We have launched an exciting new project to undertake a series of interviews recording memories and experiences of Gunners and their families in conflict and in military life creating a growing oral history resource within our archive. It will be available for research purposes and will also provide material for public engagement and education, both digitally and through any future RA museum.
The intention is to build an archive of interviews – mostly recorded on video - covering 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 rarely write memoirs and often have a different view of events from the official or senior officer record. From these interviews, short clips will be produced for use on our website and social media channels and could be particularly valuable around campaign anniversaries and for elements of the Regiment for presentations and education.
The project is being supported by volunteers who are carrying out roles as interviewers, camera operators and editors and we are extremely grateful for their support. As with many other plans the pandemic delayed the start of the project, but the first recordings have now been completed. They include interviews with Gunners who served during WWII (including two women from the ATS who served with Gunner batteries) as well as national servicemen and Gunners who served in the Malayan Emergency, Kenya (in the Mau Mau Campaign) and the Korean War.
We would be very happy to hear from anyone who could be added to our list of future interviewees, or who would be interested in volunteering with the project. Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.