War Memories

Fred Adams

As a child I lived at Corby Glen and although I was christened Alfred William I have always been known as Fred. After attending the local village school, I went to the King`s School in Grantham where I matriculated in my School Certificate exams. This enabled me to claim direct entry into the Royal Air Force as an Aircraft Apprentice. Read more....




Rita Burden

I was born Rita Burrows and I lived in a stone cottage down School Lane, by the side of the river just over the bridge. It is still there. I stayed there until I went into the Forces in 1944. The Appleby and Froddingham Iron-stone Works were still there then. At one time, my dad was the gamekeeper at Easton estates although he was born in Norfolk. He used to visit the Sir Isaac Newton pub at Woolsthorpe with another gamekeeper. My grandmother kept this pub and my mother used to help her. That is how my mother and father met. After they were married. they lived on estates in various parts of the country. During the time that my mother and father lived away from the village, they had two daughters and a son. Work on the large estates was fine for a while. The kids had the park to play in. Read more....

Douglas Campion

My name is William Douglas Campion. I was born in Nottingham in March 1922. I can go back as far as three years of age, mainly because I was taken ill with glandular tuberculosis. This left me very weak and probably put me back two or three years in my development. We lived in a semi-detached house in the Sherwood district very comfortably Read more....




George Flint

My name is George Flint and I was born in Leicester in the West End area, on August 8th 1916. After I left school I was in the shoe trade, designing ladies` shoes and I hated it. I went into the Army in November 1939 because it so happened that I belonged to a motor-cycle club called The Query Club. One member that I knew very well was Mr Newman who had been a construction engineer in Leicester. Then he joined the Army and formed the 726 Artisan Works Company of Leicester, Royal Engineers, a construction company which had all sorts of people from the different trades - brick-layers and carpenters, that type of thing. One day he rang me up and he said, ` You`re a great motor cyclist, what about coming into the Army?` I said,` Not on your life!` `Well`, he said, `You`ll have to come in sometime, you`ll be called up`. Anyway we met up and had a drink or two and talked it over, and I didn`t like my job so and I ended up being his dispatch rider. When I told my parents, they thought I had lost my marbles and I probably had! Read more....

Jack Hall

I was born at Canister Hall but we left when I was very young. I can`t remember living there. It was pulled down eventually. It was a big place and maybe it took too much money to do up. I don`t know who owned it. I was named John George and Ida Hollingsworth was my godmother. My father worked as an engine driver on the ironstone railway and in his spare time he did gardening for Mrs Clem until he was 82 or 83. He then lived up the Ropewalk where Mr and Mrs Dexter now live Read more....



John and Sylvia Hazlewood

My name is John Hazlewood. I was born in Colsterworth in a house next door to the Chapel on Back Lane. There were 3 cottages, the Warrens lived in one, we had the centre one and Tommy Childs lived in the end one because there was only one room downstairs and one room up. I was born on the 7th of January 1933. I went to the local school under Mr Harrison, Mrs Harrison, Mrs Ball and Miss Lowe. It was a good school; they were strict but no more than normal. I think it did us good, we were kept in order. I left school at 14 and went the United Steel Company and worked there as a welder, a training welder at first. There was a big welding shop and we could build anything with metal like gates or anything you like, and if anything broke, say of steel, we welded it back together again. Read more....



George Howitt

My war-experience, I`ll tell you, is not all that dramatic. A lot of people had enough things to write a book about but I didn`t. I volunteered in 1943. 0bviously, we all knew when we were young that sooner or later you would get calleddup unless you were very lucky to be in a reserved occupation or something like that. If you volunteered you could choose which branch of the Services you would like to go into. Otherwise you went where you were sent. Well I knew that I wasn`t in a reserved occupation so when we were seventeen, another lad from the village, Bill Wright, and myself went to the Newport Drill Hall at Lincoln to join up. This was in 1943, the beginning of 1943, that`s when I was seventeen, although you can`t officially join the Forces until you are eighteen. Read more....


Kay Innes

I am Kay Innes (nee Evans) and I was born at Maidstone in Kent, but during most of my early life I lived at Sandwich, one of the great Cinque ports. It was a most delightful little town. We were three miles from the sea, with the famous St George`s golf course in between us. Sandwich is between Deal and Ramsgate. Read more....





Eve Mortimer

I was at a very strict girls' school - no talking in the corridor! I used to write the R.A.F. insignia in my rough book, I was always interested in the Royal Air Force. I wonder if my husband, when I met him at 15 years old, had been wearing a different colour uniform whether I would have looked at him. My family used to take me to stay at Towyn in Gwynedd on Cardigan Bay with a Welsh lady who, though she could understand English and speak it, would only speak Welsh. So I had to learn the language but I enjoyed it. One day her granddaughter, Phyllis, introduced me to a tall, dark, handsome young chap, home on R.A.F. leave having sprained his ankle playing sport. He was using his old bike to scooter down from home to the promenade. I couldn't resist letting his tyres down! Read more....

Peter Shaw

I am Peter Shaw and I live in a house called Cordwainers which may surprise some people as there are those who don`t know what a cordwainer is. It is an old name for a shoe-maker. We have always called our houses, wherever we have lived, Cordwainers. There is still in existance in London a cordwainer`s technical college. They don`t really teach the handcraft like they used to but they do a lot of shoe design and attache cases, but it is still there. I was born in Northampton, the home of shoes. Read more....


Maurice Snowball

My name is Maurice Snowball and I was born in Sunderland in 1922. I joined the RAF when I volunteered for Air Crew and started to do my training to be Flight Engineer in 1944. You have to do the basic marching and drill and things like that first. I went down to Lord`s Cricket Ground where all Air Crew had to report at the time. We were billeted in nearby flats. Royal Court was the one we were in. First we were issued with uniform of course, and then lined up for the injections. I had two teeth out as well because they said that they were dead and would not be good for someone in Air Crew. I ended up with my left arm aching with the jabs and my mouth was swollen. We got back to our flat and the corporal said, `Come on, I want this floor cleaned and everything tidied up!` So we set to but when he came in again, he reckoned that the flat was not clean and he wanted the job done properly, - ` and it will do your arm good as well!` Read more....

Betty Wilson

I was born in North Wales at a small hill farm just outside Llangollen. The farm was called Tan-y-bwlch and was rented from the big house not far away. There were six children in the family and I was the second eldest. There was my brother John, and then me, and then a sister Doreen, another brother Arthur and two younger sisters, Nora and Eileen. My father`s father had been in the Army during the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny but came back to run the farm. He died aged about sixty when my father was fourteen and so my father and his mother had to run the farm. He was the eldest of five children. Read more....

Alek Zachowicz

My name is Aleksander Zachowicz and I was born the 30th October 1924 in a village called Molodeczno just outside the town of Vilna in Poland. Now it is in Lithuania. I had a mother, sister, step-brother and a step-father. I wasn't born when my father died. I don't know how he died, my mother never talked about it. She did say that he died going into the forest. He was working in the forestry. He might have been killed by something in the forest. The forests were huge in that area. We were near to White Russia and the forests stretched right across to Smolensk. We lived in a very poor little house with two rooms, a sort of living room and only one bedroom. Read more....