YJA helps Army Cadets with Oral History Project
YJA’s Managing Editor, Sam Atkins, and Programme Manager, Rob Pitman, have helped Army Cadets from Caistor with an oral history project, which explores Lincolnshire’s role in 20th-century conflicts.
The cadets decided to interview local people about their recollections of times of conflict and how this affected local communities. The film of the day has now been released:
Understandably, Caistor cadets are very proud of what they have achieved.
17-year-old Cadet Cpl Isabella Deans:
“I was struck by the fact that Caistor was such a busy place during wartime – unrecognisable from the very quiet town it is today. During WW2, it was crammed with absolutely everything needed to support the war effort.
“The people who spoke to us remembered the details because they were so traumatic.”
13-year-old Cadet Ernest Ramsay:
“I felt very much involved, as the stories we recorded were very local to our area. To hear their experiences of the war put you through an emotional rollercoaster. We usually focus on famous people and events but we don’t often hear local stories.
“I was told about the day a WW2 bomber crashed just yards from where we are now. Lots of people came to see the sight including some young boys who went into the field and, not thinking about the fatalities, stole ammunition that had fallen from the plane. It upset me to hear that.”
17-year-old Cadet Cpl Chris Myburgh:
“I interviewed a former captain who shed so much light on what happened during the Falklands War. He remembered not changing his underwear for several weeks!
“Editing the interview was tricky as my head kept going in and out of shot. Fortunately, two video cameras were used, so my movements were not too apparent!
“This project has probably been the best experience of my cadet career.”
The project has not yet finished though. The detachment also plans to create a local memorial-themed trail. Cadet Cpl Myburgh explains:
“The other part of the project – producing a guided walk around the town – is really interesting too as there’s so much local history in this town. Things you walk past every day without ever noticing – like a sniper hole used by the home guard. We plan to produce a leaflet full of facts and photographs; these will be available in the library and local shops.”
Detachment Commander, Staff Sgt Marie Fisher has been really impressed by the work her cadets have put into the project.
“Our cadets took on board everything they’d been shown by the experts. They quickly developed interviewing techniques and the technical skills necessary for filming and editing their recorded material,” she said proudly.
“During the day of the filming in the town hall, they demonstrated great patience and adaptability. Their sheer professionalism throughout the project has just been amazing,” she added.