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15 October 2014
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What My Father Did in the Waricon for Recommended story

by Linda Linn

Contributed by 
Linda Linn
People in story: 
Albert Vincent
Location of story: 
Yarmouth & Burma
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A2082377
Contributed on: 
26 November 2003

My mother told me this story as my father did not like talking about the war. I never realised just how strong his feelings were until one evening when we were watching a documentary about Montgomery and I turned to ask my father something and saw tears in his eyes. He was not one to show his emotions easily.

Anyway I asked my mother what dad did in the war and she started by telling me that after my father was called up he was posted to Yarmouth and she went to visit him. She was mortified to find that he was on the anti aircraft lights. I don't really know if her concern was more to do with the fact that it was so bitterly cold or the danger dad was in from enemy aircraft!! She said he was all muffled up but still looked perished to the bone.

The next thing she heard was that he was being transferred to Ireland for special training.

As this seemed rather strange she was surprised to get a letter from my father explaining the "Special Training"

Aparently he was called into the tiny wooden office in Yarmouth and a mystified officer demanded to know if he could drive. My father said "No".

"What do you know about cinematic photography?"

"Not a lot - I did go to the cinema a lot before the War" was my father's reply.

"Well for some reason you're off to Ireland to learn to drive a truck and then to the London Polytecnic to learn all about cinemaphotography". The officer shook his head in disbelief and puzzlement.

My father did go off to Ireland where he learnt to drive but managed to crash and write off an army truck in the process.

He completed the course at the Regents Street Polytecnic and spent the rest of the war in Burma showing films to the troops!!

During his time in Burma he met up with two of my mothers brothers at different locations who were needless to say overjoyed to see "good old Bert".

Even though the officer was perplexed at this assignment the army could not have got it more right. My father was a film fanatic. He used to go to the pictures all the time and sometimes twice a day - the matinee in London and then again locally in the evening. He knew all the movie stars and could tell you all the movies they had been in.

I am named after Linda Darnell!!

I am sorry that I did not find out more about his time in Burma but I am glad the army did get it right!!

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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - Burma.

Posted on: 26 November 2003 by paul gill - WW2 Site Helper

Well at least you did your very best to get the story and you know the type of work he did. Very different from most. Are you certain the films were entertainment and not training or selected newsreels?
Entertainment was important but how strange he was offered the opportunity! I do think he must have seen things he didn't like. My father in law had some horrific experiences in a POW camp after capture at Tobruk but he could never talk about it. My own father was at Dunkirk and Malta, the latter the most bombed place on earth at the time. Although he has given me a lot of material (30 pages and still adding) he cannot talk about some of the scenes at Dunkirk and I cannot press him. I also suspect the details would be too gory.
On places other than Dunkirk, I've found that by asking a few more questions, the detail gradually get filled in. Are you able to talk to your uncles at all?

Anyway, thanks for entertaining me with a very different story!

paul

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This story has been placed in the following categories.

Arts, Entertainment and Media Category
British Army Category
Burma Category
Republic of Ireland Category
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