- Contributed by
- Hertfordshire Archives & Local Studies HALS
- People in story:
- Geoffrey Dodds
- Location of story:
- Torquay; Heaton Park, Manchester
- Background to story:
- Royal Air Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 08 December 2004
Geoffrey Dodds joined the Initial Training Wing of the RAF at Torquay on 15 September 1945, having graduated from Cambridge. Here are extracts from his diary from that point on:
15 Sept 1945 - John Hughes, a Navigator/Wireless on mosquitoes, had begun here and was based at an airfield fairly close. We had arranged to meet on our first Sunday evening at the home of his girlfriend, above a shop in Torquay. We knocked on the door, which was opened by her father. He looked startled and disappeared for a minute. When he came back he told us the news that John's Mosquito, coming in to land, undershot and hit trees on the edge of the airfield. The crew died instantly. John and his girlfriend were about to get engaged.... Later we came and took her out to theatres etc. and this gradually helped her back...
[Geoffrey was later transferred to RAF Heaton Park].
7 March 1945 - Have mild ring-worm on my left leg (probably from an infected blanket).
28 March 1945 - [Went to bell ring at] Town Hall, but found flag at half mast for death of Lloyd George, so we rang on handbells in the belfry instead.
4 April 1945 - Reported sick again... Ring-worm has ulcerated due to wrong treatment.
20 April 1945 - [having been sent to Central Sick Quarters]. Apparently the wound had started to go gangrenous!
30 April 1945 - posted to Air Ministry Unit, London
8 May 1945 - VE Day [Geoffrey reports a full day of bellringing at Isleworth and Brentford, as well as red, white and blue floodlighting at the Firestone factory, and bonfires everywhere].
15 August 1945 - VJ Day. Rang Manchester Town Hall bells, Albert Square, with cheering crowds. [For 6 months after this Geoffrey was on a Wireless Operators course, but with just a few weeks to go was made redundant from Aircrew!]
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