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Krakow R: I think its on a slide show so it might go too fast M: I guess you can stop it and go one by one R: Yeah, right ah M: These are incredible pieces of kit aren’t they?


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very very emotional and draining

and taken back to that point in time

yeah

Ria: Yeah



Can you tell me a bit about how you felt when you left the museum?

Martin: Um (p)

You feel,

I felt very,

and the whole group did very serious,

you know your in this black mood anyway (laughs)

and I think you think thank god it wasn’t me you know,

thank god I wasn’t in this,

or live through it or be part of it,

or be you know alive during the second world war,

I think you have this hope that you know it’s over

and it will never happen again and you know we’ve learnt from it,

you do carry,

I mean you’ve got to feel like that

because I mean the other side of it is just black depression (laughs),

you know you have to feel that there’s got to be a reason for all this



terror

and it is,

you know it won’t happen again,

I still you know,

you constantly think,

how could that happen in Europe,

how could that happen in Europe during the life of my parents?

And um I just find it so amazing

that that that sort of horror could happen on the continent of Europe,

um but um I mean I think hope,

you know there is hope,

as Churchill said that you know

‘the light of the world will move forward into broad sunlit uplands’

or whatever his quote was

um

that the future is going to be better because of what happened,



um so yeah I guess hope

and that we’ll never forget

and um (p) some good will come from,

you know that dreadful horror,

but it is very,

I mean it isn’t,

I mean it is quite serious and it is very serious (nervous laughter)

and it is depressing

and it isn’t a fun holiday you know (laughter),

the foods good and the beers cheap

but you ain’t there for a laugh,

but still (sharp)

Ria: Ok um (p)

Ok I’ve asked you that

I’ve asked you that can you tell me a bit about the mood you experienced

throughout the visit and afterwards,

you said it was dark didn’t you?

Martin: Yeah,

I actually, when I got back home,

I felt really quite depressed (laughs) for a week really,

um and I don’t know whether it was the holiday or the experiences of what

but it actually was quite depressing

the whole experience,

you know I wanted to do it

and I would go back

but you know it is quite black mood provoking,

R: Um

M: I mean there are other situations on the planet which are equally bad



You know I mean you know the slave castles in Ghana and so on

Uh are equally horrific but maybe not quite up to this um (p) scale,

R: Yeah

M: but you know, you come through it and you know hope and the future,



it’s just a very sobering history lesson

at the end of the day now,

and the timescale it’s lengthening isn’t it now,

it’s uh (p) sixty years now yeah (P).

Ria: Oh just lastly then with regards to the picture that you took,

Um what significance did they have for you,

like with taking pictures of certain things

why did you take those pictures?

Martin: Well I guess to create a sort of visual memory um

an archive, a personal archive to look back on,

R: Um

M: I mean some of the shots are almost iconic you know



I mean the words over the gate,

the watchtowers,

the barbed wire fencing,

the rail line into the camp I mean,

these are images which are laid down by film and the media

over over decades,

that you want to confirm and reinforce and see,

you know it’s a bit like

you know forever one has seen pictures of the Sydney harbour bridge

in the summer I’m going to climb it um and take a picture of it

and touch it,

it’s this sort of game of confirming reality I think,

uh which happens in so many bits of our life,

who knows what really brings about a deep interest in a place or an event or

such that you know some people are unaffected or not interested

and others are deeply interested in in a in a,

you know a part of history or geography or whatever

um most definitely with me you know it’s family background

you know I mean my family were,

you know my uncles and aunts,

we’re almost all involved in the war as participants

and that shaped the rest of their lives and passed it on to their children,

me

uh


you know everyday my father talked about the war

and my mother still does (laughs)



(End of tape)

there’s an interesting programme on one night this week on the bombing of Cardiff in 1941.

Ria: Oh really, ah I will be watching that…

Martin: Yeah, January 1941

a hundred bombers attacked Cardiff,

I meant to write it down,

I think it might have been Tuesday evening

and it’s Tuesday evening today,

ah it might be tonight better check the um

the TV times and things

I can’t remember which one it’s on,

might be on the sort of BBC Three or something or BBC Two late at night

but it’s tonight and um that should be good,

and we can visit,

I can take you, if you fancy it to Llandaff Cathedral

and show you the huge stone in memoriam

to the night in January ’41 when the cathedral was blown apart

Ria: that would be cool

M: Um and I can take you to sights around the city

R: I’m really interested in all of that,

you know how all of this happened on our doorstep

and we don’t know anything about it

M: um and I can take you to sites around the city,

you’d never know now I guess

I mean there is a huge gap in Neville Street in Riverside Cardiff,

which my family brought three homes when they moved to Cardiff in about 1916

and uh moved out about 1938 to another property nearby

and the houses that they originally brought were flattened in about 1941

by this landmine that fell on them

and my father who,

my uncle who was in the home guard helped dig out the survivors from the house that he was born in,

R: My god

M: yeah and I’ll show you were the gap is,

the old Victorian houses and then you’ve suddenly got about ten which are built in 1945 brick

because they replaced them

like a tooth missing you know

and all around the city if you know where to look

you can actually see gaps in Victorian terraces

where in 1945, 46, 47 they replaced the bomb damage

with a new house

and bombs fell in Roath park lake

and blew apart houses around the lake

and fell in the dock,

and um there’s an awful lot of evidence,

that was the main night,

one night in 1941

and for a whole week they came every night

and the house that I was born in had an air raid shelter in the garden

and I was around that house until I was about nineteen

um and it was used as a tool shed and somewhere to go,

and that was the air raid shelter that my mother and her family used to go in

in the night and stuff when there was an air raid,

um around the city if you know where to look you can still see Anderson shelters

all over the place

R: Really

M: yeah, but you wouldn’t know what they looked like unless you were aware of them,

which people went into if there was an air raid and

they’re partly buried in gardens and stuff like that and if you didn’t have an Anderson shelter,

which was a round thing with a door in made of steel,

you had a steel table which you put in your living room and you crawled under when the alarm went,

so if the house was bombed you wouldn’t be crushed,

you’d be under the table and they could dig you out.

Uh

Ria: Frightening…



Martin: Yeah, I mean it its,

I mean I don’t want to talk too much because I maybe not,

it’s not relevant to what you’re doing but I mean compare it to cities like Plymouth, and Coventry and even Swansea

Cardiff got of very light I mean Plymouth was blown to pieces you know,

20,000 people killed because of its naval significance,

you know Devonport and the Royal Navy it was a prime target for the Luftwaffe, Cardiff less so

I mean it was the Docks really

that they wanted to destroy,

yeah so and London of course,

you know it was Blitzed to high heaven.

Ria: I went to Portsmouth over the Easter to visit the D-day museum

and there they got smashed to pieces too in Portsmouth.

Martin: Oh right,

yeah I mean it’s a naval, the sort of navel significance of portsmouth,

I mean it’s immeasurable

and the London Dock Development

that I was browsing through a few weeks ago,

which I think is amazing,

I mean it’s really all come about because

the East end of London was blown apart in the Blitz,



thousands of dwellings were destroyed around the Dockland area,

you know it’s um its not that long ago and the world was at war.

Ria: No. It’s mad, it just seems like we’ve come on in leaps and bounds.

Martin: Well even in my short life time,

I’m about three years older than you, um

the world is unrecognisable from when I was a kid,

you know the sort of wealth levels

and the um

and what we have is awesome compared with what we had two generations ago,

I mean my parents actually got married in 1948

and um they went to live with my granny and granddad,

mothers mother

who had electricity installed a week before the wedding

so that the newly married couple could have an electric light and a plug,

they had one plug in the whole house,

pre that it was gas light and cooking on a cooking range on a fire

and a fire to heat the house an open fire to heat the house,

central heating is really only about thirty years old.

Ria: I remember my granny’s old house

they lived in an old chapel house in mid-Wales and

they didn’t have heating until they moved when I was about twelve years old

and no heating no nothing.

Martin: It’s amazing,

well even my parents,

I didn’t have central heating until I brought my own house,

I mean I left home to go to university and we had coal fires in each living room

I mean that’s pretty primitive,

but everything,

I mean cars and transportation in the last 30 years,

Um educational opportunities

the whole thing is just so different

in one generation let alone in 2

I mean I think if you go back to the thirties

and I’ve got a really great pal of about 70 who’s a historian linguist

um and he’s got tunnel vision back,

he was born in the 1930’s in the South Wales Valleys,

Um (p) it’s the middle ages you know (laughs),

yeah I mean the change is very very profound

and the increase in wealth in people is very profound too and

I mean I’m flying to all over the world really

and who am I?

Some ordinary guy, Australia and the United States,

I mean when I was a kid no one when anywhere (laughter).

I mean Australia you never dreamed you’d go anywhere near there,

or if you did it would be on a boat and you’d never come back.

I went to Trinidad when I was 21 for three months

and it took six months wages for the ticket,

R: My gosh just for the ticket?

M: I mean I know its it was about 600 quid

I earned 1200 quid in that year of work,

I mean compare that to now,

I mean it’s a couple of hundred quid and you can fly anywhere.

R: Um yeah

M: Yeah so I think the 20th Century is,

I really don’t want to bore you

with all this rambling but one thing

my Grandmother died a few years ago,

after my father unfortunately,

my fathers mother,

she was well into her 90’s, very elderly 98 I think

and she was born in 1899

and she was born before the Wright brothers took their first powered flight in 1903 and her transportation as a kid

and right into adult life was a horse and cart

and this is granny that I can see there in my minds eye,

not long ago she died, as old as the queen mother you know

and um in her life time by the time she was 71/70

men had stood upon the moon,

in one lifetime we have gone from a balloon, no flight and a horse and cart

to standing on the moon in 1969

and I think that is incredibly significant in one lifetime,

her lifetime

and before she died she went on concord

and I think wow you know wow,

in one life time

and you know London to New York in three or four hours or what ever it is

and like when she was a kid how many weeks did it take by sea or whatever?

And New Zealand and Australia

you know you can fly in 24 hours,

the son of Concorde if they ever make it will do Heathrow-Sydney in four hours, twice the speed of sound.

Ria: Well is there anything else that you’d like to mention

that you think you might have missed or?

Martin: I don’t think so, I don’t think so,

I mean I guess if it does I can email you or come and see you yeah,

I don’t know if you’ve got what you need from me.

Ria: Oh yes definitely, because you are like my pilot,

Sheena wants me to concentrate now on my literature review

so I can get that sorted out,

but I think this is the way I’d like to do it now because I think it works well

to be able to talk to people and get a feel of the different places that they’ve been

I think would be a good way of doing it,

So um I’m looking to recruit people now,

so if you know anyone who’s going anywhere,

or if you go anywhere again you’ll have to let me know.

Martin: Well I’m going to go to the convict settlement in Botany Bay

in August yeah.

Ria: Really, oh gosh.

Martin: I’ve booked my flight to Japan and Australia

Ria: oh this is what you were saying about the other day.

Martin: Yeah I’ve done it now, we’re going to be within walking distance of Botany bay

in Sydney so that’s coming up

and knowing me it’s the sort of thing that we want to go and see but,

actually I’ve talked about the Brecon Beacons,

I do a lot of walking in the Brecon Beacons and have done for many years

And there’s one site,

I don’t know if you know the Beacons but on the West side of the Beacons,

the Black mountains,

there’s an area called the Carmarthen Vans

which are you know interesting rugged countryside

and there’s a site in there and I can’t remember the actual spot

but there is a reservoir up in the hills

and it’s a beautiful place to be and it can do a circular walk in about two hours,

three hours and the reservoir and the road up through you know this isolated countryside

was all built by conscientious objectors in the first world war

and these people who wouldn’t join the army were put in prison

and they were given white feathers

and they were humiliated and beaten and (p)

you know imprisoned for not fighting,

it didn’t happen in the second world war and chain gangs of these conscientious objectors built this,

about a mile of road way

and ducting and whatever



up to this reservoir wall which dams the little valley

created this in the most beautiful beautiful setting

and I think god you know all this was done by forced labour

all this was done by people who were probably desperate and imprisoned

and I don’t know what I’m trying to tell you

but I find that very significant and very interesting

that a site of extreme beauty was created by people who were desperate.

Ria: I mean it’s like the Great Wall of China,

they say it’s like a big graveyard don’t they?

Martin: Yes I guess,

I haven’t seen that (reflective voice)

and the Burma Railway that’s another one isn’t it?

I mean off the record what is it that draws you to this study

I mean is it because its there and it was suggested or do you have a more profound…?

Ria: I think it’s more like um,

I just want to understand why people go and because within

basically I started researching it was when I was in the first year

and Ken Tresidder mentioned that there was a thing called dark tourism

and I thought ah I’ll do that because no one else has done it,

so I did it because of that.

But now with this no-ones really looked at motivation,

everybody within the media assumes that its morbid curiosity

and that’s just an assumption that everybody makes

and then the academics say well its remembrance, its entertainment and education

but I’m not convinced at all

and so I really feel like I just want to find out

what it is and all the reasons in peoples past and why they go and what interests people and things like that

and that’s just something that I want to do to add to the knowledge of why people do things,

what effect things have on people

and stuff like that,

and I just think as well because I’m quite a conscientious person about things,

I want to do good in that way

that I want to realise why people do things

and that these sites do have an importance

and I just want to make that point.

Martin: I mean there are some psychologist at Llandaff

and others that I’ve spoken to over the years,

who proffer this replication theory

that we copy the behaviour and belief of very significant people in our lives like mum and dad,

to a degree that blows your mind, almost exactly we don’t think we do but we do,

um we become like mum and dad,

after many years of being with them in our formative years

we end up with a set of things in our head which come from them,

so I think we take on their significant issues

maybe in a different way and maybe turned round a bit but

you know for me my parents significant issues were the war

and you know their mentioning words like Auschwitz

when I was a little boy and you know horror you know,

recoiling in horror when such words were mentioned

that does something to you

and sensitises you forever to this sort of thing.

I’m going to Hay-on-Wye on Saturday

to try and buy my set of Churchill’s history of the second world war

because I’ve mislaid my collection,

Uh I’m constantly reinforcing this issue in history

in military

in um that era I wish one had been,

had become a social historian,

I really like social history

and I guess you must too, big-time,

ordinary people and what shapes them

and where they’re going.

Ria: I just the feeling that I’m getting from this thing that people are doing is like all tourism activity says so much about your life,

you know that you can find a lot more out about things,

it just seems to tie in a lot with what Im researching,

tie in a lot with things that I experience everyday like politics and things like this,

its really really interesting and

I’ve been thinking of going to

Of trying to get in contact with the psychology department in Llandaff,

but then there is um,

because my issues are kind of psychology and sociology

there are two perspectives that you can take and,

it’s which one you go down I suppose,

but I think I don’t know it might be beneficial to do that.

Martin: I think it would yeah

I mean from a sort of sociological and or psychological aspect,

I think there are pretty powerful forces in the human mind going on with this,

I mean um (p)

my parents my mother still you know

talk to a German I don’t think so

and me dare bring a German into her house,

I mean I’ve actually got some very nice German friends

she don’t know about em,

I actually met a German girl at university who was delightful

and wanted to come home with me,

she was here for one Easter and she was so pretty

and I daren’t

I couldn’t take here home and I sort of brushed her of you know

and I really wish I hadn’t

well my kids go to German and have German pen-friends you know

so that’s fractured and things have moved on,

so I don’t think we take on all their prejudices and beliefs and their issues but um

I think mum and dad you know,

Bloody hell you know their influence on us is mega

whatever we say you know?

Ria: I think with things like morals definitely

the underpinning things,

maybe rationally we don’t your more effected by the world and your education,

but with your morals and what you really believe.

Martin: Yeah sure oh absolutely

you know and as parents you know

we’ve got tremendous influence

and I hope to god it’s good influence over your offspring (laughs)

(p) but yeah I think all too often badness negativity

is passed on down through the generations replicate wily nilly

you know the bad things that we inherit you know

the small minded ignorant

sad bigoted bullshit that goes with it,

I hope to god I haven’t been like that with mine (laughter)

Um

Ria: That’s why people have therapy isn’t it



to move away from all the things that they’ve got, all the negativity.

Martin: Yeah, I mean again I’m not sure understanding why you’re negative

or knowing the reasons why does any good

R: Um


M: uh maybe it does.

Ria: Um so it’s all really interesting

every day I find something and it’s like oh gosh that could be,

I don’t know, I have a feeling im going to unearth some real truths,

I really do.

Martin: Yeah,

I guess and um

I mean just using tourism as a vehicle for

investigating human behaviour I guess,

you’re actually looking at human beings and why they do things,

using tourism as a mechanism and it could be other things couldn’t it?

Tourism’s pretty significant because you know it’s a really big deal for people,

they spend large amounts of money on travel and stuff.

Ria: Especially now isn’t it

in the world that we live,

it’s all about tourism and taking pictures.

Martin: Oh sure and accessibility

and being able to get to venues and places

and (p) um almost anywhere that we dream of you know.

Ria: I think it’s just like if someone watches a film about a place

and then they have the opportunity to go and visit that place

why wouldn’t they,

if they had the interest to watch the film

then they’ll have the interest to go and see the place.

Martin: Yeah, yeah.

Ria: But it’s going to be tough,

because it’s going to be so hard to get people to speak to me and things like that especially in the case of

because I wanted to do a study of the Imperial War Museum

and I still have that in my mind when I’ve done al this opportunistic stuff

I’ll go and do some kind of study there,

but they are so anti the term dark tourism.

Martin: Are they?

Ria: Yeah because everybody just thinks because its dark tourism,

its morbid and it’s like a terrible thing

so I kind of like to redefine it so that it didn’t have such negative connotations

and that people wouldn’t reject it outright

and just because its dark in nature

doesn’t mean that the motivations have to dark,

the places have to be dark, be

they can do a lot of good,

so like the Imperial War Museum will just say,

this is not dark tourism’

and its like do you know what people mean

when they talk about it?

It’s going to be difficult.

Martin: Yeah I mean

I, there are some terribly exciting places around though which,

You know military type,

I mean there is a real odd one in London called the London dungeon.

Ria: Yes, I’ve been there years ago.

Martin: We used to take students there, (laughs)

hospitality really as a spot of light relief,

but really because I was organising it and I was always fascinated by the place,

um I think it was better when I first saw it

it’s gone a bit um caricature, (p)

its gone a bit um (p) cartoony you know it’s gone a bit…

Ria: they make it like an unreality don’t this,

they make it so unrealistic

yet the things that they portray did actually happen

like things like Jack the Ripper

but they do it in such a way that it becomes entertainment

and that’s really bizarre as well

because underneath the category of dark tourism

that’s the same as Auschwitz,

it’s like one of the things that im looking to do is to fragment the area

and divide it into things like London dungeon as fright tourism

and then have genocide tourism as an opposite kind of thing,

because I don’t think you can put tourists in the same category

and say that the motivations for one are the same as for the other

because they’re not at all are they?

That’s something I’m looking at as well.

Martin: I mean there are several of venues,

where if you were not switched on you could walk though

and not see anything,

and I think the London dungeon is one of those you could just blinkered

you could just think what is this rubbish you know,

tou underlying it is again you know a dreadful amount of shock horror,

vicious unkind

but the dummies and models they use all look a bit silly now you know I think

they all look a bit not real,

it’s lost something and you know I’ve brought the tea towel every time I’ve been and I’ve brought the tea towel and the odd souvenir but it’s all a bit um fairground.

Ria: Yeah like a ghost train,

it’s the same with the Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussaud’s.

Martin: Oh I’ve never been.

Ria: one of my friends used to work for Madame Tussaud’s

and he’s got this ticket where you can get 80 free passes to any of the Tussaud’s group,

so every time I go to London he gives me the ticket so I get to go to the places,

I’ve been there about three times so that’s the same sort of thing

but its all the historical figure but it’s the same as the London dungeons really.

Martin: Most significant sobering horror experience of all my life

was when I was a little boy

Uh my granny gave me a set of cigarette cards that had been collected in the 1920’s

by someone in the family and stuck in a book

and there were a hundred cards in this collection

perfect and they were called crime and punishment throughout the centuries

and I must have been ten or eleven

and I was old enough to know,

bright little boy, old enough to know what he was reading,

cricky and this was a catalogue of the most barbaric punishments

you could dream up

and that layered something into my head into my psyche

and I lost it

and within a year or so of being given these cards

I never saw them again, either I left them somewhere or

but they went

and from all over the world there were punishments like,

I can see the pictures now,

in Turkey I think people were put in the sack (p) naked

tied at the top and there were rats in the sack that hadn’t eaten for a week

and if the rats weren’t going berserk they’d poke them with pins to make them go crazy,

um and the whole book was full of these dreadful crim, dreadful punishments

and maybe that wasn’t the sort of thing you should give a ten year old you know.

Ria: But it’s like when you are young

like I remember when I was little my dad had a book about ghosts and ghouls

and I remember picking this book up

and knowing that I would have nightmares by looking at the pictures but…

Ria/Martin: you still do it…

Ria: and maybe that’s got something to do with it,

that you know it’s horrible and repulsive but you still look.

Martin: Yeap absolutely

Ria: like child like curiosity.

Martin: I mean I think as well

we like to push back our vision and our back,

we like to see how far human depravity goes

simple as that, basic human curiosity,

do you know I had to go to a police station in Dubai

when I took the students there

because we lost a watch

and I think I told you this

and um I had to get an insurance report

and I had to go in and see someone and I never did get what I wanted

and I left in the end I couldn’t cope

but it was dreadful

and there was noise and screams

and you could imagine cells with blood-soaked rags

and oh, very upset looking people being dragged around

and I thought Christ this is something out of the middle ages

and this was a police station in the town

throughout the whole culture I felt was middle ages and barbaric,

public executions you know.

Ria: Really?

Martin: well actually not in Dubai but when we went to Abodabi there were

in the town square

and I thought um

there are still some necks of the woods where medieval horror still exists,

(p) yeah I mean in the London dungeon there is an issue about hanging drawing and quartering,

and it’s done in a very flippant way I mean

I mean oh flipping heck you know, dreadful, um

I cant listen to serious documentary programmes on Guy Falk’s

which comes up every November the fifth and they have something on channel four it’s very serious

I can’t bear to hear what was done to him

and I have to leave the room really and I think oh god,

is part of it being grateful that we’re alive now

and not likely to be brutalised in that way?

Ria: It’s just bizarre because with things like that where you wouldn’t,

well I never felt oh gosh that was awful or these horrific things

but I don’t know why that is,

they just make it like a cartoon, like you say like a caricature, so unreal.

Martin: Yeah it sort of belittles the reality of it I think,

I haven’t been to the Imperial War Museum for years um

but it was brilliant when I went,

uh quite some time ago in the aftermath of the Falklands war

they had a big navel exhibition there and I went to have a look at that

and it was an awesome day

and I remember Monty’s caravan and all sorts of other things.

Ria: They’ve got kind of um I don’t know if you saw it when you were there but recreations of the blitz

and recreations of a trench and things like that

and then they’ve got a holocaust exhibit

and a crimes against humanity exhibit as well,

another thing that I went to over Easter was Bovington tank museum,

have you been there

M: did you, no no,

R: that’s cool

its like one of these things where I don’t know its quite exciting

because you go through and you have to enlist

and there’s a guy and all these effects

and you walk though a trench and it’s all really recreated like that

and then after that you’ve got the tanks

and there’s just row upon row of all these tanks its amazing its really cool.

Martin: Yeah I mean im certainly amazed at the First World War tanks aswell

and how primitive they must have been

but there was an account of the tank battles of D-day

and after between the tiger tanks of the Germans and the Sherman tanks

and the Cromwell tanks of the British and the Americans

and how the German tanks were far superior

and how horrible these things were to be in and how easily you could die

you know be suffocated and couldn’t get out if there was a problem.

Ria: Well that’s like one of the tanks that you went in had

sound thing where your listening to a guy on the radio talking

and he’s telling about how

did you know that we would probably die from the gas in the tank than from the enemy,

it was that bad…

Martin: Absolutely, oh god yeah,

I used to have access to my Granddad’s diaries that he kept when he was in the army in the First World War

and my father’s surviving brother’s got them now um,

because I was the eldest son of an eldest son which is interesting,

because I got his medals and other bits and pieces

but my father was

died before any of his other siblings

so I sort of got pushed out you know.

But reading the sort of weekly journal of granddad who was in the Herefordshire regiment

who was at Gallipoli,

it’s horrific you know like from

your own family member,

because he was injured he was wounded and sent back to England,

thank god, you know it probably saved his life

and another, I’ll shut up in a minute,

another very significant thing for me

was that my father was in the far east in the RAF aircrew

and I guess about 1943,

they either got shot down

or they had engine trouble and they had to ditch in the Persian Gulf

and basically they got out with their gear in a life boat,

floated around for a couple of days,

landed on a little island

and waited to be rescued



everyone knew where they were

but it took like a week to send a rescue boat,

quite a few hundred miles across the ocean to pick them up

and my father got actually dreadfully sunburnt during the days

and I think actually got liver damage to add to the rest of his problems

and he was responsible for keeping a log

and wrote up daily what was happening and so on

and um anyway the rescue boat came

and one of the crew men on the boat,

unbeknown to my father was a friend from school,

they we’re friends in school but they went to the same school

and he was on the crew that picked up these airmen,

well after that they became friends for the rest of their lives,

you know they were really buddies,

they shared a real common bond

anyway bout 1970 something,

thirty years after the incident, 40.50. 60.70 yeah,

I went to the public record office,

30 year and 50 year intervals got records that they can release to the public

and I for all sorts of reasons,

I thought that I’d investigate his squadron and my uncles squadron

anyway at the public record office,

they produced documents for me from 292 squadron,

which was my father’s squadron and his logbook was there at kew you know

and I opened I opened his logbook

and sand from the beach where they were waiting to be rescued fell on the table

and seawater had stained the pages and made the ink run

and I thought christ this is amazing,

and um I was reading in the museum

you know the account of the rescue and I thought this is amazing

it went back into the rescue office and it’s still there today.

But imagine that I mean he told me as a little boy that you know,

What happened and he was on a beach,

and sand from that beach falls on that table.

Ria: That’s absolutely amazing.

Martin: Yeah, I though bloody hell,

and I couldn’t move for an hour

I just sat there thinking bloody hell.

Ria: It’s really quite magical isn’t it?

Martin: Yeah, yeah there are sometimes in life,

there are sort of moving moments that um (p) happen,

well I guess I’ve said enough.

Ria: Ok, I think I’ve kept you for long enough,

M: No


R: time flies

well thanks for your help and I might be back in the summer if that’s ok,



after your visit.
END OF INTERVIEW



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