: Racism? No. I didn’t see any racism, not in India, I think because, when we were at the base there we employed a lot if Indians to do a lot of our labour jobs and we always got on all right with them. I don’t know quite how they regarded us.
TO: What did you think of senior Allied leaders?
GR: What?
TO: What did you think of senior Allied leaders?
GR: Sorry.
TO: What did think of Allied leaders like Roosevelt, or Stalin?
GR: I’m sorry. Sorry, this hearing of mine.
TO: What did you think of Allied leaders such as Roosevelt of America.
GR: Allied leaders? I think we thought, were rather proud of them. I think we were, unbelievably but, I don’t know quite what the word is, but, well one German general, he was thought to be quite good. I’ve forgotten what his name is now.
TO: Would that be Rommel?
GR: Yes! It was Rommel, yeah. I think we fought against him in south, in North Africa and that was the, I think that really was the turning point of the war when we recaptured a lot of North Africa, especially the only bit that I knew was called Mersa Matruh. And funnily enough I remember that because the sand was all beautifully white on the beach and everything, where we used to go swimming. The beach was quite white.
TO: What else do you remember about your time in Egypt?
GR: My time in?
TO: Egypt.
GR: It was sort of more or less a daily routine of going to work and we had a number of aeroplanes would come in with problems. One particular problem we had at, that stuck in my memory, was the fact that some big noise was out in the desert in an aeroplane and the propellor got damaged and I was set out, sent out to repair this or do something about it, and when I got there and looked at the thing, I decided to cut one side off the propellor to balance the two legs and we flew back like that.
TO: Do you remember what kind of aircraft that was?
GR: I can’t remember what they’re called, but what we had to deal with mostly there were American aircraft, and I can’t remember what they called them. They had some big bombers which were quite bigger than we had ever dealt with before, but there was also a number of fighter aircraft. So I can’t remember what they’re called. But we had to learn about them.
TO: Some of the American bombers might have been Flying Fortresses.
GR: American bombers what?
TO: Flying, fortresses, is that name familiar? Cause that was a big American bomber. How long were you in India for?
GR: Probably a couple of years. I don’t remember exactly how long, but it was some considerable time. That’s why I was lucky in a way because those two years I was out of the main problems in England.
TO: What did you think of the main RAF leaders?
GR: I never thought much about it, quite honestly. I suppose we considered he was doing a good job and that was it.
TO: What did you think of Arthur Harris?
GR: Of who?
TO: Arthur Harris.
GR: Harris? I’ve never had to try to answer that question ever. Because he was just a man as far as I’m concerned, with a job to do. He did it pretty well I think. I don’t know whether he was one of the generals went down with Churchill and met Stalin later on.
TO: And what about Hugh Dowding?
TO: What?
TO: Hugh Dowding, the, he was the RAF. What about Hugh Dowding? What did you think of him?
GR: He was, well we didn’t think much about him at all. He was just there to do a job and that was it.
TO: So, did you leave India in 1943?
GR: I guess so, I’m not sure. I know we had to travel from Southern India where we were, up to Bombay, and it wasn’t called Bombay now, and we came home by boat from Bombay through the Suez Canal and that way.
TO: Who were you training, when you were India?
GR: Who what?
TO: Who were you training in India. Who did you train in India?
GR: Who did I? I don’t know. I’m not sure I answer that question. I’m not sure what the question was.
TO: Do you know, were they from the Navy, or the Air Force?
GR: Were they what?
TO: Were you training people from the Navy or people from the Air Force, in India?
GR: I think, we supported the Navy; well we had to. We always, I think we always secretly thought we ought to be with the RAF.
TO: So where were you sent after India?
GR: What?
TO: Where were you sent after you were in India?
GR: Where was I?
TO: Sent after India.
GR: Sorry.
TO: You said you came home from India through the Suez Canal. Where were you sent after that?
GR: Where was I sent after that? Oh, I, well I got back to England. They gave us a pretty good holiday and then we were sent up, I was sent up a to a place near Warrington in North London, oh not London, North England I should say, and for the first time I had a little bit of family life.
TO: Was that at RAF Padgate?
GR: I’ve forgotten.
TO: It’s just that there’s a place in Warrington called RAF Padgate.
GR: They had American machines there, I do remember that, and I thought well I can cope with this situation because I’ve done it all in India, with these machines.
TO: What was your job back in Britain then?
GR: What was?
TO: What were you doing when you were in Warrington?
GR: When I was?
TO: Stationed in Warrington.
GR: Repairing aircraft, as far as I can remember. I mean we may have now and again been asked to teach somebody but then mostly we were, spent our time repairing aircraft or not doing much at all really because the war was practically over then. Well it was over as far as Britain was concerned, there was still the war going on in the Middle East at that time, no, not the Middle East, the Far East.
TO: Did you ever work on American aircraft?
GR: Did I ever?
TO: Work on American aircraft.
GR: Yes! Many times, these at Warrington, and in India.
TO: What did you think of these American aircraft?
GR: Oh, we thought they were quite good, that’s all. [Noise]
TO: Shall I close it? Sorry. [Door closing] [/noise]
GR: Did you want that closed?
TO: It’s just that the noise interferes.
[Other]: Noise outside.
GR: But it’s very warm in here.
[Other]: We’ll open it up.
TO: We’ll open it later. Did you ever help train any pilots?
GR: Not until after the war, yes. After the war I became what they called Chief Engineer for a small fleet of aircraft down at Gatwick. We had, there, there was a Dakota which, which was all very familiar to me, and two other aircraft, a DH89 I think was the other one, and there was another one but I’m not sure whether that was just a Tiger Moth or what.
TO: And do you remember what the nationalities were of the people that you taught?
GR: The nationality?
TO: Yes.
GR: Of the people.
TO: You taught.
GR: As far as I know they were all English.
TO: Did you ever fly anywhere in aircraft?
GR: Did I ever?
TO: During the war did you fly, in any planes?
GR: Yes, two or three times. After we’d done a repair it was sometimes necessary to fly to check it. I was never allowed to become a pilot because I had blood pressure.
TO: Did you enjoy flying?
GR: Oh yes! Done some since.
TO: What was morale like in the Air Force?
GR: The what?
TO: What was the morale of the air force?
GR: I think it was quite good, yeah. There always used, everybody said well we’ll be damn glad to get out of this, but the morale on the whole was quite good.
TO: And what’s the, your best memory of what happened during the war?
GR: I don’t know. I think the best memory was going across the Atlantic on the way to Brazil, or not Brazil, I think it was Rio de Janeiro we went to. I was, I mean I was always disappointed, or upset if you like, by the parting from my wife, but that just had to go on.
TO: So what year did you get married?
GR: Amazingly enough, before the war started. Whatever that, whatever date the war started was the date we got married [laugh].
TO: And what did you think of the German aircraft?
GR: The German aircraft. Never had much to do with them so difficult to pass an opinion. No.
TO: Did German aircraft ever attack where you were?
GR: No, not to my knowledge.
TO: [Pause] Okay. Ask him.
[Other]: Are you too tired to continue?
GR: Thank you.
[Other]: You okay, to continue, or you too tired?
TO: Are you feeling tired?
[Other]: Are you feeling tired, are you feeling tired George, or can you continue?
TO: Do you want to continue or are you feeling tired?
GR: I’m getting tired quite honestly.
TO: Okay, I’ll just ask a couple more questions. Then we’ll do.
TO: Do you remember what you did on the day the war ended?
GR: No. [Laugh]
TO: How did you, do you feel today about Germany today and the war?
GR: I don’t have any feelings about them at all really. Course everybody hated Hitler and we were all delighted the way he was gone, but apart from that.
TO: And do you think the war was worth the price?
GR: What?
TO: Do you think the war was worth it?
GR: I’ve never even considered that. That’s a difficult question to say. In some ways it was worth it. It made us, I think Churchill used to say “stir up,” [laugh] made people work a bit harder in factories and everything.
TO: Do you think that Bomber Command was treated unfairly?
GR: Bomber Command was what?
TO: Treated unfairly, after the war?
GR: No, I don’t know, is the answer to that.
TO: What do you think of films that have been made about the war?
GR: What do I think of?
TO: The films that have been made about the war?
GR: Do you know, I haven’t seen any films made about the war, so I don’t know how many that were made.
TO: How do you feel about Britain’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan?
GR: What?
TO: Britain’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan?
GR: In Iraq. I think we should have probably kept out of it. What was his name the Prime Minister in those days? I’ve forgotten his name now.
TO: Blair.
GR: Blair, that’s right. I think we were more or less drawn into it with America, in a way.
TO: And how do you feel today about Japan or Italy?
GR: Going back to your first question. I remember that part of Iraq which the Iraqi’s had taken over, I forgotten that bit in the south and we were a bit upset about that and probably that was one of the reasons we took part in the war. What was it?
TO: Kuwait.
GR: The rain?
TO: Kuwait do you mean.
GR: It’s in the south of Iraq. You may be right, I can’t remember now.
TO: How do you feel today about your wartime service?
GR: About?
TO: Your wartime service?
GR: I never gave it a thought. I thought, yeah, I feel I just did my bit, and that was it.
TO: And is there anything you want to add about what’s happened to you which you want to talk about?
GR: Not particularly no, I’ve lived my life quite satisfactory I might say. Some things I would have done differently.
TO: Right, well thank you very much, I really enjoyed hearing your story. Thank you.
GR: I’m sorry I’ve been this deaf.
TO: No that’s fine, it’s fine, thank you.

Collection

Citation

Tom Ozel, “Interview with George Rogers,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 24, 2022, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/26385.

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