Veteran Stories:
Dorothy Mary Robinson (née Holgate)

Air Force

  • Dorothy Robinson, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, April 27, 2010.

    Historica Canada
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"When I told my grandmother, she said, “You’ll never be a driver.” And I thought to myself, “Yes, Granny, I will be a driver. I’ll show you!” And so, I went with determination to be a driver, and I really do enjoy driving."

Transcript

I joined the RAF [Royal Air Force] and went to Derby [England] to be enlisted and then chose another occupation, which was either a cook or a radio operator or a driver. So, I chose a driver. I went to [RAF] Lichfield which was the parent station of this [No.] 27 OTU [Operational Training Unit] and then after a few weeks there, finally went to [RAF] Church Broughton where I stayed there for the rest of my termination, which I terminated in 1945. My driving was to the aircraft, which were [Vickers] Wellington bombers, and take the crews out to the aircraft or take the armoury men to the aircraft with their bombs, which they didn’t detonate until they arrived there, and then wait for the crews coming home and to drive them. We had various other little jobs too. So, I wanted to be a driver. When I told my grandmother, she said, “You’ll never be a driver.” And I thought to myself, “Yes, Granny, I will be a driver. I’ll show you!” And so, I went with determination to be a driver, and I really do enjoy driving. There is a particular incident of bombs going off. In [RAF] Fauld, apparently unbeknown to anybody until years later, there was a mining shaft there and bombs were being stored there. And of course – it’s in the newspapers – that the Italians were working there, prisoners of war, they work in there. There was a thought that a spark of something set off on all the bombs and it exploded, and this little country village was just a crater. Everything went up, and the farms and all that. We weren’t allowed to go anywhere near it. We did try to go and see, but no. We did officer’s runs. The officers wanted, probably, driving to the nearest town on business and we would detail the girls. But I, apparently, there was one particular officer who always asked for me to go. And I didn’t realize at the time, but I guess he intended marrying me, which he did! He had been stationed in P.E.I. in his service days, training in aircraft. And so he always said he would come back to P.E.I. because he liked the people. So after six years at medical school – we were married then – we came back with two children and we have been in P.E.I. ever since. Well, he told me once, he said to me, “I’m going to marry you and be a doctor.” And I laughed, but I thought “Ahahah, just big talk!” However, it did turn out. Oh yes, I was very careful, I said to myself, “I am not going to go out with a Canadian, American, Australian or New Zealand boy. They will take me from home”. So along comes an English fella, and he still takes me away from my home!
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