David Beaune, Ontario, Canada - 13-Nov-02. I must tell you
that I and my Dad thoroughly enjoyed reading your Father's war-time
diary on-line. You must be proud of your Father for the contribution
he made to our future. I know, because I too am proud of mine.
father served in the RCAF and his experiences were very much
like your Fathers. He was a Lancaster pilot with 90 squadron
and 7 squadron, Pathfinders Force. Shot down on October 6, 1944
he ended up in Stalag Luft 3, Belaria. In fact, he remembers
your father being in the same barracks but next room. Stranger
still, on page 33 your father refers to an incident with an officer
being berated by a German major; that officer was my father!
He remembers that like it was yesterday. It truly is a small
have grown up fascinated by my Father's wartime stories. This
is a part of history that we must never forget. That 's why it's
great that you have it written down to share with others. Happy
remembrance day. God
Jennie Barton - 8-Nov-02.
Hallo! What a strange experience! I have had my Dad's diaries
in my possession for a few years. Until today I never thought
to cross reference on the net. My Dad's dairy of life in Stalag
3 starts on 21.4.1945 with the words:
'German guards and officers deserted the camp.'
I, too, have the diaries and letters, telegrams etc he wrote
and the replies he received. I have now read your father's accounts
of the same days leading up to his return to England and like
the words written by my Dad find them so moving. I only have
the dates and place names of the Forced March and the stories
Dad told me.
Suddenly I have a link with someone whose Dad went through the
same experiences. I had no idea that sites like yours existed.
My Dad was an ordinary man who, through force of circumstance
- World War II, went through extra-ordinary events. I still find
it hard to equate the gentle, loving, funny man with the man
who had to witness and experience the horrors of war.
My Mum died 31.12.91 and dad 12.7.2000 - following an operation
but his latter days were also hounded by dementia and strokes.
Throughout his wonderful personality shown through, even when
he could no longer speak to us. I'm so pleased I found your site.
From Liz Adams née Rathbone
I am researching the service record of my cousin - Sgt (Pilot)
John Desmond Rathbone. The RAF museum at Hendon sent me an excerpt
from a book called "The Bomber Command War Diaries"
and also a page from their records telling where John died and
the fact that he was on a bombing raid to Essen. There were details
of other planes that flew on the same raid and details of crew
lost or taken prisoner.
was surfing the net to try and find more information about 620
squadron and found your father's diaries. I remember looking
at the entry next but one above John's and noting that the crew
included an Adams and a Goodall ( my husband's mother's name)
. Then when I saw the diaries I realised the Goodall was your
father and that he and my cousin were on the same raid.
I think I remember my mum saying that John trained in Canada
so was very interested to read the sections on the training period
in the diary. I wonder if they trained together? John was not
an officer so may not have come into contact with your father
I am posting off an application to RAF Innsworth today, to see
if they will release John's service records to me. I don't know
if I qualify as next of kin being only a cousin, but I am the
only Rathbone still alive (bar another cousin, with whom I've
no contact) so am hoping they will send them to me.
John is buried at the Rheinberg cemetery in Germany. No-one has
ever visited his grave, but I hope to do so next year.
Margaret Pidgeon, London, Ontario - 10-Jan-02. Mr. Goodall
- I found your father's diary fascinating reading - most particularly
because the Charles Hollins mentioned as a companion of your
father during his training in the southern U.S. was my father.
Reading this portion of the diaries gave a fresh insight into
a part of dad's life of which he had many fond memories. In his
latter years he often reminisced about this period of his life.
Dad continued through the war as a bomber pilot and returned
to being a policeman when the war ended. He died in 1994.
During the '80's he re-established contact with Monk Wright (then
in his eighties) for a short period of time. A British woman
vacationing in Florida had got into conversation with an elderly
gentleman on the sea front. He told her about the British airmen
he had befriended during the war. She took dad's name and managed
to track him down through the Police Association and a couple
of letters were exchanged. Did your father maintain contact with
them? Do you know if our fathers ever made contact after the
war? My sister says that there is an old address for Alec Flett
in my mother's address book so I imagine dad must have been in
contact with him at some point.
My sister has a photo of your dad, Alec Flett and my dad taken
in a portrait studio in Auburn, December 7, 1941. You may have
a copy of this but if you don't and are interested, she will
find someone to scan it into an e-mail to you. Thank you so much
for publishing the excerpts from the diaries - it was like having
a visit with dad!
Howard Florence - 19-Dec-01.
I hope you don't mind me contacting you. After reading the dairy
I feel compelled to contact you. As I had the thought to initially
type in "Parsonage Road Rickmansworth" on a whim I
saw "Ridgeway" the house I was born in October 1961
and my sister in March 1969 and to think of the incredible story
that unfolds before my eyes. It's incredible congratulations.
I hope you dont mind if I print off the dairy to show my mother.
I was young and living in Ridgeway "19 Parsonage Road"
we had a visit from a man. I was in the front garden and he asked
me if he could speak to my mother or father. Well, as things
turned out, he said that the house was owned by a man who was
Winston Churchill's right hand man.Somthing to do with the map
room in the "war office" so we presumed. Would this
be somthing to do with Bill, we would love to find out.