Edghill, Charles Murray (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 17689
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 165, Number Of Items 6
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

Trinidadian NCO served as observer with 78 Sqdn, RAF in GB, 1942-1943; POW in Germany, 1943-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Background in Trinidad and GB, 1921-1940: family origins in Trinidad; family life in Trinidad, 1921-1932; race relations in Trinidad; allegiance of Trinidadians to Britain; move to GB, 1932; education in Wales during 1930s; reaction to declaration of Second World War, 3/9/1939; his mother's attitude to her sons joining armed forces; story of brother's role in war and loss of cousin in Caribbean, 1944. Recollections of enlistment and training with RAF in GB, 1940-1942: reasons for re-mustering as observer; observer training. REEL 2 Continues: sporting activities; invasion concern on Isle of Man, 1940-1941; tendency of Commonwealth to gravitate towards each other's company; question of what term 'colonial' meant in GB during Second World War; Royal Australian Air Force personnel being allowed to wear shoes; air crash he survived near Elgin, 1/1942; background to taking role as bomb aimer with Operational Training Unit during raid on Bremen, 6/1942; character of raid on Bremen, 6/1942; emergency landing at RNAS Crail after Bremen raid and immediate posting to 76 Sqdn, RAF. REEL 3 Continues: Recollections of operations as NCO with 78 Sqdn, RAF in GB, 1942-1943: opinion of Armstrong Whitworth Whitley; raid on Dusseldorf in which aircraft returned with four thousand pound bomb hung up, 7/1942; attitude to flying Handley Page Halifax; crashing in Handley Page Halifax in Malton area, 6/11/1942; injuries received in his second crash; coning of his aircraft by searchlight over Flensburg, 9/1942; return to squadron after recovery from injuries, 7/1943; reaction sight of large numbers of RAF bombers being shot down during raid on Aachen; importance of getting an established on operations; shooting down of his aircraft during raid on Munich, 6/9/1943. REEL 4 Continues: bailing out of stricken aircraft, descent and landing, 6/9/1943. Recollections of period as POW in Germany, 1943: initial treatment by German captors, 6/9/1943; interrogation by Hitler Youth, 6/9/1943; attempt to get him to talk about 'Window' and to defuse two thousand pound bomb, 6/9/1943; his stoning by German civilians; attempt of German police officer to get a testimonial from him; move to Dulag Luft and character of interrogation, 9/1943; introduction of stool pigeon at Dulag Luft. REEL 5 Continues: Recollections of period as POW at Stalag IV B, Muhlberg, 1943-1945: transfer to camp; conditions in camp; Christmas at camp, 12/1943; loss of POW tunnel, 1944; reaction to digging in tunnel; various incidents of German guards shooting POWs; bribing of German guards; morale in camp, 12/1944; story of his escape from camp and re recapture early 1944; attitude of Germans to respect shown by Indian POWs to British POWs, early 1944; liberation by Russians, spring 1945. REEL 6 Continues: question of Allies not dropping food to POWs at Stalag IV B after liberation; behaviour of Russian soldiers; attitude towards Germans during Second World War; comradeship amongst POWs; aid given to US POWs captured during Ardennes, 12/1944; effect of his experiences during Second World War.

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