How did the war effect your family

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Mike R
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Post by Mike R » 07 Oct 2002 23:29

Grandfather served with the artillery in 34th Division (US) in north africa and italy. A great-uncle was an airborne gunner aboard b-17's but they kept him on to train new gunners in florida instead of shipping him overseas after his training was finished.

During ww1 had a great-grandfather serve with eddie rickenbacker in 94th aero, have much of their during and after war correspondence with each other as well as photos.

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Post by Tiwaz » 08 Oct 2002 09:27

Grandfather on the side of my mother was a cook. My mother was born during one of the evacuations of Karelia btw.

And another grandfather, while being trained to serve in the artillery, served in frontline infantry both Winter war and Continuation war. After last major battles of Continuation war he was reasssigned to work as a weaponsmith (older man already).

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Post by paddywhack » 08 Oct 2002 11:56

on my dads side my granddad was in charge of finding places of the various irish army units to camp and the like he also met a few german and had a few intresting storys about them to! as for my mothers side my moms father was only about 12 at the time but he remembers the battle of brition and remembers when he and a few friends were the first to find a crashed 109 and remembers the dead piolet hanging out of plane! but his father was a sniper of all things in ww1 until a shell blew one of his legs off!! and after that he was simply on training dutys!!! oh and i still have my dads ration card at home!!!!! :D

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Post by jacobite1 » 17 Oct 2002 15:00

My Grand-father was a stretcher-bearer in WW1 at Gallipoli, not as safe/easy as you might think........he never let a doctor touch him from then 'til just before he died, I cannot imagine the things he saw... he never spoke about it.
My Father landed in Normandy on D+1, fought all across France and N Germany, again he never told me anything..... He then was a guard of Italian POW's when He met my Mother, and ,yes,it is true he never had any bullets in his rifle while guarding them, many of them worked on the local farms ( completely unguarded ) and married local girls.

Dave Moffitt

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Post by porta » 19 Oct 2002 14:29

My grandad was shot in North Africa, he was passed fit and sent back to his unit. When he arrived back he could'nt cope so he did a runner, he was caught in egypt , courtmartialled and sent back home. D-Day arrived and anyone available was needed, released from the glass-house he was sent straight back in. He disappeared for 4 years until the military police caught him in cario in 1949. Back to manchester and another 5 years in jail. He's alive and well in melbourne, oz. My grandma never really spoke about the war that much, she was a typical manc and it was only in her last few years that i understood her, i remeber walking with her back from the 'dogs' in bellevue and an old lady walked bye, "ha" she said i remeber, she was harking back to the war days, she told me heaps about manchester during the war, there was a big pond down mount road where the abortioned kids from the american soldiers were dumped, it wasa shame when she died in 1982, she was from a time when people really were tough.On my dads side of the family, grandad was a friend of Churchill, my dad used to sit on the back of his black labrador and get rides around the garden.

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Post by Amery » 20 Oct 2002 00:17

My Grandfather and grandmother were teenagers during the war.My Grandfathers father interestingly enough was German and left Germany in 1900 I believe .Anyway he was shot at Dunkirk and lost the use of one of his lungs.My Grandfather (the poor soul) got alot of 'stick' throughout the war as he was a blue eyed ,blonde boy whose father retained his German accent.My Grandmothers brother was an engineer in the RAF.He got electrocuted whilst fixing an aircraft(this is a true event as my mother has the newspaper article still to this day.).My wifes grandfather was captured in France at the beginning of the War and spent the entire war going between camps.He was lucky to survive and came out having learnt to speak Russian ,German,French and Greek fairly fluently(this was obviously through communicating with other POWs).An Uncle of my grandfather worked in British intellegence and I am told served in France spying on the Germans.This has obviously been hard to follow up.One particular sad event in my family history was of a Great uncle whom served as an army doctor throughout the War.During his service, (I am told) He attended a number of Concentration camps after they had been liberated by the allies.The suffering he witnessed made him lose his sanity and he commited suicide in 1947 leaving a note I am told stating that he could not carry on in a world were human life was abused in this way.I am told that his widow recieved a war pension from the army.
Has anyone any relatives who served in the Raf units based at Biggin Hill in Kent?

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 22 Oct 2002 20:02

Just a thought-If my father hadn't survived WW2-I woulddn't exist-There for the grace of God go I

:D Andy from the Shire

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Post by Annelie » 22 Oct 2002 20:31

Finally....... someone has realized that "WE" all may not be here
if the war had not taken place.

Out of this war maybe some "good" happened, at least I think I am
good LOL!


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The Desert Fox
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On the brighter side of life!

Post by The Desert Fox » 23 Oct 2002 10:16

So true, my mother was born in November 1946 approximatly nine months after her father and my grandfather was demobbed from the Royal Australia Airforce. :lol: :lol:

The Desert Fox

Den Bosch Scherpschieter
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Post by Den Bosch Scherpschieter » 23 Oct 2002 23:36

Rather funny actually...

My great-grandfather was a Nazi. While his son (my grandfather) was in the USN against the Japanese. My grandfather had 3 ships shot out from underneath him; @ one point he had to keep 12 men alive. 6 died, he managed to salvage 6 lives. They were adrift for a month or so I believe, not sure. He received 2 Purple Hearts and a Silver Star...don't have much info on my great-grandfather; nobody in my family talks about him much.

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Frank Mills
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Post by Frank Mills » 24 Oct 2002 06:50

My father's side of the family, well, there isn't much to tell.

My mother was born in Hamburg, Germany. They were bombed out in July 1943, and evacuated to Soltau, Germany.

Her father, my grandfather, was drafted in to the German Army in April 1942. Spent his entire service on the Russian front with Army Group South. ( 153rd Field Training Division ). Captured by the Russians in Hungary in March 1945. Two years in Siberian pow camp. Released in 1947. Grandparents, mother, and uncle immigrated to Washington State, USA in 1950.

His brother ( great uncle ) drafted German Army. Spent entire time in Norway.

Grandfather's cousin ( third cousin ) SS panzer "Das Reich"

Grandmother's three brothers ( great uncles ) One drafted German Army. Russian front. MIA Battle for the Seelowe Heights. Presumed KIA.

Second one, Luftwaffe, Russian front, captured by the Russians in Russia,
February 1943.

Third one, World War I German Army vet. Volksturm.

Grandmother's nephew ( second cousin ) Luftwaffe. France and Russia. Surrendered to Americans May 1945.

And that's about it for our family.


Frank M.

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Stuart S
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Post by Stuart S » 26 Oct 2002 14:28

This is all from memory, since most of my family are dead.

Dad's side:
Grandfather (or step-grandfather?) was a machine gunner in the British Army during the Great War. He lost an arm. I think the ancient pair of binoculars I have in my loft belonged to him. My dad served in the Transport Corps but thankfully missed WW2. He did his national service in the Far East after the war and brought home tons of photos and some Japanese occupation currency.

Mum's side:
I don't know what my maternal grandfather did during the Great War. However, my mum used to have a studio photo of him in WW1 era uniform. I don't recall the badge, but he is wearing a leather ammo bandolier, so I presume he was in a mounted unit.

My grandmother drove a horse-drawn milk cart in London while the menfolk were off fighting the Germans and Turks. She had a bad foot for the rest of her life after the horse trampled her one day.

My aunt served in an anti-aircraft battery in WW2.

My uncle saw action in the Low Countries with the Scots Guards in 1944/45. He was wounded during a clash with a Waffen SS unit, but survived and brought home a Webley revolver. He went on to develop a life-long fascination with the Third Reich. Much to my annoyance, he handed in the Webley during a gun amnesty in the 1980s.

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Paul Timms
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Post by Paul Timms » 26 Oct 2002 18:38

Miraculously none of my family died in either war. My paternal Grand Father was a Guardsman in Africa,Italy and Greece. He was twice wounded once by mortar shrapnel (which was never removed) and once by a bayonet (he said a German soldier saved him after this).
My Father in Law fought in the SAS and was at D Day and the Bulge.
My wife had a Great Uncle killed at Verdun (French Army) and another at 3rd Ypres (British).


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Matt Horn
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Grandparents in WWII

Post by Matt Horn » 27 Oct 2002 12:04

My mum's mum (ie my granny) served in army intelligence kind of. She saw the Sealion plans, she was at Nuremberg for the first big trials, she was at Belsen and had to collect German citizens and show them a video of what the army found at Belsen, she is anti-German although now that she is 81 she has slightly mellowed in that respect.
My dad's dad built Churchill tanks and after the war in 1946 met Afrika Korps survivors in Palestine.
My mum's dad served in South Africa and saw no combat.

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Phil C
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Post by Phil C » 19 Dec 2002 15:01

My Grand Father was in the Royal Corp of Signals he saw action in North Africa and Europe, he very rarely spoke of his experiences and my one regret is that I was never able to get his experiences down on paper before he died. He was also stationed in Germany immediately after the war and had a respect for the German people that lasted until his death, it was the contrast between his experiences and attitudes towards the Germans and my other Grandfathers. (he worked in a munitions factory throught out the war and hated them with a passion) that first got me interested in The Third Reich.

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