Browse Items (180 total)

  • Tags: perception of bombing war

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 raid, giving a…

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…

AHollowayPM171023.mp3
Pauline Holloway grew up in Harrow and turned eighteen one month before the end of the Second World War. She recollects listening to Churchill’s speeches on the radio, sheltering during raids in a purpose-built extension to her house, and hearing…

ABottaniP1601.jpg
Paolo Bottani recalls wartime memories of a working-class family in Milan. Describes the widespread enthusiasm for the declaration of war, followed by a relatively calm period. Mentions alarms as greeted initially with joy because classes stopped and…

PPasiniPG1601.JPG
Paola Giorgina Pasini provides details of her early life in a family of agricultural workers and compares favourably their condition with those living in urban areas. Recalls the ominous sight of target indicators and flares, and remembers Pippo…

PNeilsonNS1604.jpg
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…

ATencaMontiniN180613.mp3
Nino Tenca Montini reminisces about his wartime experiences in Udine and in the Friuli region. Describes the family shelter as a concrete reinforced basement, sparsely furnished with wooden benches. Recalls the urge to escape the vigilance of adults…

PShenbanjoA1701.jpg
Neville Shenbanjo was born in 1945, the son of Akin Shenbanjo. Flying Officer Akin Shenbanjo DFC was born in Nigeria and served as a wireless operator / air gunner with 76 Squadron. His crew named their Halifax 'Achtung! The Black Prince' after…

PBlakeMMD1801.jpg
Muriel Blake was born in 1922 in Oakham, Rutland. Being interested in flying and aeroplanes from an early age, Muriel volunteered when her job prospects ended. Called up in 1944, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. Being too short for driver,…

AChattertonM160331.mp3
Mike Chatterton grew up on a farm. His father, John Chatterton was a Lancaster pilot during the war, before returning to university and becoming a lecturer, then later becoming a farmer. Mike joined the Royal Air Force from university in the 1970’s…
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