Oral testimonies of the Cold War from young people joining the forces in the late 1950's and 1970's

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QuentinDeakin
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Oral testimonies of the Cold War from young people joining the forces in the late 1950's and 1970's

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February 2022 meeting

With tensions mounting in the Ukraine..an apposite topic! The evening’s programme was the members and local residents follow-up to last month’s talk by Dr Deakin on the history of Tonfanau with an emphasis on the Cold War period. Members Gill Ray and Richard Stoner presented excellent and stimulating accounts of their experiences in the forces at different times in the Cold War. During the latter half of the 1970’s Gill had spent four years from the age of nineteen as a WREN working as a radio operative. This took her to Faslane in Scotland, a prime location of British naval nuclear capability. Her insightful talk was enlivened with fascinating details of training and personal anecdotes and was illustrated by her personal photographic archive. She displayed her uniform, which still fits! Richard’s experience was in 1957 when he served, at the age of seventeen, in the RAF. During his training he participated in a challenging exercise in the Harz mountains at a crucial point of the border between East and West post-war occupied Germany – a stirring story evoking the atmosphere not only of the Cold War but also of the era of the Second World War. Both accounts exemplified the value of personal experience to the exploration and study of history and were much appreciated. A discussion followed.
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