University of Oxford
10 files

3 Wartime Stories from 1 Descendant

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 19:46 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Story 1 - As Aircraft Ground Crew in Egypt

My father, Alfred Henry Baker, was 16 when the war started and was evacuated to St Neots. He was very well looked after by the family he was lodged with and remained friends with them after the war. When he returned to London from St Neots, he was a Fire Watch volunteer in London, directing firemen to the location of fires.

He joined the RAF in 1941 when he turned 18. He wanted to be a pilot but wasn't accepted and became ground crew. He was sent to Egypt, to a place called Halwen, which is near Cairo, because there are photos of the Pyramids when he was off duty. He was also able to visit the Holy Land during his leave. He told me that he worked on aircraft maintenance, in particular on radios and that they had to do a lot of cleaning of sand and dust out of the aircraft equipment. He made good friendships in the Air Force, and many remained lifelong friends.

Story 2 - Poetry from a Prisoner of War

My uncle, Denis Webb, was my mother's brother. He was called up in January 1940. He hated the war and never spoke about it. He was captured on the Continent, and imprisoned in Germany for three and a half years. While he was a prisoner of war, he wrote a poem and sent it home. My grandmother kept it.

Story 3 -  Life on the Home Front

My mother was Joyce Evelyn Baker. When she passed away, I wrote details of memories of her life. Excerpts from those notes are included on the Object List.


Item list and details

1. Alfred in Egypt working on Radios in aircraft. 2. Alfred in Egypt 4th on the left in the front row. 3. Poem and picture of Denis in uniform. 4. Mother's story during the war years.

Person the story/items relate to

Alfred Henry Baker (Father), Denis Webb (Uncle), and Joyce Evelyn Baker (Mother)

Person who shared the story/items


Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Father, Uncle and Mother

Type of submission

Shared at West Meads Community Hall, West Sussex on 11 November 2023. The event was organised by Bognor Regis u3a.

Record ID

106199 | BOG046