War memories wanted for new website

The memories of Second World War veterans are being collected for a new interactive online map.

The creator hopes the website will become a permanent collection that can be used by generations of families and academics to listen to unique war stories.

Videos uploaded to the site are tagged and placed on the map according to the location discussed in the memory, allowing people searching for information on a particular region or battle to find all the relevant videos bunched together.

The idea came from Falklands veteran Tony Banks, who now runs Balhousie Care Group in Scotland.

The 51-year-old, from Dundee, who took part in Channel 4 show The Secret Millionaire in 2009, has funded the online project after listening to the stories of men and women who live in his care homes.

Mr Banks said: “The experiences of some senior military personnel were recorded and shown to great effect in documentaries such as The World At War, but these represent only a fraction of the story.

“With every week which passes, the wartime generation grows smaller, and unique memories correspondingly disappear.

“As someone who has served in a war and now works in a sector which cares for older people, and therefore regularly hears residents’ stories on the extraordinary period between 1939 and 1945, I was inspired to create a site that allowed for these memories to be easily recorded for posterity.”

Veterans living in Balhousie homes were among the first to share their memories of the war on the website.

It is hoped family, friends and carers of other veterans across the UK and beyond will record more memories on smartphones and tablets to add to the map.

Memories from those who worked or were evacuated during the war are also wanted, along with those of service personnel.

Mr Banks added: “Whether the memories recount the horror of conflict or the realities of life on the Home Front, I hope that people from across the world will grab their smart-phones and take the opportunity to film and document the memories of older generations, ensuring that their experiences are understood and never forgotten.”

The interactive map can be viewed at

The following two tabs change content below.
Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
pauline barker
8th Feb 2013
Thanks for voting!
I remember much vividly Father was in the Home Guard secretly hiding in the trees on Reigate Hill trying to bring planes they droned towards London.......they did bring one and the gap in the trees bore memory to it for years....I remember he hid (unlawfully ) his prize...a piece of the dash with black knob switches with' neine' (i think it was )written on it.... which i would creep in and keep switching....the awful brown photos in Picture post from the prison of war camps....(which they hid from me.)...Churchills voice giving strength from the wooden cased radio as we sat listening, the Anderson Shelter in the corner.....oh yes...I remember that and so much more...( I was 5 yrs old )
Peter Wicks
6th Feb 2013
Thanks for voting!
The Darkest Years

Do you remember long ago?
As a child of eight or so
"Spanish wood"
Was all the rage
When sweets were rationed
Like "Utility Clothes".

Speckled apples
Stale old cakes
For one old penny
A feast you'd make
Tuppenny cornet
Big round block
Fantastic taste
I've not forgot.

"Herbal tablets", "Nippets" too
Were sweets not rationed
To war kids true
Ration books of "Es" and "Ds"
Brought any sweets
You'd like to please.

"Bagwash shop" on a Friday night
Collect the washing
In a two wheeled cart
Or a ball-bearing scooter
Made of wood, along the pavement
They'd sound good.

"Powdered Egg", dried up prunes
Jars of malt, you'd get one spoon
Bread and dripping, a mug of tea
Were make-do dinners for you and me.

War was raging at this time
With "Buzz-Bombs" flying
Over head, if the engines stop
A street is dead
Air raid warning banshee sounds
Like a rabbit you're underground.

Search lights blazing overhead
Ack Ack gunners bombarding lead
On with masks in case of gas
When enemy bombers begin to blast.

"Blackout curtains" a man would shout
When a speck of light should shine out
The air raids over, the streets alight

A "Land-mine" fell within the night.

Devastation all around
All that’s left is scorched
Black ground.

The darkest years I knew so well
When birds of death rained down hell
Go down deep, deeper still
Away from bombs and shrapnel shells.

Some happy memories, but most are sad, for this is what
happens when the world goes MAD.

Peter Wicks. Focus Poetry winner 1994

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!