Recorded interview of Freda Harper by Peter Foulsham (MC 376/503a)
Document Information

Recorded interview of Freda Harper by Peter Foulsham


MC 376/503a

1 compact cassette

nd [1998]

2nd Air Division Memorial Library/Oral History Project

Peter Foulsham, Freda Harper

Recorded music redacted at start and end of recording (00m 02s to 00mn 31s and 29mn 09s to 29mn 41s) because of rights issues.

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Discussion between Freda Harper and Peter Foulsham about life and work in wartime Norwich, and the American presence. Starts and finishes with Glenn Miller's 'String of Pearls'. Talks about sending telegrams, mainly servicemen communicating between airbases. Discusses her work with the Post Office and training as a telegraphist. Discussion about the arrival of the Americans and other nationalities before them (Polish, Slovakian and French) and changes in Norwich. Talks about joining the American Red Cross (ARC) and working on Sundays in the canteens. Refers to the Rackheath band 'The Airliners' and dances at Horning Ferry. Recalls Glenn Miller and his band playing at Attlebridge. Recalls Jimmy Stewart. Discussion about general impressions of the American servicemen including GI brides, accents, 'coloured GIs' and language. More discussion of dances, especially at Rackheath airbase; receiving a certificate for 500 hours of dancing. Recalls a visit to the Cambridge American Cemetery when it was still a nissen hut and the death of Joseph Kennedy. Further references to work as a telegraphist and the former museum at the British Telecom exchange and telephone books. Recalls her grandfather was Clerk of the Works and had the second telephone in Norwich. Recalls helping an American find information about his brother 'Scotty' in the Roll of Honor and taking families to Rackheath. Recalls friendship with an American, 'Red', who flew to Africa and brought back oranges and gave her a bracelet he had made. Gives general information about Thorpe St Andrew; sirens; Morrison shelter; putting out incendiaries; family and watching enemy action. Short discussion about cameradie and wartime spirit. Recorded on side A only. For tape insert, see MC 376/503b. For administrative records relating to interview, see MC 376/512.