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post #18196 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Vaughan View Post


Can I say, without trying to be controversial, let's not forget those soldiers, sailors (including the Merchant Navy, of course) and airmen that were elsewhere, fighting on different fronts and theatres - they did their bit too.


My late father (right) - RAF, North Africa, Italy, Yugoslavia.



(The beret's another story!)
post #18197 of 18619

Your fathers picture always brings to mind MiG Alley.

post #18198 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man-of-Mystery View Post


My late father (right) - RAF, North Africa, Italy, Yugoslavia.



(The beret's another story!)

You must have a book published .I know the story behind this photograph .Or else you have told it on another web page a few years ago

post #18199 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man-of-Mystery View Post


My late father (right) - RAF, North Africa, Italy, Yugoslavia.



(The beret's another story!)

My grandfather was an airman also. FE on a Halifax. Crash-landed in Cherbourg, Normandy in Sept '41 after a raid on Turin. They got lost in bad weather, ran out of fuel, crash-landed in France, thinking it was Kent. He spent the best part of the next four years as a PoW. Him and a friend escaped from a forced-march and got back to allied forces right at the very end of the war. He donated his lucky rabbit's foot that he'd kept since the war to the RAF Museum at Hendon in 1974. There is a self portrait he made when he was a PoW that used to be on display at the museum. (I can't believe he escaped, and still managed to bring his painting with him.)

My grandfather never spoke of the war. The only reason I know the stuff about him, is when he was dying of cancer in '83, he wrote his memoir, which I later read in 2000. I've also gleamed some stuff off the No.35 Squadron website.

It was funny reading my grandpa's memoir though. The worst thing about being a PoW was 'not being able to have a wank in peace'. Not the terrible food, or the maltreatment by guards. That was an eye-opener, I thought it was my generation that invented 'self-abuse'. That, and the fact my grandpa did not like Douglas Bader at all. (Not a personable fellow inmate apparently.)

That's what I respect about that generation. They did what they had to do, and kept it to themselves for the most part.

I had no idea what my grandpa had gone through till I read his own words long after he died. He was just a pleasant, lovely fella who had lots of aeroplane stuff in the back room where he did his painting and drawing to me.

Way, way off topic I know. But the lads and lasses that made those sacrifices in the '40s are the reason that the subsequent generations in the '60s and '70s were free to indulge themselves in those styles and fashions that we still appreatiate today.

post #18200 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sirryacus View Post

Your fathers picture always brings to mind MiG Alley.

That's interesting - different theatre, different war, different enemy (in Yugoslavia, for example, my Dad's mates were all communist partisans who had the backing of 'Uncle Joe', while later in Korea 'Uncle Joe' backed the enemy). Interesting but way off-topic of course.
post #18201 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by whodicapfit View Post

You must have a book published .I know the story behind this photograph .Or else you have told it on another web page a few years ago

I think the story you mention may be here. I would like to write about it, but I know very little about his day-to-day experiences, what they ate, what the 'feel' of the country was like, and so on, for the simple reason that he wouldn't talk bout it all that much. I do have a lot of books about WW2 in the Balkans.

Bringing it round to 'our generation' again, many of us had dads who had been in WW2. My dad used to say that when he was in his late teens in the late 30s, lots of working class lads went off to fight the fascists in Spain, and middle-class lads joined the 'Left Book Club'. I get my anti-fascist leanings from him, no doubt about it. It has been said before, but if any of us our generation had gone around sieg-heiling we would have been given a good hiding!
post #18202 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inks View Post


...My grandfather never spoke of the war...

A lot of blokes who went through it stayed shtum, it wasn't all cups of tea and cheerful Tommies.
post #18203 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man-of-Mystery View Post


I think the story you mention may be here. I would like to write about it, but I know very little about his day-to-day experiences, what they ate, what the 'feel' of the country was like, and so on, for the simple reason that he wouldn't talk bout it all that much. I do have a lot of books about WW2 in the Balkans.

Bringing it round to 'our generation' again, many of us had dads who had been in WW2. My dad used to say that when he was in his late teens in the late 30s, lots of working class lads went off to fight the fascists in Spain, and middle-class lads joined the 'Left Book Club'. I get my anti-fascist leanings from him, no doubt about it. It has been said before, but if any of us our generation had gone around sieg-heiling we would have been given a good hiding!

No I can't for the death of me remember but it was tied in with a motor bike ride and getting promotion and a new uniform made as it could be tailored as it was an officers rank but the hat was not ready yet . Also mentioned he  was going to meet his brother  and something about the gloves that they are wearing .But again I read constantly and might got two books or articles mixed up

post #18204 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man-of-Mystery View Post

A lot of blokes who went through it stayed shtum, it wasn't all cups of tea and cheerful Tommies.

It has only come to light lately that my Father was POW(towards the end of the War)in a Japanese Camp.My eldest Sister said that when he came home,he was a walking Skeleton.He never spoke about the War and he would only watch the Cenotaph Service to honour his younger Brother-who was killed in Burma.
post #18205 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by whodicapfit View Post

No I can't for the death of me remember but it was tied in with a motor bike ride and getting promotion and a new uniform made as it could be tailored as it was an officers rank but the hat was not ready yet . Also mentioned he  was going to meet his brother  and something about the gloves that they are wearing .But again I read constantly and might got two books or articles mixed up

Then I'm afraid it must have been another bloke, because my dad didn't have a brother.
post #18206 of 18619

Those "working class lads" would have been better off in the book club in my opinion. Most who went to Spain were recruited and sent to their premature deaths by counter-revolutionary Stalinist CP's. If they were fighting anything in Spain it was in defense of capitalist production and the state AGAINST the working class. 'Anti-fascism' is a ruling class ideology. It's worth noting that in WW1 the unions acted as recruiting sergeants to the inter-imperialist carve up and the deaths of needless millions of workers. I thought at least this forum wouldn't be full of patriotic and nationalist banality. It is in the interest of all workers not to fight other workers but fraternize, disobey orders, strike etc. 

post #18207 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by baggycasual View Post

Those "working class lads" would have been better off in the book club in my opinion. Most who went to Spain were recruited and sent to their premature deaths by counter-revolutionary Stalinist CP's. If they were fighting anything in Spain it was in defense of capitalist production and the state AGAINST the working class. 'Anti-fascism' is a ruling class ideology. It's worth noting that in WW1 the unions acted as recruiting sergeants to the inter-imperialist carve up and the deaths of needless millions of workers. I thought at least this forum wouldn't be full of patriotic and nationalist banality. It is in the interest of all workers not to fight other workers but fraternize, disobey orders, strike etc. 
Some laudable sentiments there, but... where do you draw the line?

At what point should Britain - and its allies - have thrown their lot in with Hitler and Stalin and carved up the world?

Just asking, like.
post #18208 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by baggycasual View Post


Those "working class lads" ... who went to Spain were recruited and sent to their premature deaths by counter-revolutionary Stalinist CP's... 

Well, my sentiments entirely, except for the lads who went and joined CNT and POUM militias, but boy-oh-boy are we way off topic here. The complicated situation of Spain in the late 1930s is really a subject for a totally different forum. That's why I tried to bring us back round to our dads' attitudes in the 1960s.
post #18209 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Vaughan View Post

Some laudable sentiments there, but... where do you draw the line?

At what point should Britain - and its allies - have thrown their lot in with Hitler and Stalin and carved up the world?

Just asking, like.

Okay, I can't resist this one. Our 'democratic' government in 1936 secretly backed Franco. They would have been perfectly happy cozying up to Hitler, as a buffer between them and communism, but he happened to attack Poland, with whom we had a treaty. The rest is history...

Speaking of history, I hereby promise to post only about the 1960s from now on.
post #18210 of 18619
Quote:
Originally Posted by browniecj View Post


It has only come to light lately that my Father was POW(towards the end of the War)in a Japanese Camp.My eldest Sister said that when he came home,he was a walking Skeleton.He never spoke about the War and he would only watch the Cenotaph Service to honour his younger Brother-who was killed in Burma.

My Great Uncle was in the Korean War he refused to talk about it as well word is he had to kill a child solider or be killed himself.

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