Browse Items (78 total)

  • Tags: military ethos

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A poem sent to Betty Turner's friend Billy to celebrate their 80th. Betty describes the wartime hardships she endured, hint at the bereavement after the loss of the men she loved, stresses the sense of duty toward her country, friendship and…

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A call from the German Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus to his comrades and to the German people via radio 'Freies Deutschland' while he is a prisoner of war in Russia. After a call for reflection in August 1944 he feels he has to speak again despite…

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Poem of four verses of seven lines each in remembrance of those who flew and the freedom that they died for.

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Letter in which Andrew describes life on the squadron, including the comradeship of his crew and appreciation of Isabel. Includes envelope.

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Letter in which Andrew describes how he feels about life in the squadron and how Isabel has now left the WAAF and is looking after uncle and his son.

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He was born in London and worked for some time as a clerk until joined up the Royal Air Force. He did not like the idea of serving in the Army or in the Navy but - as a Londoner - he was keen to take part in the war having experienced the Blitz. He…

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Alun Emlyn-Jones (known as Grem among his RAF colleagues) was raised in Cardiff and attended boarding schools in Oxfordshire. He worked manufacturing office supplies when he volunteered to serve in Bomber Command, hoping to avoid being called up to…

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The interviewee was born in Berlin in 1924, his father being a British Army surgeon who was posted there to treat badly wounded soldiers. He went to school in France then attended boarding school in Hertfordshire. He volunteered for the Royal Air…

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Anthony Thompson worked as an engineer for the Post Office before he volunteered for teh Air Force. While training as a pilot in Canada it was discovered he had a difficulty with perception and he trained instead as a navigator. On return to the…

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Arthur Spencer joined the Royal Air Force after leaving school. He began pilot training in Florida but then re-mustered as a navigator and trained in Pensacola. He completed two tours of operations as a navigator with 97 Squadron at RAF Woodhall Spa…

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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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Bert Turner was a member of the Air Training Corps before the war. He volunteered for the Air Force and was called up 2 August 1942. After training he became a flight engineer with 196 Squadron. He flew some bombing and mine laying operations before…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Flight Lieutenant Douglas Reed worked for the council before he joined the Royal Air Force. He flew operations with 166 Squadron from RAF Kirmington and with 156 Squadron, Pathfinders, from RAF Upwood. His aircraft often suffered damage. On one…

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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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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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