Browse Items (428 total)

  • Tags: home front

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Betty Hedges grew up in South London in the final years before the war and she recalls a happy childhood. She describes a close family and community life where the children played unworried in the streets and she talks about the games they played and…

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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…

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Frances Anne Cooper was born in Uganda but her family returned to England when she was six. She attended school in Suffolk during the war. She joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force after the war.

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Roy Maddock-Lyon was born in Cheshire and when his school was evacuated at the start of the war he began an engineering apprenticeship. He was a part of the Queen’s Messengers, a relief organisation that travelled to bombed cities to take emergency…

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Rita Chapman lived in London during the Blitz. She witnessed the sight of the burning docks from her garden. Her family sheltered in their Anderson shelter but twice got buried and had to be dug out. The rescue crews asked them to keep singing until…

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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…

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[Violet speaks as proxy for her late husband Alan Dicker] Alan went to Leighton County High School and at 16 he joined the Air Transport Command. At 17 he volunteered for the Air Force and became a navigator after doing his basic training at…

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Raymond Goss lived on the family farm at Westcott before, during and after the construction and occupation of RAF Westcott as 11 Operational Training Unit. One evening a Lancaster collided with a Wellington on the field and both exploded. The Goss…

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Joan’s maiden name was Fellows. She speaks of her school days up to leaving at 16 and a half when she took up an apprenticeship with a dressmaking shop in Hastings. When the war broke out the dressmaking business suffered, so she went to…

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Katherine Ellen Thompson remembers her time in Rotterdam during the war and particularly during Operation Manna. Mentions various episodes: food shortage, bartering linen and silver for food, members of the Dutch fascist party paraded through the…

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Vivian Williams was born in Wales but began working in engineering in London. After serving in the Territorial Army in a searchlight unit, he volunteered for Air Force and trained as a flight mechanic. He discusses his recruitment, training and…

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A card authorising Malcolm Staves to take part in Civil Defence Fire fighting.

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Barbara Bulleyment worked at a department store in Boston until she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and was initially stationed at 16 Maintenance Unit Stafford and then 209 Maintenance Unit at Broughton. She recounts her life as an equipment…

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Rob Carter was born in the village of Scampton and reminisces about his life on the land before the war. He recounts the foundation of RAF Dunholme Lodge, which his house overlooked. During the war, he served in the Auxiliary Fire Service. He was…

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Rosemary Lapham is the daughter of Roy Chadwick CBE, the designer of the Manchester and Lancaster aircraft. She tells her father’s story. Her father was born in 1893 and when he left school at the age of fourteen he became a draughtsman at…

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Dennis Kirk was born in Barkston 1920, and lived on a farm near Plungar. Recalls when the war started and the War Executive Committee told farmers what to produce; talks about the Land Army. Being in a reserved occupation, he joined the Home Guard…

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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…

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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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Gino Muratori (b. 1929) recollects three Rimini bombings that occurred in November 1944, one of which was aimed at the Ausa river bridge. Mentions his grandmother losing two relatives when their boarding house was destroyed. Remembers how on 26…

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Benito Colonna reminisces about the bombings of Rimini and other wartime experiences. Benito was with his mother when he witnessed the 1 November 1943 bombing: he saw aircraft approaching and bombing the town, concentrating the attack on the railway…

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Before the war Joan worked as a hairdresser. At 17 and a half she applied for the Land Army and was interviewed in her home town of Sheffield. Her first posting was to a farm in Fulbeck. She and about fourteen other girls stayed in a hostel with…

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Sidney was inspired to join The Air Force when he was working as an Air Raid Precaution Warden and one night his own home was bombed. The house next door was also destroyed and the lady who had offered him a cup of tea only hours earlier died. He…
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