Please click on the links below to download .pdf file but first please take the time to read Gina's introduction to "Raiding my Memories"
It is now 55 years since the 1939-1945 war ended and my son decided to print up my scribbled notes. I was doubtful at first but now I think that if only a handful of young people can come to realise that all the people who died – military and civilians alike – really did die to keep them free to enjoy all the things that they take for granted:- television, computers, mobile phones, freedom of speech, freedom from want etc.- it is worth it.
Most young people today have the opportunity to travel as well as many other things my generation didn’t have. Education is far superior and costs nothing. Our Health service is the best in the world. Girls have equal opportunities. It is a wonderful time to be alive and be part of this country – despite the minority who complain and want more.
Since 1945 we have had several more wars:
Suez – a battle for a canal. We didn’t win.
Korea – all about politics that ended with a country being split in two. It was a noisy war this with the Northern Army shouting and screaming in fervour as they attacked – a noise that chilled our soldiers to their very soul.
There is a regiment today, The Royal Gloucester Regiment, that wear two cap badges; one front and one back. This records how, when surrounded by the enemy, they fought back to back until their ammunition was exhausted. Just one example of the courage of all our troops when fighting for their country.
Vietnam. America dragged Australia into another conflict to stop Communism and failed to win. The term Killed by Friendly Fire began. Another useless conflict that saw Americans grieve when their young men came home on body bags.
The Falklands. A war that won an election!
The Gulf – Desert Shield. A war for oil. Britons came home as victims of Friendly Fire.
Now a war against Terrorism – a war with its roots back in 1945 with the creation of Israel as a nation State. A war that is seen by some as a religious war. The attack on the World Trade Towers was terrible – but changed the way we live? We have lived with the threat of the IRA for years. An ancient grudge that we have failed to solve for years.
War is too often about politics, religion, greed and self-interest. We were promised ‘Peace in Our Time’ I’ve waited 55 years to see it.
Raiding My Memories (.pdf file)