In 1992 I asked Reg to record his life story so others could read it. As audio tapes filled up, I typed the results as spoken, the only editing being to remove duplication. The original, a 30+ page document written in the first person, contains a level of detail only an eye witness could provide. As a qualified radiographer, he was unfortunate enough to be selected for hotspots and was one of the few people who had access to film on Malta, though this wasn't today's quality.
Reg was born in 1917. His father was a Great War veteran Norman Gill who had lost a lung in that conflict.
After the Great War, Norman's artillery major kindly offered him a job as an winding gear engineer at the colliery he owned. From the Internet, I believe this was Major D. H. Currer Briggs at Methley near Leeds.
In 1926 a mishap during a routine dental extraction led to a serious infection in the other lung and death at the age of 37. His wife received a letter informing her of the death and asking her to collect the body as soon as possible. Reg was just 9 and the family went from relative affluence to poverty near starvation levels in a day.
He left school at 14 and went to work at Leeds medical school under John A.F. Fozard MSR FRPS, where there was a department of medical photography and radiography. Both were fairly new concepts in medicine. He photographed a lot of patients from the Leed General Infirmary and joined their Radiography classes for his MSR professional qualification. In pre-NHS days, he earned quite a lot x-raying cats and dogs for local vets, something he wouldn't be allowed to do today!
The rest of his story will appear in due course but I'd love to hear from anyone who knew Reg during WW2 or who can tell me how to identify his father's artillery regiment.
My professional background has been as a software developer on radar systems and I've contributed to a number of proposals for such systems. I'm therefore used to both giving and receiving advice to improve readability.
With respect to WW2, I have a particular interest in pre-NHS medical facilities and also the Royal Navy.