Browse Items (560 total)

  • Contributor is exactly "Julie Williams"

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Kenneth Souter was born in Sunderland. His father ran a business importing wooden pit props. Kenneth learned to fly at Cambridge, and his first air experience flight was on the 5th of July 1939, and after training he went solo on the 31st of July…

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Fred McCullough discusses his series of abstract art works which are an homage to his uncle, Sergeant Harry McCullough, a flight engineer with 61 Squadron. He was killed on his tenth operation and is buried at Durnbach Cemetery.

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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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Ron Davis talks of his joining the RAF and early training at Cardington, Bournemouth and Halton. He trained as fitter and was posted to RAF Scampton on Hamden with 49 Squadron. Tells many stories of life as groundcrew at Scampton including his…

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John Smith grew up near Corby surrounded by aerodromes so he was used to the sight of aircraft. He observed Lancaster aircraft practicing for the Dambusters raid over Eye Brook Reservoir. He also witnessed glider practice and was impressed by the…

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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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Gladys Hatt was working in Manchester as a teenager when it was bombed. She recalls her life was a sequence of work, shelter, work and there was no teenage life for her. She worked as a machinist sewing uniforms which was a big change from her…

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Covers Eric's time training in Australia and his time in Britain with 627 Squadron flying Mosquito from RAF Woodhall Spa. He discusses the attack on Oslo on New Years Eve 1944. He flew a total of 45 operations, all with the same pilot, John Herriman.

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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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Ken Rudkin relates the story of his friend Alf “Digger” Dawson of 630 Squadron. Alf, from Cumbria was working as a fireman for the railways when he and his friend answered the call for volunteers for aircrew. Alf trained as a wireless operator.…

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Betty Welton was born in 1924. She left school at the age of fourteen, and at the age of seventeen and a half joined the Women’s Land Army. She saw this as an opportunity to escape her home circumstances. On receiving her papers she travelled…

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Jeff Mackay was born in 1922 in Ballarat, Australia and was working as a cadet engineer. He joined the Army but when the Japanese entered the war in 1941 decided to join the RAAF, and after boarding a ship he trained as a navigator in Canada and…

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Frederick was born near Lincoln. He was five years old at the beginning of the Second World War. He grew up about two miles from RAF Scampton. He recalls waving to crew as they left. He also recalls going with soldiers from the Lincolnshire regiment…

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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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Jimmy Graham was employed in a Reserved Occupation but volunteered with the RAF as potential aircrew. He began his training in Northern Ireland and was eventually qualified as an air gunner. He was posted to RAF Elsham Wolds. He took part in the…

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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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Don was brought up in Newcastle, where he worked for a number of years. He attended a meeting a year before the war began, about alternatives to war and that war didn’t have to be accepted as inevitable. Don joined a community which organised…

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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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