Mentioning the War

I look at these photos and I feel love, pride, and wonder that my father could fly operations. At the funeral, there were a few from the Bomber Command Association to pay their respects.

Even if he looks a bit unhappy here.

Then they went round to the tail. The war was over in Europe, though Hiroshima had not yet been bombed and it was possible that 218 squadron would be posted to the far east, and they look playful- especially him, between his machine guns. Mild kudos to whoever can identify the pilot- comment, and say why.

Lanc tail 2

Then- oh, wow.

Off duty

I don’t recall seeing this one before, but I love the eye contact. He must have come out with a great line to evoke that reaction.

We mention the War too much. Our TV dramas are still set in it, and we mark endless anniversaries- if every five years is significant, then all the time is an anniversary of something in WWII. Next year is the centenary of the start of WWI, and in November is Remembrance Sunday.

Government uses this interest to justify vast military spending: two new aircraft carriers, and a new nuclear playset budgeted at £100,000,000,000 and hardly likely to come in so cheap. Would we really destroy life on Earth, even if the Americans let us? And there is mawkish sentimentality (well, sentimentality has to be “mawkish”, even if nothing else is) around “doing their bit”, “all pulling together”. We remain British.

training-group photo

Added: I love The Aircrew Dictionary, and particularly “as useless as Anne Frank’s drumkit” as a representative sample of its black humour.

3 thoughts on “Mentioning the War

  1. Lovely photos, thank you! Yes, I agree, we mention that war too much, probably also because of its associations with plucky Brits, but there have been and still are countless wars in which our involvement is anything but savoury.

    XXX :-)))


    • Mmm. Plucky Brits. That pleases me. However, it was before most Brits were born, and almost no Brits left were involved, even in the most juvenile capacity.

      Like “Sending Edward homeward tae [sic] think again”. Have we nothing to be proud of since then?

      But the photo. My father and a woman are looking at each other, and there are sparks flying. Something was posed, and something quite different was photographed. I love it. I like the grin and the affection on his pilot’s face, too.


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