John, a veteran participating in IWM's We Were There programme

9 Questions...

  • Where do you call home?

    Royston, Hertfordshire.

  • What conflict(s) do you discuss when volunteering for We Were There?

    Second World War.

  • How were you involved in that conflict?

    I was a boy living in North Finchley, London for the whole of the Second World War, except for about 3 months when the V1’s flying bombs came over our house. My father decided that it was too dangerous to stay in our house.

  • How long have you been volunteering for WWT?

    Since the programme began.

  • What do you enjoy most about participating in WWT?

    The interaction with children. It is difficult to let them know how much danger we were in, but they always ask intelligent questions and are very interested in my childhood during the war.

  • Tell us your favourite moment so far during the sessions?

    When the children are asked to decide whether some questions about the veterans are true or false. It is great fun, and we get some surprising answers!

  • What’s your favourite object in IWM’s collections and why?

    The Hurricane aircraft on display in hangar 4 at IWM Duxford. This was much underrated by everyone, compared to the more glamourous Spitfire. The Hurricane was partly made of wood, covered with Irish linen, and featured piano wire to control the flaps. It shot down more enemy aircraft than all the other British aircraft combined.

  • What do you like to do in your spare time?

    I belong to the U3A (University of the Third Age), and attend the current affairs and quiz afternoon sessions. I am also asked to go to various societies, clubs etc. to give my talk about my childhood during in the war. I also keep our family company’s accounting records.

  • What is your favourite biscuit?

    Plain digestive (what a strange question!).

Volunteers help bring to life the stories of our collections. Find out more. 

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© IWM (D 989)
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© IWM (H 5603)
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IWM (TR 116)
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A Balloon Site, Coventry
© IWM (ART LD 2750)

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An interwar Earl Haig Fund 'Remembrance Day' poppy
© IWM (EPH 2313)

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