Browse Items (407 total)

  • Contributor is exactly "Julie Williams"

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Hazel Carby discusses her father Carl's early life in Jamaica, his experiences training in Canada and serving as aircrew in the RAF, and how he and his family were treated in London in the post war period.

She also discusses her research into her…

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Reg Harrison grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and enjoyed watching aircraft when they flew over. He had his first flight as a youngster when he was lent five dollars by a shopkeeper. He volunteered for aircrew as soon as he was of age and began his…

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Margaret was almost twelve years old at the outbreak of World War Two and living in Romford, Essex. She remembers the announcement made by Neville Chamberlain on the radio on September 3rd 1939. Margaret recounts being issued with a gas mask and how…

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Jack Newton joined the RAF in 1938. He trained as an air gunner and was posted to 12 Squadron at RAF Binbrook. Just before midnight on the 5th of August 1941 Jack and his crew set off for Cologne. They were attacked by a night fighter. One engine was…

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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.

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Ralph Ottey joined the RAF from Jamaica. After the war he returned to Jamaica. However, he had met the woman he was to later marry while based in the UK and returned to the settle here. He settled in Boston and had a long career with a local firm. On…

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Ralph Ottey was born in Jamaica in 1924. Brought up by his grandparents, he describes his education and family hopes that he would become a teacher. He left school at 16 and a half but was too young to attend teaching college so worked for his uncle…

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Don Browning was posted to 463 Squadron at RAF Waddington. On one operation two aircraft collided and Don lost friends he had undertaken training with. On an operation to Calais the weather was very poor and the attack aborted but not all aircraft…

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Born in Manchester, he was 20 years old in 1940 when he joined up and volunteered for aircrew. He trained in South Africa, Canada (Moncton and Trenton), the Unites States (Lakeland), and was torpedoed in the Atlantic on his way back. Maurice flew…

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Owen Cox went to a grammar school in York and joined the Home Guard when the war started. At 18 he joined the Royal Air Force, although his parents were not keen. His initial trade was ground wireless operator (Morse), waiting to attend a gunnery…

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Clive Coombes grew up on Royal Air Force stations, eventually joining and serving for 37 years before retiring in 2014. During this time, he served across the globe, including in Australia and Germany, as a ground branch officer. Clive outlines his…

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James Ferguson Latimer was born in Edinburgh. His family emigrated to Canada when he was young but moved back to Scotland in 1939. He recalls witnessing a German U-boat torpedo a ship as they sailed back home. Latimer joined the air force and…

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Eric William Harrison joined the RAF in 1943 and trained as a flight engineer at RAF Locking, RAF St Athan, and RAF Chedburgh, where he flew Stirlings and recollects that they were a terrifying aircraft compared to Lancasters. Harrison formed a crew…

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Lillian Grundy was born grew up in Ancoats, Manchester. Upon leaving school, she worked in a local mill winding bobbins, and the Hall Brothers Toffee Works wrapping sweets. Grundy met George in 1939 and they were engaged in Easter 1940, however, he…

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Pat Harrison was born in Lincoln and was the only girl of four children. Her father joined the Royal Air Force after serving as an air raid warden. Pat remembers the arrival of evacuees in Lincoln and also recalls occasions when bombing resulted in…

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Pat Rumfitt was born in 1927 and experienced a privileged upbringing living in Kent as an only child before the war. She describes the resilient attitude to bombing in Bromley, walking to their flooded Anderson Shelter in her dressing gown and…

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Tommy Knox, born in 1924, grew up in northern Glasgow and volunteered at the earliest age of seventeen and one quarter. He then trained in Wales and Devon and flew Stirlings. Tommy was posted to RAF Stradishall for his Heavy Conversion Unit, meeting…

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BBC 78 RPM vinyl disk Gordon Cruickshank recorded in August 1944.

Joined RAF in 1938 and Bomber Command in 1941 as an air gunner. Started operations in 1942 and completed first tour of 31 trips at end of November 1942. Says was badly shot up on…

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Bill Ballantyne was in his first year at Cambridge University and a member of the Air Squadron when war was declared out in 1939. Upon joining the air force, he was posted to South Africa, where he trained as a pilot on Tiger Moths. He joined 267…

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During the war, Pauline's siblings Bernard, Guy, Robert and Peter served in the air force and army, her mother volunteered for the Red Cross, and her father volunteered as an air raid warden. Inspired by her brothers, Alexander joined Women’s…

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Sheila Wilmet grew up in Liverpool and was fifteen when war was declared. She describes the devastation of bombing in 1941, spending nights in an Anderson shelter, and navigating unexploded bombs during her commute. She volunteered after viewing a…

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Douglas Smith grew up in Bressingham, Norfolk. He joined the Royal Air Force in October 1940, at the age of nineteen, and trained as a wireless operator. He joined a crew on Wellingtons at No 10 Operational Training Unit, RAF Abingdon, before…

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Upon volunteering for aircrew, Bert Hammond completed basic training and formed a crew at 26 Operational Training Unit, RAF Wing. He joined 514 Squadron based at RAF Waterbeach and completed thirty operations, before instructing at RAF Manby. Despite…

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Thomas Edward Noton was born in Greenwich on the 4th of April 1923. Upon leaving school he began a toolmaking apprenticeship, however, before finishing the course, Noton decided to join the Royal Air Force at the age of eighteen. He explains why he…

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Bill Leckie Bill was born in Glasgow but moved to the countryside as his father suffered from bronchitis. Initially working as a cinema projectionist, Bill joined the Royal Air Force at the age of eighteen, enlisting at St John’s Wood in London as…
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