Discussions on all aspects of the Second World War
posted by Peter G at 11:03 p.m.
Hello Ron, Thanks very much for this, and a most useful link it is. The War Diary of should be one of the key documents in accurately recording what happened on a daily basis. In the event of some debate as to what happened the War Diary is generally the definitive document to clarify events, as it was written at the time by the people who were there. I know a lot of you who were Site Helpers for the "People's War" project have queried the accuracy, and hence the usefulness, of some contributions. In your own case, Ron, you have the advantage of your own personal 'War Diary', which was a good aid to remembering where you were and what you did at particular times. For some stories about WW2 I've written for the "People's War" or for my university research, where possible, I've referred to a few War Diaries, personal diaries, photographs, letters or other contemporary documents to try and ensure what I wrote is as accurate as possible. So the War Diary of a Battalion or a Brigade is a really important document. Even so, sometimes the War Diary record is wrong. One of the units I happened to have researched was the East Riding Yeomanry, and in 1940 they formed part of 145 Armoured Brigade. The rearguard fight they put up assisted many others to escape, but the survivors spent the rest of the war as POWs. After the war, the CO corresponded with the War Office pointing out how misleading the 145 Brigade War Diary had been. It gave the impression the Brigade had immobilised its Armoured Vehicles and ran for cover rather than put up a spirited defence. To correct any erroneous impression the War Diary of 145 Brigade might have given, a "Real War Diary" and a copy of the correspondence about it was attached to the "Official War Diary". I think those of you who were "in the fight" somewhere during WW2 will appreciate how important it is for the official record to be right. Personally, I feel it is important that those of us born after the war who are writing about events that, for us at least are 'historical', at least attempt to do it accurately. Hopefully, we can get more access to the War Diaries such as the one for the 4th QOH to cross check the accuracy as much as possible. Thanks again, Ron.
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