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Interviews from the 'Living Museum' in St James's Park

Updated Tuesday 12th July 2005

WWII 60th anniversary logo
WWII 60th anniversary logo

Thousands turned out on National Commemoration Day to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the End of Second World War.  From smartly dressed Veterans to young families, tourists and local people, a diverse mix joined in the celebrations and came to mill around St James's Park or watch the stunning performances at the commemorative show, either on the big screens on The Mall or in person as a guest.

Below are links to a series of audio interview clips recorded at the Living Museum in St James's Park between 4-10 July 2005.

The next event is VJ day which will be marked by wreath laying ceremonies on 21 August 2005 at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.  Actual VJ day is on the 15 August.  However, at their request, 21 August has been agreed with the Burma Star Association.

More information on VJ day will appear on the official website as and when it becomes available.

Click here to see the Veterans Agency Calendar of Events for celebrations in your part of the UK.

National Commemoration Day

David Roy Hamley, Sapper Royal Engineers, National Service 1950 David Roy Hamley, Sapper Royal Engineers, National Service 1950

"We came up into Whitehall with my father and we couldn't get across the bridge..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 294Kb]

Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) George Thomas Kettlewell

"She were in ATS were t' Queen, so she's sommat in common with all of us..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 66Kb]

The Victoria Cross Ian Edward Fraser

"The one in the front is the Victoria Cross and that's the most important one of them all..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 165Kb]

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Edward_Fraser

The George Cross Bertram Stuart Trevelyan Archer - "Archie", Bomb Disposal

"A lot of my friends did the same thing as I was doing and they blew themselves up..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 266Kb]

See also http://www.ww2awards.com/person/434

Anne Peacock, from Doncaster

"During the War, I was a clerk..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 172Kb]

Sylvia Jones, from Yorkshire

"Oh, that was great..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 130Kb]

Women in World War II memorial

Lucy Bowyer

"I'm a standard bearer for the Shropshire Women's Royal Army Corps..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 225Kb]

Jean Webster

"Ambulance driver, lorry driver..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 106Kb]

Elizabeth Kelly

"I was a spotter with the heavy 'ack-ack' batteries..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 221Kb]

Jean Archer

"I started off as a balloon operator..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 140Kb]

Jean Copeland

"I was in the Met Office..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 97Kb]

Margaret Kelty

"I was a Red Cross VAD..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 183Kb]

SAC Laura Bibby

"It makes me feel very proud..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 121Kb]

Saskia Nesja

"I work in the Education Department of the National Army Museum..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 130Kb]

"Women had a huge role..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 129Kb]

John Reid, Secretary of State for Defence

John Reid, Secretary of State for Defence, speaks to Chelsea Pensioners in the Living Museum, St James' Park, London John Reid, Secretary of State for Defence, talking about the terror attacks on London

"Well, our first thoughts are with those who have been wounded..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 304Kb]

Interviews with Veterans

James Arthur Davies, Bomber Command, 101 Squadron James Arthur Davies, Bomber Command, 101 Squadron

"Terrorists, yes we were bombed day and night..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 272Kb]

Patrick Higgins, ex RAMC Patrick Higgins, ex RAMC

"We started out to come here today because we'd pledged ourselves to be available..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 306Kb]

John Leakey John Leakey

"I can take things out of my mind so quickly..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 103Kb]

Morris Bourne Morris Bourne

"By comparison that's nothing..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 80Kb]

Ron Kane, Corporal in Royal Air Force, from London Ron Kane, Corporal in Royal Air Force, from London

"Nothing would put me off coming here, not to this exhibition anyway, it means too much to ex-service people..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 270Kb]

Herbert William Brown, Driver Mechanic as a Guardsman, Great Griffield, Yorkshire Herbert William Brown, Driver Mechanic as a Guardsman, Great Griffield, Yorkshire: click on the link below to hear interview clip:

"I hope there's never any more wars..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 308Kb]

George Edward Smith, Royal Artillery Searchlights George Edward Smith, Royal Artillery Searchlights: click on the link below to hear interview clip:

"I can feel it coming up on me, you know, the old tear and that..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 314Kb]

Cyril Bridge, RAF, 2nd Tactical Air Force Cyril Bridge, RAF, 2nd Tactical Air Force: click on the link below to hear interview clip:

"I was lucky - I came home.  I'm 81 years of age, I came home..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 524Kb]

Jim Carroll, Royal Navy, London Bridge Jim Carroll, Royal Navy, London Bridge: click on the link below to hear interview clip:

"I served in the Royal Navy for about 4 years, 4 years during the war..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 436Kb]

Dennis Griffiths Private 1st/5th Battalion Sherwood Forresters from Ely Dennis Griffiths Private 1st/5th Battalion Sherwood Forresters from Ely: click on the links below to hear interview clips:

"I was a POW for 3 years, commencing from February 15th..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 284Kb]

"We've come to remember the prisoners of war in the Far East..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 340Kb]

"'No Not the Poppy' in this remembrance, but the pale orchid..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 431Kb]

John Concannon: Glider Pilot and also with the Tank Corps from Slough John Concannon: Glider Pilot and also with the Tank Corps from Slough: click on the link below to hear interview clip:

"The reason the war came was through the generation before..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 555Kb]

Interviews with Evacuees

Interviews with Serving Personnel

Chief of the Naval Staff and First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West GCB DSC ADC Chief of the Naval Staff and First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West GCB DSC ADC: click on the links below to hear interview clips:

"It's always fantastic to meet some of the Veterans..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 314Kb]

"Six years of war, it is mind-boggling to think about it..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 976Kb]

Cpl Mark Lawson, from Doncaster in South Yorkshire Cpl Mark Lawson, from Doncaster in South Yorkshire: click on the link below to hear interview clip:

"My father was in the Air Force, my grandfather was in the Air Force..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 506Kb]

SAC Daniel Bucknall, a Chef with the RAF Mobile Catering Support Unit, from Cleethorpes SAC Daniel Bucknall, a Chef with the RAF Mobile Catering Support Unit, from Cleethorpes: click on the link below to hear interview clip:

"We're here celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the VJ/VE Day..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 300Kb]

SAC Martin Rate, a Chef with the RAF Mobile Catering Support Unit, RAF Stafford, from Barnet, North London SAC Martin Rate, a Chef with the RAF Mobile Catering Support Unit, RAF Stafford, from Barnet, North London: click on the link below to hear interview clip:

"I don't think that something as important as this should ever be forgotten, ever!" [Clip is mp3 format / size 471Kb]

Flight Sargeant Phil Jones from RAF Mobile Catering Support Unit, RAF Stafford Flight Sargeant Phil Jones from RAF Mobile Catering Support Unit, RAF Stafford: click on the link below to hear interview clip:

"We're feeding all the enablers, the personnel that set up the Museum..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 308Kb]

SAC Camille Spencer, Catering Accountant in the Royal Air Force SAC Camille Spencer, Catering Accountant in the Royal Air Force: click on the link below to hear interview clip:

"The contribution that we're actually making and will be making is vital to any society..." [Clip is mp3 format / size 381Kb]

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