Introduction

    Introduction

    WW2VETSPROJECT is a body of stories about war memory in Ireland. Navigate the stories using the numbered slider above or the “memories” tab in the main menu. The site presents a body of memory from WW2 Veterans from or living in Ireland, new, unheard stories from the project can be visited at: http://www.damiandrohan.com/blog The project […]

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    Indirect Memory-Brian Smith

    Indirect Memory-Brian Smith

    Brian Smith was born in Swansea in South Wales into a family with a long military history. His father served in the Great War and survived being gassed, twice. His uncle was in a Cavalry division and survived being buried alive by shellfire. Both of Brian’s brothers flew with the RAF during wartime. One brother […]

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    Ted Jones, WW2 Catalina Pilot

    Ted Jones, WW2 Catalina Pilot

    George Edward (Ted) Jones was born in Gloucestershire, England. He joined the RAF at the age of 18 in 1941 and flew Catalina and Sunderland flying boats and worked on the Artic Convoy route. He has been decorated twice by the Russian government in recognition of his wartime service protecting convoys. He was based in […]

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    Richard Kennedy, WW2 Royal Naval Veteran

    Richard Kennedy, WW2 Royal Naval Veteran

    Richard (Dick) Kennedy unfortunately passed away before the completion of this project. His father served in the Royal Navy during the Great War and saw action at the battle of Jutland. Richard followed his father into the Royal Navy and spent his service years in the Far East on the HMS Nigeria, after the war […]

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    Margaret McGrath, Plastic Surgery Nurse, East Grinstead

    Margaret McGrath, Plastic Surgery Nurse, East Grinstead

    Margaret (Peggy) McGrath moved to England to take up nursing training at the age of 20. She trained in the Royal Waterloo Hospital and then moved to East Grinstead to Archibald McIndoe’s pioneering plastic surgery “Guinea Pig” hospital. She recalls meeting her husband-to-be on her very first day’s service. He had lost his toes through […]

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    Paul Bowe, WW2 RAF Pilot

    Paul Bowe, WW2 RAF Pilot

    Paul Bowe had a fascination with flying from an early age. He joined the RAF in August 1941, just after his eighteenth birthday. His brother had joined the RAF just before the war. He flew supply planes in the Far East and Burma. After the war he spent the remainder of his working life as […]

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    Paddy Mooney,WW2 RAF Veteran

    Paddy Mooney,WW2 RAF Veteran

    Patrick (Paddy) Mooney is 89. He joined the RAF at the age of 22 in 1943. He wanted to join sooner but his mother didn’t approve. He was posted to Egypt and maintained aircraft engines, with the intention of becoming a flight engineer. However the squadron he was posted to didn’t train flight crew, so […]

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    Michael O' Leary, WW2 Raf Veteran

    Michael O’ Leary, WW2 Raf Veteran

    Michael O’ Leary’s relatives served in the Royal Navy and army during the Great War. He joined the RAF at 20 and served in Burma as an electrician at an airfield. He worked as an electrician after the war and spent much of his time conducting research in the Cork City library. Michael passed away […]

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    Leo Caffrey, Dunkirk Veteran

    Leo Caffrey, Dunkirk Veteran

    Leo Caffrey is 93 years old. He was 19 when he joined the army in September 1939. By the 23rd September he was in France. A veteran of Dunkirk, he saw service in the African and Norwegian campaigns and also served in Palestine. His brother also served for the duration of the war and survived. […]

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    Johnny Wetherall, WW2 Glider Pilot

    Johnny Wetherall, WW2 Glider Pilot

    John (Johnny) Weatherall is 85, was born in Oxford, England and has lived in Ireland since 1948, having married an Irish girl. He joined the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry at 17 in 1942, serving as an army glider pilot. He saw action in Europe and lost an eye at Arnhem during operation Market Garden. […]

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    John O' Brien, Army Veteran

    John O’ Brien, Army Veteran

    John O’ Brien’s father fought in the Great War, and was wounded twice and gassed. Lung damage sustained during the gassing ended his life prematurely about five years after returning home. John’s baby brother, Tommy, died days later and the two are buried together. John’s two brothers served in World War 2, both survived. John […]

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    John Crisp, Army Veteran

    John Crisp, Army Veteran

    John Crisp was a student of Trinity College when he decided to join the army in 1941 at the age of 18. He served with the North Irish Horse which was an armoured car regiment at the time. He served in the African and Italian campaigns, and was part of the crew of a Churchill […]

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    James Redmond, WW2 RAF Airgunner

    James Redmond, WW2 RAF Airgunner

    James Redmond’s father served in the Great War. James joined the RAF in 1942, and ended up serving as a rear gunner in a Bomber squadron. There was a long waiting list for Pilots and Navigators so impatience led him to accepting a position as a rear gunner. After the war he trained as a […]

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    Jack Simpson, WW2 RAF Pilot

    Jack Simpson, WW2 RAF Pilot

    Jack Simpson was born in Enniskillen and joined the RAF volunteer reserve in 1939 at Sydenham, Northern Ireland. He saw service in Northern Ireland, the UK,Gibraltar, North Africa, Italy, Corsica, Greece, Sardinia and Malta, he took part in the “thousand bomber” raid on Germany on the 25th June 1942. He retired from the RAF in […]

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    Jack Allshire, D-Day Veteran

    Jack Allshire, D-Day Veteran

    Jack Allshire served in the Second Battalion of the Royal Ulster Rifles. He lied about his age to gain entry to the army at 15. He landed on Sword Beach on D Day, and was part deafened in action a few days later whilst firing an anti-tank gun. He continued through France to Germany and […]

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    Harry Courcha, Army Veteran

    Harry Courcha, Army Veteran

    Harry Courcha is a Londoner by birth. He joined the army in 1943 at the age of 17. Most of his service time was spent in Italy, and he endured savage fighting at Monte Cassino. He survived the war unscathed apart from hearing damage, which was very common. At the end of hostilities he spent […]

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    Geoffrey Medcalf, RAF Veteran

    Geoffrey Medcalf, RAF Veteran

    Geoffrey Medcalf was 19 when he joined the RAF. He served as an electrician at an RAF base in Iceland for most of the war and was affected by the loss of a cousin. Geoffrey is an MBE and has been decorated twice by the Russian Government for his contribution to the protection of the […]

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    Frank Hetherington, Army Veteran

    Frank Hetherington, Army Veteran

    Frank Hetherington was born in Liverpool to Irish Parents. His father served in the First World War and Frank joined up prior to being conscripted, so that he could choose his service regiment. He joined the Irish Guards at the age of 19 in September 1941 and served in the Second Armoured Battalion. His brother […]

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    Don Harkin, WW2 Bomber Command Pilot

    Don Harkin, WW2 Bomber Command Pilot

    Don Harkin joined the RAF at the age of 19 in 1941. He completed his flying training in South Africa and flew in Bomber Command Captaining a Lancaster bomber in raids over Germany. His plane was shot down in 1944 on the way to Stuttgart and he served the remainder of the war in Stalag […]

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    David Ferguson, WW2 RAF Pilot

    David Ferguson, WW2 RAF Pilot

    David Ferguson was born in Cork and joined the RAF in 1941 at the age of 19 and flew Hurricanes, Spitfires and other support aircraft in the UK, and later flew missions over the beaches on D Day. He survived the war unscathed. David’s father served in the South Irish Horse regiment during the Great […]

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    Con Glanton, WW2 Royal Naval Veteran

    Con Glanton, WW2 Royal Naval Veteran

    Con Glanton joined the Royal Navy in February 1939 as a boy seaman at the age of 15. Before joining the Navy, Con attended the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk. The school was for the sons of Navy pensioners. Con’s father had served in the Royal Navy during the Great War. Con served on the […]

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    Billy O' Donovan, WW2 Royal Naval Veteran

    Billy O’ Donovan, WW2 Royal Naval Veteran

    More of Billy’s story Billy talks about a missing crewman Billy O’ Donovan joined the Royal Navy in 1935 at the age of 15 to escape the grim poverty of Ireland of the 1930′s. He served in the Atlantic and Far East theatres until 1944 when he left the Navy, he spent the rest of […]

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