Oral History Project

As part of the project to create the Heritage Memorial Garden the ‘Friends’ are recording the experiences of Huddersfield men and women who have taken part in operations and conflicts across the world since 1945. These are a few of the comments that we have recorded so far.

On Foot in Urban Setting

“Walk in staggered formation, constantly aware you could be shot at patrolling the streets.”
– Afghanistan, Cyprus

“Keeping two groups of insurgents apart – then they joined together against us. Had to read the riot act in front of the mob.”
– Cyprus

“Explosives were put in culverts that ran under the road – one blew after we passed.”
– Cyprus

“Had to move 8,000 litres of fuel from depot, got a bullet through the windscreen. I did what I had to do, I was trained, and I got on with it.”
– Bosnia

“Top cover, ride on top of the ambulance to protect it.”
– Iraq

“Concern about roadside bombs means frequent change of route, not always possible.”
– Iraq

“Kalashnikov went off, prepared to fire, then saw that it was part of a celebration of a local wedding.”
– Iraq

On Foot in the Hills

“They know everything, they know where they are – on foot you can’t get away! Villages generally like you.”
– Afghanistan

“Trained the local army and police – but difficult to know who to trust.”
– Afghanistan

“Out from Helmand for three days reconnaissance, one man injured, colleague went to help him and was shot dead. Awarded the MM. Injured man saved.”

“Everyone down. Just had to carry on with routines, there was a job to do, cannot let up as they could all be at risk.”
– Afghanistan

“Constantly searching for arms.”

In Camp

“Guard duties were 2 hours on and 4 off for several days.”

“There was an incident and I was awakened and asked to give blood. Needed as it did not keep too well in Aden.”
– Aden

Humanitarian Assistance

“Cleared and repaired school grounds, had bomb crater in it.”

“Worked putting road network together. Locals didn’t have the equipment.”

“Disarmed unexploded ordinance.”
– Bosnia

“Provided primary health care to locals.”
– Iraq, Kenya

“Treat road casualties.”
– Iraq


“Learned how to survive in snow – then went to train in Kenya.”

“Regular checks to be a fighting unit.”

“Trained as a medic.”

Looking Back

“Service made me a better person, with self discipline.”

“Turned my life around.”

“Grew up.”

– Former serving personnel