Charity & social welfare
Kent, Bruce (2 of 6) National Life Stories: General
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2009-08-31, 2009-09-05, 2009-09-24, 2009-10-06, 2009-10-29
Interviewee's home, London
Kent, Bruce (1929-) (speaker, male)
Brodie, Louise (speaker, female)
Part 2: The bicycle trip holiday was wonderful. BK was homesick, lonely at first. It was 1947, Normandy, Paris then south to Palamos. He was enchanted by this place. He saw Franco’s corruption, the voting papers already filled in. BK knew nothing of the civil war. He was joined by a friend eventually. Hounslow was the beginning of the army. It was the first time he was mixed up with the working class. They were different. He had no idea how they lived. They got on fine but there was a division of the ranks and he was sent off for special training as an officer. [6:24] At home they had had a nanny (English) and Irish girls as maids plus a cook and a chauffeur. Stories of characters at the beginning of army life. The Catholics went off to their church just as a formality. They were sent to County Down in Northern Ireland. They lost BK’s papers but then he was sent for officer assessment. Story of assembling the bicycle pump and lavatory chain and thus being recommended for the Royal Armoured Corps, 6th Royal Tank regiment. Story. The first time he was drunk was his passing out parade. Terrible. [16:42] He was posted to Worksop. At Worksop they kept the tanks in working order. BK got himself sent on a wireless course in Dorset. This was marvellous. In the summer of 1949 they were sent to Thetford, training Territorials. BK was scared of girls. Sex was a serious matter. If you kissed a girl you practically had to marry her. In the Catholic world it was a big thing, sex was a mortal sin.
Life story interview with Bruce Kent (1929-), Vice-president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.