Interview with George Holmes
Interview with George Holmes
George was born in Mansfield and was bought up by his Grandparents until he was seven when he moved back to his parents in Leicester where his Father ran a coffee shop. He was a semi-professional musician playing violin, trumpet and mandolin. He studied hosiery at college and worked in hosiery production his entire working life. He joined the Home Guard in Narborough, and recalls how he defended the railway bridge at night time with a bayonet fastened to a broom stick with string. After volunteering for the Air Force he was sent to Blackpool for training. The corporal who taught him foot drill went on to be the comedian Max Wall. He was then sent to RAF Yatesbury for his radio course, and then forwarded to the Air Armourers school. After completing the course, he was posted to RAF Evanton for a gunner’s course. His next posting was to RAF Market Harborough, but was only there for three weeks before he was sent to RAF Silverstone for crewing up. His first station was RAF Bardney with 9 Squadron for a few weeks. He remembers that when they arrived at Bardney it was deserted and they found everyone lying on the floor in the kitchen as the bomb dump was on fire. The crew were then posted to RAF Skellingthorpe in 15 Squadron and they completed 20 operations. George recalls a daylight raid on a V-1 site, and he witnessed the Lancaster that was above them blown up and seeing the bodies of the crew falling past their aircraft. The crew were then split up when the pilot and navigator joined the Pathfinders and he became a spare bod. He eventually joined an Australian crew in 83 Squadron at RAF Coningsby and completed a further nine operations. His pilot was called Cassidy and the nose art on the Lancaster was “Hop along Cassidy’s Flying Circus.” After the war he took part in a tour of South America and discusses an earthquake in Peru. He discusses his religious beliefs and how the war, Bomber Command, and Arthur Harris have been remembered. He met his wife Barbara after the war at a dance in the RAF club and they had one son.
IBCC Digital Archive
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01:08:02 audio recording
Anna Hoyles, “Interview with George Holmes,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed January 19, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/8852.
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