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What did your father/grandfathers do during the war/s

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my uncle bob . worked in the coalmines .when war broke out he sighned up and went to war from start to finish he would never speak about the war and what he did . and we will never know he died two year ago and at the funeral all i found out was he was in the special forces but which one ,i dont know i put flowers on his grave and never forget a poppy in november . wish he would have told me ...........:-(

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Father was in the RAF as I belive a radio mechanic in Italy

His uncle was a Lieutenant in the pioneer corps in the far east died August 1945 buried in the Kranji War Cemetery

 

My uncle on mothers side served in Burma and I think held the Military Cross but never spoke about it

 

My wife's Father was also in the RAF in Italy as a PT instructor

His brother was a Lieutenant in the 7th batallion Hampshires died July 1944

remembered on the Bayeux Memorial

 

Her grandmother worked in the Royal Arsenal in munitions during world war 1

 

Unfortunatly as happened so many times no one ever spoke about anything while they were alive.

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Dads dad, REME in WW2 attached to the LRDG and given permission to wear the LRDG cap badge on his beret(very very rare!), served in the dessert and came back for d day.

 

Mums dad, RA, rank of sargent, worked all over england sorting out artillery batterys up and down the country, when you see me ask me about the story of the looters, can't publish on an open forum.

 

As a by note, both my grandads NEVER attended any remberence day parades and said that they would not fight again if they we ever called up, which looked very likeley for korea.

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None of my grandparents fought in the war yet my grandparents on my mothers side hid a Jew during the war. Thankfully they were not betrayed so they all made it through the war.

 

The last of my grandparents died over 10 years ago but I did talk to them about the war, unfortunantly I can't remember the questions and awnsers. I did remember my grandma saying that when the Germans asked her a question on which they required an awnser they pointed the gun at her daughter.

 

During the 60th commemoration of operation Market Garden I had a veteran at home who was in the 4th Dorset. He crossed the Rhine on the evening of September 24th to relieve the para's at Oosterbeek. This was a doomed mission however and he spent the rest of the war as a POW.

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people have said this before ,where or who do you write too ....:coffee:

 

1. get the service record via the veterans agency website, this will confirm units served in - the application process is a bit fussy and will cost because of data protection and the fact civil servants are involved....

http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html

 

2. then approach his respective regimental/corps etc museum (web search) and ask what they have got (make a donation - it's for a good cause). They will normally put you in touch with the regimental association who will have at least one member happy to fill in historic details

 

3. if the museum does not have it, then the national archives should - the individual unit's war diary will give a good list of locations and activities (but can be brief for obvious reasons)

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

 

4. if fortunate enough to still have your relative alive then sight of any of this info may (as in my case) loosen some stories they never before shared (but don't push for stuff they want to forget!)

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My father wouldn't say much about the war except talking about being on 'fire watch' on top of the roof, when other kids asked Why he didn't fight in the war, I was embarassed as I had no answer.

 

After his death we found letters containing heated correspondence with the War Office. It seems he had designed a device which enabled many sizes of object to be dropped safely using multiple man size parachutes. He had succeeded in overcoming the problem of the lightweight lines snapping when the chutes opened. The idea was to simplify logistics as only one type of chute would be needed in most cases.

 

Although this device had seemingly performed perfectly in trials and production had been ordered, the first company to be given the job spent many months and thousands of pounds "developing" it. My father thought it was perfect already and that they where ripping off the government (He quoted one as saying that it was not ugly enough for the MOD!)

 

The job was then given to another company and they were apparrently no better, my father went as far as naming all those concerned and blaming them for holding up the war effort, he was very angry indeed at what he saw as profiteering. He had given all rights to HM government.

 

Obviously this was all secret work and there may well have been other things. Before the war he had been a mechanic at Brooklands working on cars and planes and knew many of the famous drivers and pilots of that period, he did talk about this!

 

The device was a sort of pulley block that contained a coiled metal strap much like a clock spring but the metal was soft, not springy. This fitted between the load and the chutes and pulled out to absorb the shock load. Objects of many different sizes could be dropped by selecting the correct device for the weight to be dropped, (or adjusting it I don't know which) and the correct number of chutes.

 

Does anyone know if such a device was ever used During the war, or was proven to be impractical? I would love to know.

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Father - Joined the TA in 1939 as he was promised an extra weeks holiday. Called up in Sept 39 to the Royal Signals. Was at Middle Wallop during the Battle of Britain on AA and Searchlight control before moving to Warmwell airfield in Dorset. From there he went to Ceylon and India until 1946 on teleprinter and signal line laying duties. (He told me he chatted up girls in Australia during the overnight high-speed teleprinter links).

 

Mother - Was a Nursing Auxillary at Battle Hospital in Reading.

 

Grandfather (Dad's Father) - Was an Engine driver on the Great Western during WW1. Died in 1924 of pneumonia.

 

Grandfather (Mums Father) - An optician during WW1, fitting glass eyes in wounded soldiers. Government refused to enlist him even after he wrote to his MP. In WW2 he was a fire Watcher.

 

Uncle (On Mum's Side) - Joined the RA after Officer Cadets, spent time in Italy on radar control of Guns.

 

Uncle (On Dad's side) - Joined the RAF in late 1930s as a Medic. Stayed in until 1970s. Served in India for a time and met up with my Father there once.

 

Researching our family tree, my Wife has discovered a relative was at the battle of Jutland, but on a ship that didn't fire a shot. Also, I had a relative at Gallipoli in the Navy but that is all we have found out.

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Grandfather fought at Salonika in WW1 - not much fun by all accounts. I remember as a kid in the '50s going up to London with him for the Salonika reunions. Like many others, he never talked about what went on.

 

Dad joined the RN in 1936 and having proudly announced to them that he was a skilled butcher was sent straight to the engine room! The Navy seemed to need more stokers than butchers. His first ship was a coal burner, so stoking was literally the task in hand. He survived three sinkings by torpedo in the Med, was subject to Kamikaze attacks in the Pacific (on the only British ship attached to an American fleet) and was in one of the first landing parties to set foot in Japan after the A bombs (apparently no-one though much about radioactive fallout in those days) So, you could say he was lucky - and still is at nearly 91. He then spent his career manufacturing Diesel generators of all sizes - that's what got me interested in machinery and eventually MVs.

 

Not to leave her out, Mum was a pay officer in the Wrens on Whale Island. Fending off hundreds of Matelos - a different kind of danger?

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My mums brother came home after being a pow of the Japanese,....according to her, he was a different man, and died an early death.

 

My father taught squaddies to drive DUKW's, in n.wales. (6 weeks intensive, no parades,.not to much bullshine, etc).

With in the camp, they also had Alligators and Weasles, although he says he didn't get to drive these much.

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My paternal grandfather was in the Paras in about 44/45, and has only ever spoken of exploits in Palestine.

 

My paternal great uncle (long dead) was in the newly formed commandos during WW2, and was involved in things which, according to my grandmother, made him quiet, withdrawn and intimidating after the war.

 

My maternal grandfather was a secretary for Lord Mountbatten.

 

WE have pictures of one of my great grandfather in WW1 uniform, but don't know any more than that.

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Do you know which unit and where your paternal grandfather was whilst in Palestine??

 

Given the small world of the Army - it's possible he might have known my father!! :)

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Paternal Grandfather - Cpl 1st Bn Royal Sussex Regt, wounded in Italy and finished the war as an officers batman. Never spoke about the war to the family except when I was a nipper I'd badger him stupid to tell me about how many germans he'd shot etc On very rare occasions when it was just me and him he'd sit me on his knee and tell me some stories, what he didn't know was that everyone else was listening outside the door.

 

Maternal Grandfather - reserved occupation as an engineer. black & deckers? i think

 

Paternal Grandmother - worked in an ammunition factory. Always joked about not bothering to go to the shelters during air raids but sitting under her bench instead!

Edited by melchy
typo fixed

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One grand-grandfather, born in 1887, was a sergeant in the Alpini (Italian mountain corps) during the first world war. His unit was on the Carso, where mass attacks were quite common. Usefulness and results close to nil. Just thousands of soldiers mowed by machine guns and shrapnels and no advance.

Then the Regio Esercito established an "autocentro", a cenrtal vehicle depot and manteinance unit back from the front in Padua, and started collecting the very few exhisting at that time drivers and mechanics from the various units and corps. My grand-dranddad was one of those. He used to tell that is commandant wasn't happy with him leaving the unit, but in the end agreed that he could have been more useful with a spanner than with a rifle. My grand-grand father was the only survivor of his unit.

In WW II he was too old for the regula army so he joined with his old rank (he had been promoted to warrant officier) the Anti Aircraft Milizia. I don't know if he was able to down any allied plane but he came back home again in one piece. No medals this time because the Milizia was an organisation of the Fascist Party and after the war this was a bit unpopular.

As soon as I get the records with all the correct dates I'll post about my grandfather who managed to spend WWII in three different armies....

Andrea

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The story of the campaign on the Italian Austrian border in the mountains during 1914 /18 is fantastic. We in UK tend to think the Western Front was bad, which it was, but that was not at 2000 meters.

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My dad was a morse operator in the Royal Corps of Signals. He was in Singapore at its humiliating surrender and spent the rest of the war trying to survive as a Jap POW in Changi. He (along with several thousand other .303 wielding men) did get to shoot at a low flying jap fighter. Together they brought it down. Does that give him a share of a kill?

 

Must be one of the few british servicement imprisoned by the japs at Singapore who actually managed to fire a shot in anger, before the Generals made their rash (and some would say insane) decision to surrender!

Edited by antarmike

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And my mum worked for the War Ag committee, placing German POW's on british farms to help with Agriculture. She also issued them with Bicycles.

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Almost qualifies for a section on its own this thread...:whistle:

 

 

Great idea Rick and have discussed with the team and it is a goer! Will sort out a board/forum for it!

 

Ideas always welcome. Apply within.

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My paternal great uncle (long dead) was in the newly formed commandos during WW2, and was involved in things which, according to my grandmother, made him quiet, withdrawn and intimidating after the war.

 

not a relative as such, but the night porter at my college was an ex commando and worked permanment nights because of his experiences - apparently it was easier to sleep in the day (rather uncharitably we called him "Happy Jack")

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Uncle, BEF then volunteered for 1st Airbourne intake fought all thru Italy etc and then Normandy and Germany, had an appendix the night before his lift to Arnhem... always thought himself a lucky bugger!!

Uncle, Tank crew in France, hit badly and ended up in a early plastic surgery for months after.

Father to young, but South African rifles just after the war, and some contract work:cool2:

Grandfather worked at Vickers and De Havillands involved with Barnes Wallis, very skilled engineer, but never talked much, also was a fire warden.

Father in law , Navy worked on ship repair at Alexandria, he too never said much, but you can imagine going thru the ships as they limped in....

 

It can be quite interesting sarching the family history, mother has traced us back to Irish pig farmers and mad Jocks of the Sutherland clan.

 

What bloody chance did I have:confused::confused::confused:

 

Hardyferret:yay::yay::sweat:

Edited by hardyferret

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