For my latest project I have been interviewing my grandfather Frank Poole about his experiences serving in the army. Frank worked in the factories during WWII and as his professional was a priority job, his military call up was deferred until January 1945. He was called up to serve with the Coldstream Guards, the regiment most famous for performing public duties in London, such as guarding Buckingham Palace and performing Trooping The Colour. His battalion was posted to Germany in September 1945, only months after the end of the War in Europe, where he served until 1947, when as part of efforts to return Britain to peacetime, the Guards resumed their ceremonial role. He was demobbed in January 1948 after three years service.
The stories Frank has from that period in his life are both fascinating and often extremely funny. They document a period in history that is frequently overlooked and rarely spoken of, after hostilities ended in WWII and Britain was part of the occupying forces in Germany, as well as giving an insight into life in one of the world’s most recognisable military regiments. They also feature moments of slapstick, wit and warmth, as Frank regales the listener with the humorous tales our family has grown up listening to. This project is about documenting and preserving those stories, and sharing them with a wider audience.
That, dear reader, is where you come in. After recording hours of interviews, we want to gain some feedback on the funniest, most interesting and most compelling stories. What holds your attention, or loses your interest? Is it the history and the detail that you would like to know more about, or are the mishaps and funny incidents more to your liking? Below we have embedded several of our favourite unedited excerpts. There are 8 stories running to only 10 minutes in total, so won’t take up much of your time.