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#657201 - 23rd Jan 2012 10:35am WWII Reminiscences
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 15010
Loc: Wirral
As time moves on memories fade, although a few will stay very vivid in our minds.
When people leave this world, many take with them invaluable information which they have never found an outlet for.
Some members on this site I am sure must have memories relating to
World War II.
Little snippets come out from time to time but it would be great to have them all under one topic too. Would it be possible for you to post them on Wiki, to enable us to share and try to understand your experiences in a better way and also to have first hand records of them for the next generation?
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Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle

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#657232 - 23rd Jan 2012 11:16am Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: granny]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1289
Loc: Wallasey Village
Gran

A worthy thought.

We do our best to collect memories from WW2. Mum is 94 in a couple of weeks and has marvelous recall. Heck, I am too near 70 for comfort and even I remember tiny events such as the sirens on St Georges Rd School, AA guns and searchlights from the late stages (probably troops practicing rather than actual alerts).

The problem with trying to capture memories from mum is that they come up as parts of other conversations and the "snippets" may last only a minute or seconds. ME REMEMBERING what she said so I can write it down is then the issue. It is not practical to carry the mini tape with me "just in case". Anyway, by the time I had switched it on the story has past and mum is talking about something else.

I have tried initiating general local History conversations with me/ the tape all prepared eg "hey mum what do you remember of when Darly Dene was bombed?" (THAT conversation trigger always works because she was just 200 yards away and remembers helping rescue amongst the carnage) or "do you remember the police hut at the top of Leasowe Rd?" (then we argue because she thinks it was in a different position from where I think it was). Those sorts of snippets I do have recorded/ transcribed.

The very BEST way to initiate conversations about memories etc is to show PHOTOGRAPHS. I have a fair sized collection of copies of photos from the family, old Wallasey Village and Wallasey generally. One of my pass times is to (slowly) "fiddle" with those using PaintShop to remove scratches/ blemishes and rebalance contrast/ sharpness etc. Every so often I pull out a sub-set eg family or "top end of the Village" and show them to mum. THEN I get all the stories and I do try to capture them - which is a bit like trying to capture a greasy pig!!! The conversation jumps/ changes/ wanders off subject like you have no idea.

For ME the important info to capture is family History. Given an appropriate memory trigger such as a photo or the outline family tree she will be off with stories etc. For example it was just by chance that I learned that Aunt Ivy (mums aunt) was previously Ivy Landsborough - of the well known Landsborough family from the Dock Cottages area.

I agree with you that Wiki could benefit from having somewhere that folk can simply "dump" the odd snippet of recalled memory - that would involve the poster (now almost certainly a younger relative) transcribing the memory. The FORMAT for such items would have to be accepted "as is" ie we cannot expect folk to write fully coherent blocks of information - "warts/ errors & all" would have to be the way.

The issue then is WHO is going to try (eventually) to put some structure into what we collect? I guess a key index item would be geography ie where things happened, but there are probably others.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#657294 - 23rd Jan 2012 12:10pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: granny]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1289
Loc: Wallasey Village
Oops!

In above post that should have been Aunt Cis ie Elizabeth Landsborough, not Aunt Ivy.

See, us old b******s get it wrong all the time

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#657345 - 23rd Jan 2012 1:21pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: granny]
nightwalker Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 17th May 2010
Posts: 374
Loc: new brighton
Nice idea, granny. I seem to remember that there was a suggestion on here last year about getting some of the old(er) Wallasey folks together so they could bounce reminiscences off each other (and they could be recorded). Unfortunately, I donít think it got off the ground.

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#657369 - 23rd Jan 2012 2:34pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: nightwalker]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
One of the most powerful memories I have was at the end of the war, when all the streetlights, which had been off during the war, were switched on again. I remember going outside and marvelling at all the little "stars".
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Carpe diem.

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#657371 - 23rd Jan 2012 2:36pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: nightwalker]
granny Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 29th Jun 2011
Posts: 15010
Loc: Wirral
Nightwalker and Snod.
It would seem, I suppose, that the bulk of the work is for the offspring of those who lived through the war then. Didn't really think that many would be suffering from dementia, although quite often they can rmember those events better than any others.My mother died a couple of years ago aged 90 but she had the most remarkable memory for facts and dates. It is one huge regret, that over the years none of us had taken the time to really get it all down. Same with dad coming from Wallasey, he told so many tales about old Wallasey and Liscard etc. As you say Snod, our own memories start to fail also.
I still think it's worth a try to capture what's left before it is far too late. Let's give it a go. Back in a while.


Edited by granny (23rd Jan 2012 2:38pm)
_________________________
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle

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#657381 - 23rd Jan 2012 2:55pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: granny]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


An underlying thing here is that we - and I particularly include myself in this, don't/didn't pay heed to what our parents said about past events and just the world in general way back when. (boring ????)

I try to prompt my 2 sons to ask their Dad about past events etc. This is hopefully before I pop my clogs or just end up howling at the moon! Then commit the information to paper or to one of these new fangled gramophone-like Edison cylinder or disc speaking machines!!!

Future generations WILL thank you.

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#657387 - 23rd Jan 2012 3:07pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: granny]
Wench Offline

H4H County Volunteer
Wiki Veteran

Registered: 9th Aug 2008
Posts: 8616
Loc: Second Circle of Hell.
It's only in the past 20 years or so that I've wanted to pull up a sandbag and hear my Dads tales. Sadly, I can't do that anymore. He rarely spoke about the majority of his time in the Army, he "edited" it all so as not to upset us. Having spoken with a lot of men that fought in all the wars since WW1, I can understand why he didn't tell us all.

I have a few friends (vast age ranges) who are regularly invited to speak in schools on what they went through in WWII, the Falklands, the Gulf and Afghanistan. I could happily sit and listen to one in particular all day and night as he fought alongside my Dad. We've found out all sorts of things that we didn't know about him. It makes me burst with pride smile

Personally, I think we NEED to make sure what they went through is NEVER forgotten.
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#657389 - 23rd Jan 2012 3:16pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: granny]
BandyCoot Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 5368
Loc: Birkenhead
My old man was in tanks in N. Africa and then up through Italy but he never spoke of it except to tell us about the wine they used to liberate in Italy, he was in Perugia some of the time and that's about it. Started doing my autobiog for the grandkids down south and it's still growing, got it on disk and send down the updates. Don't know who is enjoying it more, me, the daughter or the grandkids. Amazing what you can dredge up from the memory when you try, lots of long forgotten stuff.
There's an old RAF rear gunner, lied about his age to join up, but he never tells us anything either, I've tried.
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Birkenhead........ God's own Room 101.

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#657423 - 23rd Jan 2012 4:29pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: Snodvan]
CVCVCV Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1452
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
Oh good grief Snod, what a memory you have! The Police Hut at the top of Leasowe Rd, YES! I had forgotten all about that but now you mention it, YES remember it!!! Wasn't it just alongside the big enclosed bus shelter on the left (if you walked around the corner from Roberts' butchers, past the grocers that later became Tesco (was it Irwin's?) - actually, was it about where the "new" Co-op was built?

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#657449 - 23rd Jan 2012 6:09pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: ]
bri445 Offline

Veteran

Registered: 27th Apr 2009
Posts: 680
Loc: Isle of Wight
Originally Posted By: Pinzgauer

Then commit the information to paper or to one of these new fangled gramophone-like Edison cylinder or disc speaking machines!!!

Future generations WILL thank you.


Edison has been superceded by the Digital Voice Recorder! Like the latest mobile phone, this one is 4 x 1.5 x 0.7 inches and hardly shows in the top pocket, if the interviewee is a bit put off by a shiny mic in front of them. The mic on these is in the top edge, though a better-quality one (provided) can be plugged in the top. The recording can be checked on head-phones and edited to computer or hi-fi. Takes AAA batteries, no mucking about with chargers or power packs, records hundreds of hours.
The cheapest at Argos is £27, on offer now.

Edison would be impressed!


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
IMG.jpg

Description: Digital Voice Recorder



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#657459 - 23rd Jan 2012 6:27pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: granny]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1289
Loc: Wallasey Village
CVCVCV

That was the NEW Police hut!! I definitely remember that one. The piece of land is still there as a mega patch of weeds.

The old one was sort of diagonally opposite, on the Village just along from the bottom of St Johns road. That is more or less where the carpet shop (Castle Carpets) is now. Mother tells me it was over the Village road where the Recruitment Training office was until recently (now Property Rentals) - but I think that was the Library. we are going back a LONG way

Sorry, but I am not bright enough to know how to insert a link to Streetview

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#657467 - 23rd Jan 2012 6:46pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: Wench]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1289
Loc: Wallasey Village
Originally Posted By: Wench
It's only in the past 20 years or so that I've wanted to pull up a sandbag and hear my Dads tales. Sadly, I can't do that anymore. He rarely spoke about the majority of his time in the Army, he "edited" it all so as not to upset us. Having spoken with a lot of men that fought in all the wars since WW1, I can understand why he didn't tell us all.

I have a few friends (vast age ranges) who are regularly invited to speak in schools on what they went through in WWII, the Falklands, the Gulf and Afghanistan. I could happily sit and listen to one in particular all day and night as he fought alongside my Dad. We've found out all sorts of things that we didn't know about him. It makes me burst with pride smile

Personally, I think we NEED to make sure what they went through is NEVER forgotten.



Hun, you are aware that my dad wrote up all his wartime memories and that I put them out on the web as

http://sites.google.com/site/continuacs/home

Although they have been there for some years now the link still mostly works - just the links to some of the Appendices now give a 404 error

Dad also wrote up his "business career" memoires but since he was rather scathing about some colleagues he asked that I did not put them on the web until "after he had gone". Well, dad died last year so maybe I should collate them all and 'publish and be damned'

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#657506 - 23rd Jan 2012 8:36pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: Snodvan]
CVCVCV Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 4th May 2010
Posts: 1452
Loc: ex Wallasey now Atlanta GA USA
I find it very hard to remember the village beyond St Johns Rd in its former state, I do just barely remember it was very narrow in spots (weren't there places where you had to pretty much walk in the roadway?) Big Yard and all the small cottages and shops on the right (as when heading towards Sandy Lane) were still there... Most of it was demolished and the road was widened when I was very small, I suppose (I was born in '52)... either that or my memory is just crap (which it is, of course)...! <grins>

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#657525 - 23rd Jan 2012 9:26pm Re: WWII Reminiscences [Re: granny]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1289
Loc: Wallasey Village
You are quite correct ie back in the '50s the Village between St Johns & Sandy Lane was still quite narrow. As you walked from St Johns then on the right were was Big Yard and all the associated market gardens with a few cottages on the road side.

I remember during war time and just after going with mum to Big Yard carrying the pig swill bucket. Everyone was issued with a small bucket having a swivel fitting lid. The idea was to collect waste food to be fed to the pigs. You never forget the smell of Big Yard

Triggered by the thread I have delved into my archive and come up with a load of pics showing Wallasey Village 1930s to wartime (and some a lot older). There were in my "to be done" file ie to be cleaned up with Paintshop - I'll do it one day.

Snod


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
Big Yard Piggery - wartime 1.jpg

Big Yard Piggery - wartime 2.jpg


_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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