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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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ritsonvaljos
User ID: U1268437

One of my uncles served in the R.A.M.C. during World War Two and was involved in the Normandy Landings. My uncle was with the 26 Field Hygiene Section, a part of the 3rd British Infantry Division and landed at Sword Beach.

I started studying the Battle of Normandy for different projects as part of my university studies in French. I've written about World War Two, partly from accounts by Veterans of the period, or civilians who lived through those times.

During 2005 I have also been a member of the BBC Radio Cumbria CSV Action Desk team of volunteers to collect stories for the BBC "People's War" website. Consequently, the wartime accounts I have posted on behalf of other people while undertaking this volunteer role have been posted under the User ID of the BBC Radio Cumbria volunteers.

Where possible, I have listed the source of information for each account I have posted to the site. In some instances, I have tried to cross check dates, names, and events that people have mentioned, especially using contemporary records such as photographs, letters and archived newspaper articles where they exist. This is to try and ensure the information in the articles is accurate, at least as far as possible. If anyone feels I have written something inaccurate, or that I have omitted something that should have been written, please accept my apology in advance.

Occasionally, where I felt it was appropriate to understand a particular story, I have made a conjecture. Where this has been the case, I have attempted to make it clear the reasons I have made a conjecture and on what grounds I have done so.

Inevitably, some wartime memories are difficult, sometimes impossible, to talk about or even write down. On the other hand, there are such a lot of happy memories of the war years. Both good and bad things that happened are worthy of being remembered, to give a balanced picture of just what did happen during World War Two.

I have come across a wide variety of wartime stories while writing accounts for the BBC "People's War" project. It has been an honour to meet and talk with so many people, some of whom I have known all my life, while others I met for the first time. I have also found it fascinating reading through what other researchers have posted.

Hopefully, many of these memories written down for this project about what happened in a World War will live on. Finally, I would like to suggest that if the only good things that might come out of this project are that the younger generations learn about what happened, and that consequently there is never another World War, then it will have been a worthwhile venture.

Stories contributed by ritsonvaljos

Auschwitz: the Final Destinationicon for Story with photo
Dunkirk Evacuation and Normandy Landingicon for Story with photo
Father Fernand, the curate of Allenc, Franceicon for Story with photo
Cumberland Miners' Representative in World War Two London Victory Marchicon for Story with photo
'Cumberland Story', 1946 Crown Film Uniticon for Story with photo
Pit Village Life in Scilly Banks and Moresby Parks, Cumberland during World War Twoicon for Story with photo
The Allied Aerodrome of B10 at Plumetot during the Battle of Normandyicon for Story with photo
Remembering Events in the Vichy Zone of France during World War Twoicon for Story with photo
An Eye-Witness Account of the Battle for Caenicon for Recommended storyicon for Story with photo
Memories of a Cumbrian 'Mining Lad' Called Up by the RAMCicon for Story with photo
Remembering the “Sleepy little town of Whitehaven” during World War Twoicon for Story with photo
The Two Times I Saw Parisicon for Story with photo
When I Went to War (Poem)icon for Story with photo
A Whitehaven 'Screen Lass' Remembers World War Twoicon for Recommended storyicon for Story with photo
A Whitehaven Miner Remembers World War Twoicon for Story with photo
The March to Nijmegenicon for Story with photo
"Hanging Out the Washing on the Siegfried Line"icon for Story with photo
‘Operation Mosquito’ : Pegasus Bridge, July 1944icon for Story with photo
From Normandy to Norwood, with Loveicon for Story with photo
“I Was Two Days Late For My Own Wedding”icon for Story with photo
“If You Want To Go Home, You Can!”icon for Story with photo
A Medical Corps Unit lands in Normandy, June 1944icon for Story with photo
Remembrance Service, Luneberg, Germany, 11 November 1945icon for Recommended storyicon for Story with photo
Medical Corps Field Hygiene work in Normandy 1944icon for Recommended storyicon for Story with photo
“It Looked Like A Big Black Bear!”icon for Story with photo
Escape from a German Firing Squadicon for Story with photo
One of Lady Astor’s ‘D-Day Dodgers’icon for Story with photo
"We Decided It Was Wrong For A Christian To Kill"icon for Story with photo
My Mother got Two Telegrams, One was Bad Enough.icon for Story with photo
“I Came Back Home To Whitehaven To Help My Mam And Dad”icon for Story with photo
Dedication of the Normandy Veterans Memorial Seat, Whitehavenicon for Story with photo
“There Is No Place Like Home, Is There Dear?”icon for Story with photo
“I Wanted to Join the Navy but I Ended Up in the Army”icon for Story with photo
"We Landed at Luc-sur-mer on D-Day, Tuesday 6 June 1944"icon for Recommended storyicon for Story with photo
“The Comradeship Was What Won the War for Us”icon for Story with photo
“Believe Me, ‘Dad’s Army’ Was Not Much Of An Exaggeration!”icon for Story with photo
“Of Course, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ Was All Based On Fact”icon for Story with photo
“I Was ‘Reported Missing’ Because Nobody Knew Where I Was”icon for Story with photo
The Normandy Veterans Association (West Cumbria Branch No 51)icon for Story with photo
“Oh Yes, We Had Some Fun in the Air Force Concert Party!”icon for Story with photo
“If one of those shells hits the boat we’re all finished!”icon for Story with photo
The Kelly family of Whitehaven during World War Twoicon for Story with photo
The Veterans' Association Always Brings Back Memoriesicon for Story with photo
Growing up in Whitehaven, Cumbria during World War Twoicon for Story with photo
“We Found All The People In Bayeux Were Really Friendly”icon for Story with photo
Joseph and Robert Casson, two Whitehaven brothers in the Battle of Normandyicon for Story with photo
Robert Casson from Whitehaven, Cumbria, No 45 Royal Marine Commandoicon for Story with photo
Joseph Casson from Whitehaven, Cumbria, 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantryicon for Story with photo
Andrew and Edward Mackin of Whitehaven, Cumbriaicon for Story with photo
Remembering the German Victims of World War Twoicon for Story with photo
Normandy Veterans Remember World War Twoicon for Story with photo
The East Riding Yeomanry in Normandy 1944icon for Story with photo
Remembering the Requis Family of Plumetot, Normandyicon for Recommended storyicon for Story with photo
Honouring Two Adopted ‘Sons of Cuverville’, Normandyicon for Story with photo
“We used to Pray for all our Relatives away in the Army”.icon for Story with photo
A Letter from Egypt to a Pal, 17 February 1944icon for Story with photo
Private Stanley Carruthers and family of Scilly Banks, Cumberlandicon for Story with photo
'Marra' McGuinness MM at Merville, D-Day 6th June 1944icon for Story with photo
"How long shall we remember?"icon for Story with photo
Dancing Through the War Years, by Andé Lyonsicon for Recommended storyicon for Story with photo
“At rest, her duty nobly done.”icon for Story with photo
The World War Two Memorial, St Nicholas’s Church, Whitehaven, Cumbria.icon for Story with photo
"Salford and Manchester docks were always attacked and we lived nearby"icon for Story with photo
George and William Acton, Merchant Seamen with the SS Empire Leopardicon for Story with photo
An Unwanted Letter from the Minister of War Transport in Londonicon for Recommended storyicon for Story with photo
Torpedoed by a German U-Boat, 2 November 1942icon for Story with photo
Whitehaven gets its ‘Wings’, and suffers a plane crash on the same day!icon for Story with photo
Lili Marlene, the ‘D-Day Dodgers’ and Lady Nancy Astoricon for Story with photo
Examples of how a local newspaper played its part in the war efforticon for Story with photo
RAF Millom Museum and the Whitehaven Plane Crash of 1943icon for Story with photo
A Whitehaven wartime wedding, 23 August 1941icon for Story with photo
A wartime evacuee from Newcastle-upon-Tyne revisits Whitehavenicon for Story with photo
The M.V. Neptunian, Captain Günther Prien and German submarine U-47icon for Story with photo
Hilda and Pat McGuinness from Whitehaven, Cumbria: In everlasting memoryicon for Story with photo
“Two brothers, side by side in a foreign land”icon for Story with photo
Gunner Harold Drake, RA, from Egremont, Cumbria, a Normandy Veteran.icon for Story with photo
Two Border Regiment ‘Pals’ who died in Burmaicon for Story with photo
Message in a bottleicon for Story with photo
“We took you forever into our hearts”icon for Story with photo
“Welcome back to Whitehaven, Tom!”icon for Story with photo
Meeting up again, many years after the war.icon for Story with photo
The sinking of the SS Gasray in April 1945icon for Story with photo
Joe Kelly, a ‘Border Regiment Man’ through and throughicon for Story with photo
Wartime experiences of some of the Burney family of Whitehaven, Cumberlandicon for Story with photo
Some wartime memories about the Hanson family of Salford, Lancashireicon for Story with photo
"A secret, mythical place" in wartime Preston, Lancashire.icon for Story with photo
Carefree times of a young lad growing up in wartime Preston, Lancashireicon for Story with photo
Memories of schooldays in ‘Proud Preston’, Lancashireicon for Story with photo
“My wartime travels as a child gave me a grand start in life”icon for Story with photo
Staying at Grandma’s house in wartime Whitehavenicon for Story with photo
Daytrips to Blackpool during the war.icon for Story with photo
Mines Rescue work at Haig Pit, Whitehaven, Cumbriaicon for Story with photo
"How important is it to remember?"icon for Story with photo
An exchange of gifts, and an exchange of marriage vowsicon for Story with photo
John Burney MM: Bravery in both World Wars, on different Fronts.icon for Story with photo
Some memories of life on the Home Fronticon for Story with photo
Some things Grandma told me about the waricon for Story with photo
'Dual Dancers'icon for Story with photo
Victor Silvester's 'BBC Dancing Club'icon for Story with photo
'In the Quartermaster's Stores': 'Bish' Burney and Matt Devlinicon for Story with photo
Some happy memories of working at Silbertson’s factoryicon for Story with photo
Mary Ann Savage working at Haig Pit, Whitehaven.icon for Story with photo
The William Pit explosion at Whitehaven, 3 June 1941icon for Story with photo
“Why, woman, somebody must get coal.”icon for Story with photo
A Cumbrian lad makes it to Germanyicon for Story with photo
Remembering Stanley Carruthers from Scilly Banks, Cumbriaicon for Story with photo
The day the 15th / 19th King’s Royal Hussars met its Waterlooicon for Story with photo
“How do you feel about taking a long walk?”icon for Story with photo
A precious memory that should live forevericon for Story with photo
The Borough of Whitehaven WW2 ‘Book of Remembrance’icon for Story with photo
Pat O’Brien: a West Cumbrian who went to war and found a wifeicon for Story with photo
Pat and Angelina O’Brien: well and truly married in Greeceicon for Story with photo
A postcard from Egypt to Whitehaven by Pat O’Brienicon for Story with photo
Pat O’Brien from Whitehaven in Baghdad, 1944icon for Story with photo
Pat O’Brien and friends at Esbeya Gardens, Cairo, August 1942icon for Story with photo
"A place called Caen"icon for Story with photo

Archive List
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