Raymond Gallagher

'Come in the dug-out'

Raymond Gallagher recalls his earliest memories of the war.

The excitements of war

Raymond Gallagher talks about the excitements of war.

The marks of war

Raymond Gallagher recalls coming across reminders of the war in his work many years later.

Recollections of the heavy air raids over London and leaving the capital for safer areas.

The sound of the bombs and the guns

Born in 1935, Raymond lived with his parents in Greenwich at the outbreak of war. Although being just a young boy, Raymond remembers sheltering in the corrugated dug-out at his home in Greenwich: ‘I can still hear the bombs and the guns...and see the search lights in the sky picking up the aircraft. And I can still see my father and my grandfather sitting on the garden fence with their tin helmets on and my mum and my Gran say, ‘Come in the dug-out’. But they couldn’t because there wasn’t enough room.’

Escaping London

'I can see these aircrafts coming over and dozens and perhaps hundreds of parachutes opening up.'

When Raymond’s father was called up to serve in the Catering Corps, Raymond and his mother followed him to Cornwall and found a billet nearby. The same pattern was followed when his father to transferred to Salisbury, Wiltshire. Although the family had escaped the heavy bombardment of London, there were many apparent reminders of the war:  

‘I do recall being on Salisbury plain on many occasion round about...1944 and seeing parachute drops and we didn’t know it then but they were clearly training for D-Day. I can see these aircrafts coming over and dozens and perhaps hundreds of parachutes opening up because Salisbury plain is quite vast and these guys jumping out the aircrafts and the parachutes opening.’

Once it was believed the bombing had eased in London Raymond and his mother returned and arrived back in the capital just in time for the V1s and V2s.

The marks of war

For Raymond the effects of war were evident for many decades after the war had finished, ‘I became a plumber on the GLC, on the Bellingham Estate, and repairing the gutters there I would often find shrapnel in the old cast iron guttering...[T]hey were still there, what forty years after. Shrapnel, you know!'       

Downloads

Interview with Raymond Gallagher
Interview with Raymond Gallagher (180k)
To read the full transcript of Raymond's interview please press the above link.

'Come in the dug-out'
'Come in the dug-out' (82k)
Transcript of audio clip with Raymond Gallagher.

The excitements of war
The excitements of war (82k)
Transcript of audio clip with Raymond Gallagher.

The marks of war
The marks of war (82k)
Transcript of audio clip with Raymond Gallagher.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 03/02/2012.

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