A Backroom Boy in World War II: Aberporth Works Diary, 1944-45

A Backroom Boy in World War II: Aberporth Works Diary, 1944-45

by Dr Raymond Redd


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The secret researchers of World War II, known as "boffins" or "backroom boys", produced major successes such as Barnes Wallis' "bouncing bomb" but otherwise remain little known.

One of these forgotten "backroom boys" was Raymond Redd, author of this diary. During WWII Ray worked on developing missiles and ammunition in a top-secret establishment at Aberporth, West Wales. His diary for 1944-45 begins with technical notes, then expands into work stresses, personal problems, and the challenges of life during wartime. We read of design struggles, clashes of character, and even the trials of transport to work.

At his home in nearby St Dogmaels, Ray was also busy "digging for victory" in his garden, despite the depredations of birds, pests and local youngsters. His notes on wartime home life and village friendships provide a vivid picture of a nation pulling together - harmoniously or otherwise - in the long battle against Nazi dictatorship.

Private diaries are increasingly recognised as a valuable historical resource for social research. A diary such as Raymond Redd's can offer much first-hand evidence on cultural attitudes, living conditions, questions of personal and group identity, and the changing everyday activities of personal life. This book offers much for study. Its notes and comments should be considered in the context of their times, but interpreting such evidence allows fresh examination of social phenomena particularly under wartime stress.

Above all, the human story of workplace and home at the end of World War II is illuminated by the hundreds of personal thoughts and incidents recorded in this diary.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781981219704
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 01/17/2018
Pages: 254
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Raymond Redd was born in Watchet, Somerset, England, in 1910. His family moved away and settled in Port Talbot, South Wales. He was academically gifted and studied chemistry to Ph.D. level at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, later entering teaching. During World War II he undertook technical research for weapons in a Projectile Development Establishment at Aberporth, West Wales, and also served in the local Home Guard battalion. Subsequently he worked in the post-war teacher training programme before himself returning to teaching in West Wales. During the Cold War he was a Scientific Intelligence Officer in the local Civil Defence organisation. A keen fisherman and birdwatcher, he was married with one son. He died in 1974.

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