Browse Items (207 total)

  • Tags: perception of bombing war

AAyreJE-Fam170403.mp3
John Edward Ayres flew operations as a flight engineer with 427 Squadron.

AMawdsleyT150507.mp3
Ted grew up in Essex. Before the war he worked for the Marconi Wireless and Telegraph Company. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1940 and became an instrument mechanic. He was posted to RAF Elsham Wolds in 1942 and overseas the following year. After…

AMarshallS150826.mp3
Syd Marshall grew up in Lincolnshire and was working as an engineering apprentice when he decided to volunteer for the RAF. He asked initially to train to be a pilot but when the basis of his apprenticeship became clear it was inevitable he would be…

AVischiS160806.mp3
Stefania Vischi recalls her wartime life in the Monfalcone area. Stresses how she spent long hours alone inside a shelter, frightened by explosions and tremors. Contrasts the horror of being at the receiving end of the bombing war and the strong…

AInstoneTS160407.mp3
Thomas (Stan) Instone was working at a factory making Bristol Hercules engines but volunteered to be aircrew as soon as he was of age. Initially his application was unsuccessful but he persevered and trained as ground crew. He later remustered as a…

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…

AColomboS161203.mp3
Santina Colombo describes her early life in a family of farmers, her father a fervent socialist. She mentions the start of the war announced on the radio and gives a detailed account of civilian life in wartime Milan: scarce food, growing vegetables…

APriceSTG151001.mp3
Gwyn Price was living a rural lifestyle until he volunteered for the RAF. His dream was to train as an RAF pilot but since there was a surplus of pilots he chose to train instead as a flight engineer. On operations Gwyn observed the surreal feeling…

ALaphamR160714.mp3
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…

AMatherR171229.mp3
Upon leaving school, Ronald was employed first as a pawnbrokers assistant, followed by butchers assistant. In 1943, upon reaching the age of 18 he followed his brothers footsteps and enlisted in the Royal Air Force. After initial training, he…

ALastRR151125.mp3
Ronald Last grew up in Dorset and worked as an apprentice for the local Gas and Water company before volunteering for the Air Force. He attended the reception centre at Lord's Cricket Ground and describes the medical tests and inoculations recruits…

PDavisRS1604.jpg
Ronald Davis grew up in the East End and worked in London as a solicitor’s office boy. He joined the RAF and trained as a fitter airframe. He was saddened when the pilot of the aircraft he services did not return from operation because they had got…

APriestR160720.mp3
Ron Priest worked in accountancy before the war and then served as a rear gunner, flying twenty five operations with 149 Squadron from RAF Lakenheath all on Stirlings. Describes his training in England, Canada and the United States, under the…

PMayhillRD1901.jpg
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…

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…

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…

AWoodhouseRM151001.mp3
Robert Woodhouse was living in Pembroke Dock when the bombing of the town began. The family relocated to Cardiff when they lost their home in the bombing. In Cardiff Robert joined the Air Training Corps. He had a cousin who had already joined the RAF…

AParkeRG161019.mp3
Ray Parke worked on the railway before joining the RAF in 1943. Remembers flying forty operations as a flight engineer with 218 Squadron by the time he was twenty. Tells about operations on Essen and the Ruhr. Discusses the Dresden operation, giving…

PHenwoodP1701.jpg
Priscilla Henwood's father was in the Royal Air Force and she joined 600 Squadron as an auxiliary before the war and worked in recruitment. She later worked as a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force in the equipment section at an Operational…

AVaresiP170308.mp3
Pietro Varesi describes wartime life in Pavia, focussing on the Borgo neighbourhood. He mentions the Ticino bridges as primary targets for bombers; recalls bent shop shutters and debris on the streets; stresses the limited accuracy of bombing and the…

AFiorotP180719.mp3
Piero Fiorot reminisces about his pre-war life in Sacile: schooling, fascist paramilitary training and indoctrination, curfews, rationing, and doing business in a tightly controlled, closed economic system. Contrasts the relatively tranquil life…

PBellinghamPF1602.jpg
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…

ABantingP160315.mp3
Peter Banting grew up in London and was a member of the Air Training Corps before he volunteered for the Royal Air Force. After training he flew operations with 75 Squadron from RAF Mepal and 7 Squadron RAF Oakington. After the war he trained to be…

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…
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