The Interviews

September 3, 2018

Meeting and recording the memories of many fascinating people is one of the highlights of making these programmes, and the interviews we have recorded have all proved to be every bit as fascinating as we had hoped. Amongst the many stories are personal wartime experiences that would otherwise have never been told……

The Royal Observer Corps was, by 1942, spread right across mainland Britain, involved a hugely diverse membership, and had people in control rooms, out on posts (in a very wide variety of places) and, in 1944, placed specially trained Observers onboard naval ships. The people we have spoken to hopefully represent this diversity.

Arthur Lyne recalls the Royal Observer Corps Bill Harford recalls the Royal Observer Corps Denise Chapman recalls the Royal Observer Corps Eileen Brush recalls the Royal Observer Corps Joy Cooper recalls the Royal Observer Corps Joe James recalls the Royal Observer Corps Joyce Shrubbs recalls the Royal Observer Corps Leslie Leney recalls the Royal Observer Corps Molly Metz recalls the Royal Observer Corps Norman Leigh recalls the Royal Observer Corps Philip Chapman recalls the Royal Observer Corps Ross Luke recalls the Royal Observer Corps Tony Foster recalls the Royal Observer Corps Ted Rawston recalls the Royal Observer Corps

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  • Joyce Shrubbs
    Joyce joined the Royal Observer Corps on her 17th Birthday at the Bedford Group HQ.
  • Tony Foster
    Tony was in the Oxford HQ and remembers being on duty when the announcement was made that the Observer Corps was becoming the Royal Observer Corps.
  • Leslie Leney
    Leslie volunteered to serve on board an American ship during the D-Day operation to help prevent accidents from “friendly fire”.
  • Bill Harford
    Bill was recruited as a schoolboy who was “very keen on aircraft spotting”.
  • Arthur Lyne
    Arthur remembers plotting a German bomber flying straight over the Truro Operations room whilst he was on duty there.
  • Eileen Brush
    Eileen recalls the busy atmosphere in the Ops Room in Truro.
  • Joe James
    Joe’s love of aircraft grew as the number of planes in the skies above Cornwall grew.
  • Joy Cooper
    Joy recalls serving with the Royal Observer Corps despite food shortages and bombings in Lincoln.
  • Ross Luke
    Ross talks about the challenges of working fulltime, and then having to fit in ROC shifts too.
  • Norman Leigh
    Norman recalls chatting with “the chaps on the posts” when things were otherwise quite.
  • Molly Metz
    Molly remembers how well the members of the crew in the Truro Ops Room “gelled”, regardless of their outside occupations and backgrounds.
  • Denise Chapman
    Denise describes the challenges of being a woman who wanted to join an ROC Post.
  • Philip Chapman
    Philip describes the different locations of posts that he served on in the Watford group.
  • Ted Rawston
    Ted recalls how RADAR provided the post Observers with some brief warning of approaching aircraft from the sea.