Sunday, February 26, 2006

Getting the facts right

Photo shows: This is how I managed to get some dates right and shows a day-leave pass to Florence on the 20th of November 1944

Since I first started contributing to this website I have contributed some 30 odd articles, all based on my own personal WW2 experiences.

I give this figure purely to demonstrate that I consider myself a ‘serious’ contributor and I ask the reader to accept that I have always tried to be both truthful and accurate when it came to the facts.

One of my own particular problems has been that a lot of my stories had already been aired in my family’s book entitled ‘And then there were eleven’ (referring to the fact that there were eleven children in the Goldstein family). When I first wrote my own contribution to the book it was in 1988, some 46 years after my service days and I suppose I could be forgiven for getting a few dates wrong.

When I eventually found the BBC WW2 website I simply copied and pasted these stories on to the site without any further checking with regard to dates.

If you have read any of my stories you will see that I rely largely on my own diaries and an album that I created in 1946 whilst stationed in Trieste and waiting to get my demob. On the back page of this album I had carefully written down all the places I had ‘visited’ in my travels, together with the month in question.

Unfortunately the diaries that I kept in 1942 and 1943 were lost during active service and only those of 1944 and 1945 survive, albeit in a somewhat truncated form.

During the past year, however, I have been able to examine the War Diaries of both the regiments in which I served, namely the 49th LAA Rgt. and the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars.

These documents are both fascinating and memory provoking and, for the first time, have given me an opportunity of checking the dates I had supplied in my articles.

I am now going through the lengthy process of checking all the articles I have submitted and, where the date was originally entered using my memory alone, I am confirming this from the official war diaries and making the necessary amendment.

If there are any servicemen out there who consider that any of my articles still contain a factual error I would ask them to leave a note in my Personal Box and I will see that the article is corrected.

Many thanks and all good wishes to all who search for the truth

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