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Manny

My visual memories

A photo of Manny

Manny was born in Reading. His family escaped from Russia and moved to England. Manny's family moved to South Shields before they finally settled in Newcastle. Manny joined the air force during World War Two before resuming his training to become an optician.

Manny was interviewed by Anita Wan on 13 July 2006. The interview took place in the participant's home and lasted for 1 hour 2 minutes.

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The War

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The war started the year after we got married, we got married in 1938 in Newcastle, I was working with my wife's father in opticians as an optician, but unqualified, when 1939 came the war started in Britain. I was expected to be called up. Anyway, it was 1940 that I got called into the air force, to join the air force. Now my father-in-law had a practice in Sunderland, which he used to send from to go round and collect and do business there with his optics. I was in Sunderland staying over to look after it because the optician was taken straight away into the air force because he was doing pilot duty before that in Newcastle so they took him in, when the war started he was in, so I had to take over the branch whatever there was in Sunderland. When I was in Sunderland I was called up in 1940 to get a medical to join the forces. I asked to join the air force and there was a bit of query about people whose parents were not British. My parents were Russian, they came from Russia, and because we were not British I wasn't allowed to join the Air Force or the Navy. Anyway I went for a medical and told them I would like to join the Air Force, so they gave me a medical and I was everything fine; good height, good this good that, I had a reasonable whatever there was and they decided I could join the Air Force but, I couldn't, wouldn't be allowed to fly a plane they would allow me to learn to make instruments and repair instruments of planes and deal with that so I was an instrument repairer.

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