Interview with Ralph Alfrado Ottey. Three

Title

Interview with Ralph Alfrado Ottey. Three

Description

Ralph Ottey recounts an occasion when he came to the rescue of a local lady who found herself in difficulty while swimming in the local river.

Creator

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

2020-08-28

Contributor

Julie Williams

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

00:05:52 Audio Recording

Language

Type

Identifier

AOtteyRA200828-02
POtteyRA2001
POtteyRA2002

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

HH: Ok.
[pause]
HH: Over to you.
[pause]
RO: Yeah. My name is Ralph Ottey and I served in the RAF at RAF Tattershall Thorpe from nineteen forty — 1945. And one incident that remained with me I was, we used to go to the village of Kirkby on Bain to village dances on a, on a Saturday night. And my friend Roy March and I got friendly with two, two girls in Kirkby on Bain. And one of them was the, the pub landlord’s daughter. And one day I went back to Kirkby on Bain in the afternoon to see my girlfriend that I, we generally met at the pub and when I went there she wasn’t there. And the landlord said that his daughter who was a friend of my girlfriend who was down in the river, the River Bain was having a swim at a place called the Weir. It was a thing like a swimming pool where the water pitched down from a height, from a pool, then carried on the River Bain. And when I went there she was having a swim and swimming towards where the, where the water was coming, dishing down. And she got in the middle and panicked. And I, I like a young fool jumped in the river to fish her out. Then I found out that it was very deep. And I can still remember was the water spilling over my head. However, it didn’t matter. I did what I went in to do. I got hold of her, turned her back on the stream and the stream took me down to a level where we could stand up. Of course it soon became well known in the village that I, I saved her life. I don’t know whether I did or not but I know I fished her out of the, the water. And her father offered me, at that time I didn’t realise how much money it was. He offered me fifty pounds to save his daughter’s life. Of course, I refused it to my credit. And some years later on when I, when I was manager at GM Limited and we had a supermarket in Oldrids this young lady, she, the young lady who I’d fished out had now married and was now a nurse and she saw my [pause] she saw me and my wife in, in the supermarket and she told them the story that I, I saved her life. And I haven’t seen her, I haven’t seen her lately but she eventually married a Polish gentleman and they had children. I don’t know where she is at the moment. But that was my excitement in life. And when I went back to the camp I always remember I was wet. Wet through because I went in with my full uniform on and I was fun. Provided fun for the boys that I’d jumped in the river. Of course what I should have done, I should I have reported it to the powers that be. But I didn’t. I kept quiet because I was laughed at by my friends in the village and I didn’t want to tell anyone. Later on they said, ‘Oh, well what you should have done, you should have reported it because you will have perhaps been perhaps rewarded as a life saver in the RAF.’ But that’s how it is. At that time I was a shy, a shy young man. I didn’t want to have any publicity. Yeah.

Citation

Heather Hughes, “Interview with Ralph Alfrado Ottey. Three,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 1, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/27257.

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