Recording your history

Here's something that people could do over the Christmas Break - write down your history. (Actually this is only targeted at the small number of people on here who have served).

The last 30 years have been a fascinating time for those in the Services - spanning the end of the Cold War, to the Balkans, to several wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. And then there was the Home Front - NI, Firemen's Strike, Olympics etc.

I've been assisting a former Arrser to compile his memoirs. He has had a fascinating career in the Services and then a second career in the FCO that would make for an action-packed film. Sadly, he's not well and feels like this is something he should do before it gets too much.

And it's made me think that if I was run I over by a bus tomorrow, my family would only have a very sketchy outline of my career. How many times have we rued the day we didn't sit down with fathers/grandfathers/old acquaintances and ask them, in detail, what they did during the war?

So, I've started writing my rather less exciting service history down in a hard-backed notebook; it is surprising how much I've forgotten and struggle with "where was I in 1996 - and who was I serving with?" Luckily I have my O Group notebooks from various ops and flicking through them, I'm amazed with how much detail I'd forgotten - and it's a fair chance it isn't recorded elsewhere. Make sure to list the full names of those you served with, and gi e dates and places to all events.

I've suggested a notebook as it is a universal format that will stand the tests of time - and of technology. A big problem these days in archives are the various disintegrating electronic storage formats that have emerged over the last 40-odd years.

It's probably wise to make sure you leave explicit instructions what to do with the book - if you don't think your family are interested, specify it should go to County Archives/Regtl Museum/IWM.

ETA: make sure that you prominently record your Service Number!
 
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1993 - Posted to Germany. Can’t remember when, but let’s say it was 1 May.

1 May - arrived, dot drunk.
2 May - got drunk.
3 May - got drunk.
4 May - got drunk.
5 May - got drunk.
Four years later - posted to UK. Can’t remember much about those 4 years other than I got fcuking wasted every night, because, erm, I don’t know. That’s just what we did. Went to Bosnia a couple times in there, broke my leg (while drunk) and used to take our caravan to points south of the 1 BR Corps area most weekends - and got drunk. Watched the F1 Grand Prix in Spa. And got drunk. Did some exercises (c/w beer).

It’s nearly 30 years later, and I still have a beer most nights after work.

PS, hope @crash is doing as well as can be expected.
 
There's a famous advert from a newspaper, can't be arsed to loook it up. Some celeb, now approaching old age.

"I have been commissioned by XXX publishers to write my autobiography, and would be grateful if anyone who knows my whereabouts and conduct between 1966 and 1969 could let me know. Thank you".

Or words to that effect.
 

OneTenner

War Hero
... this is only targeted at the small number of people on here who have served...
Why? not every civvie has a 9-5 in the same job for 40 years, whoever you are, i'm sure there's been highs and lows in your life that would interest rellies - and might also be something that would help with dementia (if you're unlucky enough to suffer in later life), it'd give you carers something to stimulate you memories with.
 
Why? not every civvie has a 9-5 in the same job for 40 years, whoever you are, i'm sure there's been highs and lows in your life that would interest rellies - and might also be something that would help with dementia (if you're unlucky enough to suffer in later life), it'd give you carers something to stimulate you memories with.
I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek, but compared with most of the Civvies I now work with, my career, along with most of the ex SP I know, is quite interesting.
 
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endure

GCM
Why? not every civvie has a 9-5 in the same job for 40 years, whoever you are, i'm sure there's been highs and lows in your life that would interest rellies - and might also be something that would help with dementia (if you're unlucky enough to suffer in later life), it'd give you carers something to stimulate you memories with.

I'm a never served no mark and I haven't had a job that lasted for more than 6 years and I only got fired from 2 of them.
 
Crash has been battling Stage IV cancer in the lungs; doubly annoying to him as he is vehemently anti-smoking; and he had a pacemaker fitted a couple of months back as well. He beat it in his lungs but tumours have appeared elsewhere recently, which isn't brilliant news. He had returned to work part time as an advisor, but he's had to give that up too.

However he did respond to immunotherapy and has started it again, but finding it very exhausting. Coincidentally I'm undergoing treatment for skin cancer, which is how it started with Crash about 10 years ago.
 
I remember being on a balcony in London, 1980 I believe but can't remember much else about it. The training just kicked in and I got on with it.
I believe it had some media coverage.

If anyone can help me reconstruct what was happening that day I would be eternally grateful.
 
Crash has been battling Stage IV cancer in the lungs; doubly annoying to him as he is vehemently anti-smoking; and he had a pacemaker fitted a couple of months back as well. He beat it in his lungs but tumours have appeared elsewhere recently, which isn't brilliant news. He had returned to work part time as an advisor, but he's had to give that up too.

However he did respond to immunotherapy and has started it again, but finding it very exhausting. Coincidentally I'm undergoing treatment for skin cancer, which is how it started with Crash about 10 years ago.
He wrote a truly fascinating article on the V weapons and Operation Crossbow in the RAF Air Power Journal. Meticulously researched and full of detail, it deserved a wider audience.
 
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I remember being on a balcony in London, 1980 I believe but can't remember much else about it. The training just kicked in and I got on with it.
I believe it had some media coverage.

If anyone can help me reconstruct what was happening that day I would be eternally grateful.
 
The younger people on here may find this incredulous but back in the early 1970's the only way to keep in contact was with written letters and the odd phone call as you stuffed coins into a dial up phone in a call box. My wife and I have all the ones we wrote to each other in a box in the loft
 

Endoscope

War Hero
The younger people on here may find this incredulous but back in the early 1970's the only way to keep in contact was with written letters and the odd phone call as you stuffed coins into a dial up phone in a call box. My wife and I have all the ones we wrote to each other in a box in the loft
Blueys and complimentary phone cards
 

endure

GCM
The younger people on here may find this incredulous but back in the early 1970's the only way to keep in contact was with written letters and the odd phone call as you stuffed coins into a dial up phone in a call box. My wife and I have all the ones we wrote to each other in a box in the loft

If they were particularly badly timed in the merch they'd follow you round the world. I'd been home on leave for a fortnight before one of them caught up with me ;-)
 
I’ve kept a diary since the age of 18. There are whole years (mostly Germany) where I read it and think “it’s amazing I’m not dead from some UDI (unidentified drinking injury). Nowadays I just do a weekly summary of things worth remembering from work and life just so I have some reading material for my dotage.
 
That was always 'Unexplainable Drinking Incident' to us! - either works though :thumleft:
There are some hidden gems in there, the cricket match where I took three blinding catches at slip, first date with The Sainted Mrs D, exploits with friends and family no longer here, though there’s no way I’d let anyone read them until I’m well dead
 

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