When the Second World War began in September 1939, the civilian Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) was formed initially to transport mail and essential supplies. However, ATA ferry pilots were soon required to transport new and repaired aircraft from the factories to the airfields where they would be flown in combat missions. Similarly, the ATA would...
The war against Nazi Germany officially ended one week after Adolf Hitler had committed suicide. After several hours of tense negotiations, the surrender document was signed by General Alfred Jodl in the French city of Reims. Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower communicated the news in a short telegram, “ The mission of this Allied...
Eighty years ago this country faced a dark and uncertain future. As Great Britain stood largely alone against the forces of tyranny and oppression sweeping across the globe, one calm voice of comfort and hope rang out. Vera Lynn had been performing since the age of seven and had released her first solo record in 1936 aged 19. Three years later,...
On the evening of 16-17 th May 1943, 133 men flying in 19 heavily modified Lancaster bombers took off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire and flew deep into the heart of Nazi Germany. Each plane had a crew of seven, a pilot, flight engineer, bomb aimer, rear gunner, front gunner, navigator and wireless operator. Their mission, codenamed Operation...
During the darkest days of World War II, it is reassuring to know that not every German succumbed to the relentless Nazi propaganda machine. Most Germans were unaware of the extent of the atrocities committed in their name and very few were bold enough to make their objections public at a time when dissension was viewed as treason. This is what...
On the build up to remembrance day we are bringing you stories of unsung heroes from the Great War to remember those from both the front line as well as those back home.
Sergeant Richard Reginald Lewis As with most Grandparents, my Grandfather has always had HIS chair in the living room, a place for him to put his feet up on the fireplace, lean back, light his pipe and relax. As a small child, as soon as he would vacate his seat I would jump on there and tease that the seat was now mine. But the main reason I...
My Father was a prisoner of war in 1943. He never really spoke about this time whether it was due to his army briefing or just that it was too painful. Since his death our family have discovered where he was a prisoner in Stalag 18A Austria. He had said he was captured by the Italians and treated poorly with lack of food, then moved up through...
My paternal grandfather, Alfred Henry Chilton, served in WWI in the Royal Worcester Regiment, mainly in northern France in and around Arras and Cambrai. He was enlisted 07.11.1914 serving until 14.08.1917, being discharged on medical grounds; he lost the middle finger and half of the index finger on his left hand, following an injury. A very...
I remember when I was a kid, my mother “BABS” telling me many times about how terrifying it was in Aberdeen during WWII. She told me how scared they were at school as well as at home. She mentioned how all the kids cheered, when they learned that the school had been bombed during the night, as that meant that they wouldn’t have to go to school,...

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