Browse Items (180 total)

  • Tags: perception of bombing war

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Gillie Street was born in Aglionby, Carlisle, and spent her early childhood in Tyneside before moving back to Cumberland aged eleven. Street recalls attending grammar school in Brampton and her first flying experience on a Barnstormer. Upon leaving…

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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 mission aborted but not all aircraft…

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Item 1 refers to a protest from Dresden over a statue to Sir Arthur Harris.
Item 2 is a letter thanking Sir Arthur Harris from a couple bombed out of their home in Liverpool.
Item 3 is an article titled 'Remembering Bomber H'.
Item 4 is a letter…

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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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Eric William Harrison joined the RAF in 1943 and trained as a flight engineer at RAF Locking, RAF St Athan, and RAF Chedburgh, where he flew Stirlings and recollects that they were a terrifying aircraft compared to Lancasters. Harrison formed a crew…

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Colin Deverell was born in Croydon. Upon leaving school, he worked for Oliver Typewriter Company, where he gained engineering skills to become an amateur rigger for Imperial Airways, before finding employment with Rollaston Aircraft Services in 1939.…

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Writes about exams and passing. Mentions leave possibility and church parade. Speculates over embarkation and writes of being re-equipped.

Starts writing about a friend's experience of a bombing raid on Bath but then breaks off. Resumes to write…

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Ron Mayhill was born in Auckland, New Zealand. He joined the Air Training Corp in 1941, automatically entered the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1942, trained as a bomb aimer in Canada, and travelled on the Queen Mary to the UK in 1943. While flying…

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Tommy Knox, born in 1924, grew up in northern Glasgow and volunteered at the earliest age of seventeen and one quarter. He then trained in Wales and Devon and flew Stirlings. Tommy was posted to RAF Stradishall for his Heavy Conversion Unit, meeting…

MHorshamES1869854-170105-01.pdf
A poem about bomber operations

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Bill Ballantyne was in his first year at Cambridge University and a member of the Air Squadron when war was declared out in 1939. Upon joining the air force, he was posted to South Africa, where he trained as a pilot on Tiger Moths. He joined 267…

AWilmetS190504.mp3
Sheila Wilmet grew up in Liverpool and was fifteen when war was declared. She describes the devastation of bombing in 1941, spending nights in an Anderson shelter, and navigating unexploded bombs during her commute. She volunteered after viewing a…

AMacKenzieR190509.mp3
Roddy MacKenzie’s father, Roland, joined the Canadian Royal Air Force in 1942. He trained as a pilot and worked as an instructor in Canada before being posted to RAF Kirmington, where he joined 166 Squadron and received the Distinguished Flying…

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Thomas Edward Noton was born in Greenwich on the 4th of April 1923. Upon leaving school he began a toolmaking apprenticeship, however, before finishing the course, Noton decided to join the Royal Air Force at the age of eighteen. He explains why he…

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Notes written by Arthur Harris to Hamish Mahaddie about Bomber Command. Included is a signed photograph of Arthur T Harris.

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A detailed account of Ken Thomas's life from his early years at school, through his ground crew technical training followed by his aircrew training, operational tour, short post war service and his civilian career, he revised the account in 2005.

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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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James Stanley Wilson remembers serving as a flight engineer on 626 Squadron during the war. Tells of his baptism of fire on his first operation to Berlin, when his aircraft was targeted by enemy fighters. Mentions marking targets on D-Day. Talks…

AWilliamsRS180115.mp3
Roland Spencer Williams was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. Wanting to get involved in the war he joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1942. After initial training in New Zealand, as an air gunner, he sailed on the SS Nieuw Amsterdam to San…

ATurnerP170529.mp3
Penny Turner’s father, Flight Sergeant Albin John Turner, pilot of a Wellington bomber was killed in action during the first bombing operation on the 4th September 1939. Years later, when she was five years old, her mother told her that her father…

ATiptonJ170610.mp3
John Tipton grew up in Tenby and studied law at University College London. He volunteered for the RAF and trained as a navigator. He was posted to 40 Squadron where he began operational flying before the squadron were posted to Malta. After his tour…

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Ernest Hector Angelo Pedrazzini was the son of an Italian father and an English mother. After the war he changed his name to Tillbrook. Ernie’s father escaped from a prison camp during the First World War and finding his way to Russia and…

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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…

ASeckerFE170815.mp3
Frances Elizabeth Secker is a lifelong resident of Feltwell. She was still at school when RAF Feltwell opened in 1937, and she remembers the Harrow being the first aircraft to arrive, followed by Wellingtons.
Elizabeth has clear memories of…
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