12 SUGGESTED QUESTIONS
FOR OLD SOLDIERS
Asking your Dad, or Grandpa .. and your
Grandmother as tens of
thousands served in the women's services .. just these few questions
could save you a great deal of time later, and save many a false trail
through records that have no relevance because you guessed the wrong
regiment, ship, etc.
My generation mostly missed the chance to get this info from our World
War One veterans; I know I did with my grandad, and there is so much I
would love to know. Too late now. Don't make the same mistake with our
World War Two veterans ... mostly, they will be glad you asked, and
pleased to help. Especially when they know why you're asking.
Remember these few points as you ask :
A lot of Veterans, had they had computers and notebooks 50 years ago, would
have written this down themselves. They just never got around to it.
Ask them now ... politely, and with compassion. Just remember that many
memories are too painful to recall, so don't press matters.
Time works wonders.
Remember that many men are even more reluctant to talk to girls
about war ... that is why my grandfather didn't tell his four daughters
anything, but was willing to tell me, his grandson, a little. But I was
young and foolish then, didn't ask the right questions, and even more
foolishly didn't write down the answers. Please, don't make the same
mistakes as I did.
Tip : if you Cut & Paste these questions, you can print this page
to take your answers.
What made you want to join up (if
Boyhood dream ..
out of work .. spur of the moment, join your mates, etc
Why did you choose your particular
did you not have a choice.
Where did you sign on, and how old
What did your
parents think to it. Supportive or what?
How many years did
you serve altogether … give dates if poss.
Where did you go to start with ..
perhaps for basic training.
What sort of
barracks or camp, or ship, was it.
Was it remote, or
in a town.
Was the training hard.
Ask about the
camp, NCO’s, food, spare time, etc
Did you make many friends.
friends, any mates you got into trouble with ? … any you're still in
What was your first posting.
Which Army Unit …
was it part of a larger outfit, like a brigade or division.
If a ship, was it
part of a larger flotilla, or squadron …
Air Force … which
squadron, airfields served on ….
Did you specialise for a trade, go
on courses …
Trades such as
Signals, fitter, marksman, engineer, armoury, gunner, motor transport,
Where …. What was
it like. Any qualifications … did your trade fit you for life in Civvy
Talk about some of the officers
and leaders you’ve known …
The best of them,
the worst of them … include NCO’s
Who was your
Commanding Officer. Who was the senior NCO.
Did you get to go abroad, foreign
What was the
travel like … did you go by troopship or by air
Describe … first
impressions on landing.
Was it how you
thought it would be.
Did you lose any mates …
In combat .. … or
funerals or act as pallbearers or side-party.
On demob ….
What was it like
getting back to Civvy Street
Finding a job
…would you do it again …. Not likely, or wouldn’t have missed it for
Just Close the Tab,
or Window, when you've done ...
your Sutton page should still be open behind.
In a similar way, here are some suggested
FOR ALL GRANDPARENTS"
Back to MILITARY LINKS
HOME .. with menu