Ken Flint

Recollections of life as a radio operator in the Army.

Joining the war effort

Ken Flint joined the Army Cadet Force at the age of fifteen before transferring to the Home Guard when the Home Guard’s enlistment age was lowered. On his eighteenth birthday Ken went to the recruitment office and signed up ‘for the duration of the war’ as was the phrase.

An incident to remember

One wartime incident is particular clear in Ken’s mind. He recalls: ‘ I was at home and I heard a noise like the roof tiles falling’.  When he inspected the disturbance he saw a Hurricane firing at a German biplane in order to force it to land near the Lewes race course. The plane had been a mail carrier from the Channel Islands that had gone astray and been chased down. Ken’s brother, Gordon, had the keys to the Armoury at the racecourse so he picked up a rifle and went to the plane. However, the pilot luckily surrendered without protest.

Life as a radio operator

In October 1942 Ken joined the Army at Catterick and eventually became a fully trained radio operator. After completing his training, Ken was posted to Hell Fire Corner where his unit worked under the Dover Castle tunnels on operation ‘Fortitude South’. In December 1943 Ken was in the Army Radio Room when the doors burst open and soldiers ordered them to line up against the wall.

‘Thankfully they were commandos from Deal who had gained entrance to the castle due to an excellent recce by a Wren! They went through the tunnels throwing ‘thunder flashes’. Thank God they wore khaki uniforms and not feldgrau or else I would have needed a change of underpants’.

After it became known that German radio interception was distinguishing units by identifying regional accents and so the Royal Signals began to train its operators to speak in an un-dialect manner. Ken recalls: ‘At Catterick we had a BBC voice expect who had been conscripted and given sergeant’s rank. He looked pretty scruffy but he taught well and I no longer speak with a Sussex accent!’  

Downloads

Letter written by Ken Flint
Letter written by Ken Flint (37k)
To read more about Ken's wartime experiences in his own words please press the above link.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 25/06/2012.

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