As a boy my grandfather would tell me stories of his time on the Western Front during the First World War and how it transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and trained as a fighter pilot. It was a pleasure therefore to introduce him to the audience of BBC South Today at the start of a year long commemoration of the 1914-1918 war.
My own interest is shifting from amateu historian and research sleuth in relation to my grandfather’s rather unusual story – he startef out in the Durham Light Infantry, was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps … and at one stage was asked if he’d like to join the Tank Corps. Then right at the end of 1917 having survived the Third Battle of Ypres, known as Passchendaele, his papers came through and he spent 1918 training to be a pilot, starting in Hastings where he got military training, morse code and topography.
To support my interest I am taking a Masters degree in First World War studies at the university of Birmingham.