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If you had been born 100 years ago...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by monicabilongame, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    you would have been 18 or 19 when war was declared on Germany on 3rd September 1939.

    Knowing what you know about your own strengths and weaknesses; your own skills and interests, what job or role would have been suited to you for the war years? (Assuming you either had a choice or were allocated the job that suited your personality the best.)

    I would either have been land army or working a switchboard.
    sodalime, WB and nomad like this.
  2. Symingtons

    Symingtons Occasional commenter

    My father was born 100 years ago. He served in the army during the war, and so I guess if I had been around at the time I would have done likewise.
    monicabilongame and nomad like this.
  3. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    If I'd been born 100 years ago I'd have died within six months of my birth. If by some miracle I'd survived that, I'd be tone deaf after multiple annual ear infections, would have suffered horribly with gallstones, my pre-cancerous breast lesion would have gone on to be cancer, my first labour might well have been obstructed resulting in a stillbirth, and my thryroiditis would have killed me by now.
    Had I made it, I'm so fertile I'd probably have been looking at an annual childbirth, so two kids down by the war started. No time, sorry. If I'd been able to afford a nanny, I'd probably be Jam-and-Jerusaleming or WVS.
    Lara mfl 05 and monicabilongame like this.
  4. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Sniper Unit.
    sodalime, nizebaby, WB and 1 other person like this.
  5. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    As an officer? a para? signals? tank regiment? medic? logistic corps?
    nomad likes this.
  6. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


  7. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Code-breaking at Bletchley. I find everything about what they achieved there fascinating.
  8. Katzenjammer

    Katzenjammer Senior commenter

    I hope I would have had the courage to be a conscientious objector, and to volunteer to work in a Friends Ambulance Unit. If there is a place for a pacifist on a battlefield, it must be with the wounded, the dying, the terrified and those in need of solace.
  9. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Love this thread! :)
  10. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Excellent post!
    nizebaby and monicabilongame like this.
  11. modelmaker

    modelmaker Star commenter

    My father was 19 when the war broke out. They said he had to take a reserved occupation because his skills would be needed at home.

    They sent him all over the country to fix stuff, but it rarely took more than a day to do a job and in the end he got fed up with the travelling, so he told them he wanted to sign up. They put him in the Royal Engineers and in his words "Gave me the finest training it's possible to get for stuff that isn't any use whatsoever in civvy street. What they didn't teach me about sheerlegs Bailey bridges and lifting gear wasn't worth knowing, but I never put any of it to use after I was demobbed."

    I expect the same would have happened to me. I doubt I'd have signed up though.
  12. WB

    WB Star commenter

    I like to think I would have been part of the SOE.

    But I think like most people I would have been utterly terrified and just desperately hoping to get back home alive.
  13. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    I'd have been busy in the IRA.
    sodalime likes this.
  14. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I stated wearing glasses at about 19 and a half, I needed them before then but didn't realise, so it would depend largely on the selection process and if they cared. I was fit and able otherwise.

    I was good at sums and biology, navigator maybe, bomb aimer, possibly something medical?
  15. WB

    WB Star commenter

    I've to Bletchley Park. It's utterly fascinating. When I stood next to an Enigma machine the hairs on the back of my head stood.

    Hollywood made a film a few years ago where they totally rewrote the story of how the first Enigma machine was captured. It was Rotal Navy ship that captured it. Somebody on this forum is related to to.one of the men that went into a sinking U boat to grab the machine and code books.
  16. modelmaker

    modelmaker Star commenter

    Good point. It's also worth remembering that anyone born 100 years ago would have been kicked out of school when they turned 14 and had to get a job, so would be unrecognisable as a modern 19 year old youngster.
  17. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    Gunner on an M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer. These things had a 76mm main gun and could take on anything going. They could hit 60 mph onroad 30 mph offroad, which is about twice the speed of a tank. They also had an open turret and since I'm 6'8" I wouldn't be all scrunched up.
    nomad and monicabilongame like this.
  18. stopwatch

    stopwatch Lead commenter

    In some kind of support role, either at the front or at home. Logistics, flight planning, ambulance driver, medical support. If there had been such a thing, I might have been a ‘Land Boy’ working on a farm back in England.
    If I had to be involved in direct combat, I probably would have been a gunner on a bomber - something more distanced from direct combat. I’m not a wuss, I just wouldn’t like looking somebody in the eye whilst I killed them.
    WB, nomad and monicabilongame like this.
  19. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    @LondonCanary would get you!
    sodalime, LondonCanary and WB like this.
  20. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    This is not the first time that I have thanked my good fortune that I am now (far) too old to be called up for combat service in the event of another conflict. I hate the idea of taking a life at close quarters.

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