Browse Items (207 total)

  • Tags: perception of bombing war

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George was born in Mansfield and was bought up by his Grandparents until he was seven when he moved back to his parents in Leicester where his Father ran a coffee shop. He was a semi-professional musician playing violin, trumpet and mandolin. He…

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Frank Tolley was born in 1921 in Tipton and left school at fourteen to work as an errand boy for a grocer. He joined the Royal Air Force at nineteen as a ground gunner, and was in at the inception of the Royal Air Force Regiment. After eighteen…

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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…

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Harry Gough was born in Dewsbury, he finished school in 1939 aged fourteen, joined the Air Training Corps in 1941 and volunteered for the Air Force in 1943. He recounts his training as an air gunner and flying over the North Pole. After flying…

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Five verse poem describing feelings the next morning after a harrowing night operation. Describes emotions and surprise that the crew survived.

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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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Flying Officer Eric Barton flew operations with Bomber Command. Eric Barton talks about the various aircraft he flew in, and recalls an incident at Banff in Scotland where following a night exercise his tyre blew out on landing. He gives an account…

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He describes his first interest in the RAF, in 1938. He joined the Air Defence Cadet Corps, and later in 1941 the Air Training Corps. He was called up by the RAF in February 1942, and proceeded through initial training and the Initial Training Wing…

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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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Herbert James Wylde was working in local government in Glasgow before he volunteered for aircrew training with the RAF. He started pilot training and had gone solo when he was sent to Canada to continue training. While there he began training as a…

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Charles Frederick Green was born in Peckham, London, in 1921. On leaving school he began an apprenticeship with a printing company, acting part-time as a police courier, before becoming an Air Raid Precaution warden. He then volunteered for the…

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Jack Brown Franklin grew up in Liverpool and worked in a paper merchants. He discusses Liverpool being bombed and his service in the Local Defence Volunteers. He joined the Air Force in 1941 and trained as an engine mechanic. He served with 109…

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Norman Neilson was an apprentice engineer at St Rollox Locomotive Works when he volunteered. He had originally wanted to join the Navy but joined the RAF because the only way he could be released from his position was to volunteer for aircrew. His…

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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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Dr Arnold Pearce Derrington grew up in Cornwall and joined the University Air Squadron at Exeter. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 and completed training at RAF Ansty, South Africa, RAF West Freugh and RAF Moreton in the Marsh, where he trained…

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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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Peter Bellingham worked as a post office engineer before volunteering for the Royal Air Force. He trained in Rhodesia and South Africa and completed a tour of operations as a bomb aimer, dropping supplies with 138 Squadron from RAF Tempsford. He…

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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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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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Jacqueline Assheton discusses her father's career in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force and his post war work establishing Safmarine shipping line and his friendship with Jan Christiaan Smuts. Her father did not talk about his wartime career,…
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