Play / pause Hardship in Britain

Hardship in Britain

  • Mark Johnson
  • Interview by: Peter Devitt


Now the climate was a big challenge for the men.

My uncle described Canada as cold as the devil,

and he talks about having to trudge through snow

that was several feet deep.

They certainly suffered from the climate, they withstood it.

They had to get used to all manner of things,

the diet, Caribbean food is quite spicy,

and the types of ingredients are often different.

Here they faced a diet of SPAM and potatoes

and they found that quite difficult on the stomach.

They had to deal with how to get a radiator to work,

when it didn't work.

How to put pennies in the meter

to get the hot water on.

How to survive in a Quonset hut.

There were all manner of unique experiences and challenges

that they had to overcome, some of them quite unpleasant.

But, for them I think this was all secondary.

They were here to get into a Spitfire,

or a Lancaster bomber, or a Halifax bomber

and risk their lives in the service of their own country,

not necessarily Her Majesty, but of their own country.

Everything else they endured on the way,

was simply another hurdle to be overcome.

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