The Royal Artillery Museum will shortly be launching a project to make a series of interviews to record memories and experiences of Gunners and their families in conflict and in military life, creating a growing oral history resource within the RA Museum (RAM) archive. This will be available for research, and could also provide material for public engagement and education, both digitally and through any future RA museum. Many of you will have seen the extract from an interview with Captain Gosling on the Battle of El Alamein in the Master Gunner’s Alamein Day Broadcast. The video can be viewed here.
The Royal Artillery has been involved in almost every theatre, operation and garrison in recent memory and it is this recent memory which we seek to capture.
The intention is to build an archive of interviews – mostly recorded on video - covering as many as possible of the operations, theatres and garrisons in which Gunners have served from the 1940s to the present day. While some will reflect active service, many will involve daily life, including equipment manned and families, all telling the Gunner story. The memories of junior ranks will be as valuable as those of more senior personnel, since the former comparatively rarely write their memoirs and often have a view of events different from the official or senior officer record.
From these longer interviews short clips will be selected for use by the Museum in displays and on its website and could be particularly valuable around campaign anniversaries and for elements of the Regiment for presentations and education.
The initial stage of the project will focus on the period from the end of World War 2 to 1960. We hope to interview those with experience of campaigns, garrisons and equipment up to 1960 including the following:
Palestine, National Service, Malaya, Korea, Canal Zone, Suez; garrison life in the Far East, North Africa, Malta, Gibraltar, Aden, Trucial Oman Scouts and Loan Service; and service on equipments/units such as Corporal GM, Hy AA 3.7”, 4.2” Mortar, Coast Artillery, M44, Priest, OP tanks including Centurion, AA Radars and Locating systems; and of course the early days of the King’s Troop RHA. This list is not meant to be exhaustive and if you know Gunners who served in this period in these or other settings then please let us know.
Further notices will ask for volunteers for later periods in due course Please contact us at oralhistory@RoyalArtilleryMuseum.com with details of possible candidates, with contact details if available or pass on to them the email address given above.