Browse Items (94 total)

  • Tags: military ethos

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Born on 27 December 1924 in Aigburth Liverpool, James was 15 when war broke out in Europe. He intended to join as a pilot, navigator, bomber aimer in 1943 but due to shorter waiting list and training time he trained to become a wireless operator at…

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Beginning the war in a reserved occupation, Jack eventually volunteered for the Royal Air Force, however, it would take the majority of the war before he joined. Eventually being called up for Bomber Command in 1944, Jack trained as a wireless…

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Ian Denver grew up in Australia and joined the Royal Australian Air Force as soon as he was old enough. After training he completed 60 operations with 625 Squadron and 156 Squadron. He met and married his wife, Pat who was an intelligence officer at…

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Iain was a National Service air gunner in the 1950s and served with 214 Squadron at RAF Upwood in Huntingdonshire after being called up at the age of 18. Upon completion of training, he flew on Wellingtons and fighter affiliation with Spitfires. He…

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Hugh Parry was born in Oswestry and joined the Air Force in April 1943 and volunteered to be an air gunner. Knowing that there was a height restriction on air gunners of six feet he hid his height by wearing baggy trousers. After training, he was…

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Horace Burchett joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 17 and rose to the rank of Flight Engineer, serving in an all Austrailian Squadron at 1654 Conversion Unit in Wiglsely in Northamptonshire.
Posted to 463 Squadron at Waddington, still with the…

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Harold Gordon Foster (known as Harry) tells of his childhood, passing the eleven plus exam and his enjoyment of learning, and the need for him to earn money for his family rather than going to grammar school. He first worked for CL Equipments,…

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Harold Kirby joined up the Royal Air Force encouraged by two friends, but ended up training as a flight mechanic at RAF Halton on medical grounds. Harold became them airframe fitter, volunteered as a flight engineer, passed the physical but was then…

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Harold Kirby grew up in London and worked in an accounts department before joining the Royal Air Force. He served as a fitter with 460 Squadron at RAF Binbrook before remustering as a flight engineer. He flew two tours of operations with 467, 97 and…

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Harold Allen’s parents travelled to the UK to escape the pogroms in Europe. He lived in London during the Blitz. When Harold volunteered for the RAF he trained as a wireless operator on the ground. He did not want to join aircrew because he was…

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Graham Allen joined the Royal Air Force aged 19. He trained as a mechanic and worked on inspection and recovery of Spitfire aircraft. He later volunteered to be a flight engineer, and flew a tour of operations with 106 Squadron. His first operation…

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George was born at Whitstable and was 17 when war was declared. He joined the local Defence Volunteers which became the Home Guard. When he reached 18 he volunteered for air crew. He was interviewed at Chatham and sat an exam and selection board to…

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Geoff Payne has his first experience of the Royal Air Force with the Air Training Corps, at RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire, where he had one of his first experiences of military humour. He joined in 1943 at the age of 17 and a half hoping to become a…

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Doris Reddish attended Sleaford High School followed by commercial college. She worked at Moore, Cooper and Burkett’s in Market Rasen until she joined the Royal Observer Corps. She trained in Lincoln for aircraft recognition then served as a table…

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David Leicester grew up in Australia and worked as an office boy before he volunteered for the Royal Australian Air Force. He completed 68 operations as a pilot with 35, 158 and 640 Squadrons and as a Master Bomber with Pathfinders. He describes how…

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David Fellowes tells of how he used to build model airplanes and fly them in the fields when he was a boy. The son of an engineer, he first joined the Air Training Corps and then volunteered for the Royal Air Force at the age of 17. Describes his…

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David Butler, DFC, was born in Cherry Hinton in April 1920 and joined the Royal Air Force on the 11th January 1940, serving in France at Reims as the Germans advanced. After walking some distance, he was evacuated back to England on a Polish boat and…

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Charlie Darby joined the Royal Air Force in September 1943 and recounts in great detail, his training as an air gunner/wireless operator on Wellingtons and Ansons at RAF Bridlington, RAF Bridgnorth, RAF Castle Kennedy, RAF Acaster Malbis and RAF…

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Philip Blackham became an apprentice engineer at Diesel engine company Mirrlees, Bickerton & Day, of which he became a sales manager post war. He served in the Home Guard becoming a driver, then he enrolled in summer 1940 with initial training at…

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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…

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Charles Gallagher was born in a small village outside Nottingham where his father was rector of the local church. At the age of six the family moved to South Brent on Dartmoor where Charles enjoyed country sports and helped with the local hunt. At…

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Bob Frost recounts experiencing the London Blitz as a member of the Auxiliary Fire Service. He volunteered for the Royal Air Force and trained at the Air Gunnery School at Evanton, Scotland. He was then posted to the Operational Training Unit at RAF…
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