Local History Student needs help

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Durham13, Apr 2, 2013.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I'm going to be doing a Masters this October. I really need to interview some local vets and servicemen. Would any of you gents (and ladies) be able to help me?

    My research question is: The issue of integrating ex-servicemen back into society is primarily one that has entered the public eye since 2006 and the escalation of the war in Afghanistan. But how was this handled from 1945? How did veterans become part of society (or not) after they left the Armed Forces in the Tyne and Wear region?

    If you want to help me, I can't offer anything in return. However, this is, in my opinion, valuable work that will go some way to helping people leaving the forces.

    So, if you're up for giving me a little of your time, please PM me with any stories you have about your career, why you joined up, etc. And we'll go from there.

    Much obliged.
  2. Try giving James Herriot a bell, he is a local vet who might be of some help.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. msr

    msr LE

    Ask at your local Royal British Legion
  4. Steven, that's really not helpful. But thanks....

    MSR, I've already done that thanks. I've been speaking to a few guys there and the President. But I've found that it is generally older men there, over the age of 60 (most are 65+) I really need to speak to a few people of the younger generation to get their views too.
  5. Not Tyne & Wear but close enough.

    After a stint in the Home Guard, my dad was formally invited to join the Green Howards in 1944. Supposedly a hostilities-only engagement. He was sent to India, being transferred to KOYLI, returning in 1947. He then had Z training to complete before being discharged. I suppose that this was the equivalent of decompression, unwanted by those returning and of little earthly use as a means of reintegrating into UK civilian society. Then he went back to work to finish his apprenticeship from where he'd left off.

    No contact with the Army until RBL intervened about 10 years ago with regard to his deafness which was judged to be due to firing mortars with no ear protection.
  6. You could do worse than try the fusilier association.
  7. "The issue of integrating ex-servicemen back into society is primarily one that has entered the public eye since 2006"

    Are you sure?
  8. msr

    msr LE

    Surely you need to talk to people who came back 1945-2006 or have I misunderstood your research question?
  9. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    If you wish to research men and women from the NE who served in 1945 and fought in WW2 I can help. I have two who enlisted in the Northumberland Fusiliers and went in the bag at Singapore. They did Burma Railway, Changi prison, back to the UK via Canada weighing about the same as a drowned rat.

    One on a RN Corvette that was in the Malta episode. Got burned and lived the rest of his life with his left ear looking like a walnut. Another one who was on a battle bus on the Arctic convoy gig.

    Their addresses are as follows:

    1) St. Mary's church yard, Ponteland.
    2) St. Micheal's church yard, Ingram.
    3) St. Mary's church yard, Wooler.
    4) Ten miles east from the Farne Islands, and about four degrees north.
    5) And me Uncle Cecil - if you can find out where that bastard carked it, see if you can get the gold ring me auntie Binda gave the useless ****?

    In answer to your question? **** all. I remember one of me uncles who started out as a RSM and did the Burma railway job talking about it when he was in his 70's. He never said much and you had to drag the tales out of him. But one thing he repeated after his nightmare journey from Blighty to Singapore to Burma then to Canada and back?

    "When I got off the train at Newcastle there was nobody there to meet me".

    Integration of ex-servicemen back into society? Me uncle integrated himself.
  10. OP - It's an interesting question. You could however also look at Miners, or Steel Workers or Dockers or Civil Servants. All of these job roles were considered as 'jobs for life' once upon a time. The integration of these workers into mainstream is no different from Soldiers. The only difference is that integrating miners into the work force doesn't have the same headline grabbing as 'soldiers...'
  11. Firstly, thanks to all the replies, which are fairly flooding in! there have been some really interesting comments. Theironduke, so true. The WWII generation are declining rapidly.


    Arte_et_Marte, the reason why I say that as since the escalation of the War in Afghanistan circa 2006, helping veterans with injuries (mental and physical) has really started to grab headlines. There has been more charitable work (Homeless Heroes for example is a relatively new one) and donations to charities has also increased. For example, sales of poppies to the BL have increased in the last few years.

    This is not to say that helping ex-service personnel wasn't an issue before, but one that was less of a headline grabber.

    MSR - Yes, exactly, I need to speak to people who came back after 1945 to the present day. But especially those who came back in the last few decades. In my experiences, WWII veterans are more likely to speak to people about their stories than more recent veterans (for obvious and understandable reasons). I have been lucky enough to interview a chap from the Gulf Wars, another from Afghanistan and one from the Falklands (Ardent survivor). However, I really need more interviews from these generations. HOWEVER - I still also want to speak to WWII veterans as well.

    The_Featherman - true, sort of. Except that the physcological issues associated with being a servicemen are more severe. regimentalisation is an issue faced by servicemen, but not one by civil servants. As distressing it is for a miner to lose their career, they still have experience of being a civilian. A chap who joins up at 18, doesn't leave until he is 30 odd, or even 40, does not. Therefore it is important to study the ex-serviceman's experience of reintegration. Or lack-of.

    Social_handgrenade - Thanks for the heads up. I'll write to them and ask. Much obliged for the suggestion.
  12. When did soldiers stop being part of society? Might your thesis be flawed with misconceptions before you start?
  13. Suggestion could be to talk to the Mining institute next door to the Lit and Phil and find out how many returning miners in 45-46 came back into pit jobs - they probably have records. Similarly find out from any of the shipbuilding unions what if any jobs were held open.

    Councils will have records of people who were given council houses - also local authority jobs.

    People didn't have programmes of reintegration back then - they just got on with it.
  14. Wasn't supposed to be helpful. The idea was to subtly hint that some ex-service people don't like being called "Vets" and I would think that members of the RCVS would rather not be associated with the "depraved and licentious soldiery"*

    *Cornelius Tacitus (though being a history student you should already know that)
  15. You could try working for one of the charities such as the Soldiers' Charity , H4H , Combat Stress , to name but three .