Browse Items (114 total)

  • Tags: ethnic or religious minorities

ABellJR160130.mp3
Jack Bell joined the Royal Australian Air Force as a wireless operator/air gunner and joined 216 Squadron, at Heliopolis, near Cairo. He flew in Valentia and Bombay aircraft in a transport role. On an operation over Libya, his aircraft was shot down…

ADavisR150929.mp3
Ronald Davis grew up in the East End and worked in London as a solicitor’s office boy. He joined the RAF and served as a fitter airframe.

PAugierF1701.jpg
Fitzroy ‘Roy’ Augier was born in Saint Lucia. When Roy was ten, his father owned a shop in the main town of Castries. Roy had a good education and after school went to work at the Post Office. However, his ambition was to go to university to…

AMearsCE170921.mp3
Charles left school with no formal qualifications and was undertaking further education when the Second World War commenced. Being too young to enlist, he joined the Air Defence Cadet Corps and - upon reaching 18 - he eventually was able to join. He…

PNicolisI1801.jpg
Inge Nicolis, the daughter of a Swedish engineer and an Italian woman, reminisces about her wartime experiences in Milan. She stresses the sense of having been thrown into a tragedy and the anguish of not being able to evacuate Milan on the grounds…

ABaronC160321.mp3
Charles Baron grew up in London and volunteered for aircrew in 1940. He trained as a navigator and on radar. He later volunteered for overseas duties and was posted to India where he flew intruder missions over Burma.
After the war he worked…

PSpenceWD1601.jpg
Bill Spence was born in Middlesborough. He abandoned his teacher training and joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 becoming a bomb aimer. He completed 36 operations during his time in Bomber Command. Bill tells of his experiences while training in…

AAbbottsC151015.mp3
Cyril Abbotts volunteered for the Royal Air Force while he was an engineering apprentice with W T Avery at Smethwick. After his reception at Lord’s Cricket Ground and initial training,he trained as a pilot at RAF Bowden and Moose Jaw in Canada. On…

AAn01134-170717.mp3
She tells of her life in Berlin before, during and after the war. She lived with her mother in a block of flats close to the home of her grandparents. Her father died when she was nine years old. During the war she collected shrapnel as souvenirs…

AOrmorodJ170207.mp3
John Ormerod left school at 14 and worked in the textile industry before he volunteered for RAF. At first he trained as flight mechanic but later remustered to be a flight engineer. He talks about synchronising props and the German speaking eighth…

AColemanTE170914.mp3
Thea Coleman was born in 1933 in Holland. She experienced the invasion of her country and the increasing restrictions. When walking once with her father they were forced to stand and wait while prisoners were brought out of prison and executed while…

AJohnsonM160830.mp3
Mark Johnson reminisces about John Blair. He discusses family life in rural Jamaica as a mixed-ethnicity person, highly respected by everyone. He was a qualified teacher, a lawyer, and a farmer. Reminisces other Caribbeans who volunteered and served…

PSutherlandD1901.jpg
Don’s father was a Scot and his mother came from the west coast of England. They moved to Coventry, where Don was born. When he was eight, they moved to Newcastle-on-Tyne where his father worked in armaments. Don left school at 15 and half and…

PSutherlandD1901.jpg
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…

PCarswellA1702.jpg
Andrew Carswell volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force in his native Toronto. He trained as a pilot and on arrival in the UK and completion of his further training he was posted to 9 Squadron. His first operation was to Berlin. On their final…

AParkeRG161019.mp3
Ray Parke worked on the railway before joining the RAF in 1943. Remembers flying forty operations as a flight engineer with 218 Squadron by the time he was twenty. Tells about operations on Essen and the Ruhr. Discusses the Dresden raid, giving a…

PWiddowsonFE1801.jpg
Born in Peterborough, Eileen Widdowson’s father died when she was quite young, which resulted in the family moving to Grantham. With the East Coast main railway line and also a munitions factory, Grantham was a regular target for the Luftwaffe.…

PCoxJ1606.jpg
John Cox grew up in Lincolnshire and worked in banking before he joined the Royal Air Force. After training as a pilot in the United States, he served as an instructor for almost three years. He flew 20 operations as a pilot with 626 Squadron,from…

PdiPlacitoLH1701.jpg
Lawrence di Placito served as a second-class coxswain on the RAF Air Sea Rescue launches during the Second World War. He was born in Chertsey and attended Egham grammar school where he was a member of the cadet force. Upon leaving school in 1936 he…

PShenbanjoA1701.jpg
Neville Shenbanjo was born in 1945, the son of Akin Shenbanjo. Flying Officer Akin Shenbanjo DFC was born in Nigeria and served as a wireless operator / air gunner with 76 Squadron. His crew named their Halifax 'Achtung! The Black Prince' after…

PSmytheE1701.jpg
Eddy Smythe reminisces about his father, John Henry Smythe, who was from Sierra Leone and served in Bomber Command during the Second World War. John flew as a navigator until his aircraft was shot down in November 1943. He became a prisoner of war in…

AHydeON170830-01.mp3
Oluwole Hyde’s father was Adesanya Hyde who served as a navigator with 640 Squadron. He was badly injured but continued to navigate the aeroplane on operation. It was only when they were over the UK that he accepted the morphine for the pain. After…

PSmytheE1701.jpg
Eddy Smythe’s father, Johnny Smythe was a navigator on a Lancaster. He was originally from Sierra Leonne. On one operation he was injured when anti-aircraft fire damaged the aircraft but they continued to target. One engine had been damaged and so…

PWynneH1825.jpg
Helga (00:00-34:00) was born in Kiel in 1926. Her father was a sailor, who then worked at Krupp shipbuilding yard; her mother was a tram driver during the war. None of her brothers were called up, either because of age or disability. Mentions Hitler…
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