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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Jack Yeatman
User ID: U1548466

I'm now 83, and my interest in the 2nd.World War is that those of us who were in it are now a "terminally endangered species". The War will continue to feature in the History Books and in Documentaries, but it is already obvious that the "younger generation" who write and produce these haven't - cannot have - an accurate understanding of it. They can get the recorded physical facts right, but not the way we THOUGHT, which is so very different from today's attitudes and climate of opinion. It is very necessary therefore that those of us still around "tell it how it was" and so help to prevent perhaps unintentional misrepresentation and distortion.
I also had a "somewhat varied experience", starting as a lad in the Home Guard in much-bombed Bristol, going into the Royal Navy - and volunteering for the now virtually-unknown Royal Naval Patrol Service, serving in an armed trawler, escorting the equally unknown and unrecorded Coastal Convoys. Then, just before VE Day, being transferred to the Army for the projected invasion of Japan - no celebrations for us ! - but being "saved by the Bomb". That led to service in a crack regular Regiment - 1st.RHA - in North Italy, and subsequently to becoming a Sergeant-Instructor at the Agricultural Wing of the Army College, Central Mediterranean, on a Training Farm in Austria, running the Dairy, and being responsible for a couple of pedigree Dairy Shorthorns sent out from England, so I have a variety of experiences to record (none of them "heroic" !!)
Post-War, I became a schoolmaster, endeavouring, with very little success, to teach History, but am now having much greater success running History Courses in my local University of the Third Age. However, this is much like being in the Orchestra on the after-deck of the "Titanic", doing a good job for those who won't be around all that much longer. I want to shout down to those in the lifeboats too, and this BBC Scheme appears to be an oppportunity to do that.
Jack Yeatman

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