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John Simkin

Second World War Panel

11 posts in this topic

I have been a history teacher (students aged 11 to 18) for 25 years. I am the author of the book Adolf Hitler (1987) and the website Encyclopaedia of the Second World War;

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WW.htm

So far there are sections on: Background to the War; Nazi Germany, Chronology of the War, Political Leaders, European Diplomacy, Major Offensives, British Military Leaders, USA Military Leaders, German Military Leaders, Japanese Military Leaders, The Armed Forces, The Air War, The Resistance, Scientists & Inventors, War at Sea, Resistance in Nazi Germany, The Holocaust, War Artists, Weapons and New Technology.

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I was born in Clapton, London on 11th March, 1920.

In 1940 I was called up to join the British Army for military training. The following year I was sent to Egypt to take part in the Desert War. I was at Tobruk and El Alamein where I was wounded in the arm and was hospitalized in Alexandria.

I returned to duty and took part in Operation Lightfoot and Operation Supercharge. I was also involved in the capture of Tunisia in on 11th May, 1943 and fought in Italy in 1944. I left the army in August 1945.

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I was born in London on 5th June, 1926 and was thirteen years old when the Second World War broke out. During the Blitz I only attended school on Monday mornings in order to collect books and homework and this was returned to the school on Friday mornings (air raids permitting).

I started work in 1940 and later joined the Voluntary Nursing Service and nursed at Whipps Cross Hospital in the evenings and at weekends.

During the war I worked at the Rego factory making officer's uniforms. After my factory was hit by a V2 Rocket I was forced to work for a light bulb factory.

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I was born in London on 29 July 1914. I married John Simkin, a porter at Billingsgate Fish Market on 26 August 1939 at West Hackney Church, Stoke Newington.

While on my honeymoon Neville Chamberlain announced that Britain was at war with Germany. When we returned my husband joined the Royal Artillery and I was conscripted to work at the Briggs munitions factory in Dagenham. In 1940 the factory was hit and several of my fellow workers were killed. I left work in 1942 when my first child was born.

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I have been the Head of the History Department of Hvitfeldtska Gymnasiet in Gothenburg, Sweden, the last 6 years. Before that I tought History at a few High Schools, Colleges and Universities. My specific interest and knowledge are the Spansih Civil War (where I have done some work on the Swedish reaction and Swedish volunteers), 19th and early 20th Century Russian History and the Nordic Countries (especially Finland and Sweden) during the 19th and early 20th Century. I also have some knowledge about Germany during the same periods and the coming of World War One and World War Two.

My mother is willing to answer questions about WWII out of a childs perspective. She was 6 years old, living in Helsinki with her sister and parents, when Russia attacked Finland and the so called "Finnish Winter War" broke out. During the coming months (and especially during the "Continuation War") over 70 000 Finnish children were evacuated to Sweden - she was one of them. Many of them didn't speak a word of Swedish when they first came to Sweden. When they came back home three-four years later some of them had forgotten their native Finnish language...

Edited by John Simkin

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With a BA in history and politics and MA in political philosophy, I have been a history teacher since 1993. I am currently Head of Humanities at the International School of Toulouse in France and I was previously Head of Politics at Olchfa School in Swansea, south Wales.

I teach IGCSE History and IB History and consequently have a current 'expertise' in modern history.

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I have a BA in History, a BA in Political Science and am currently working on my masters degree in American history. I am a member of the National Council for History Education, Inc., and am in the process of creating a website to be used as a resource and forum, when it is ready it can be found at www.historygeek.org I teach American history at Winfield, Kansas, USA.

Edited by Justin Q. Olmstead

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Sintermeertencollege where I teach will try to conduct as many interviews as possible this year with 'ordinary' people who've lived through WW2 in occupied Holland. My plan is to save the interviews on the schoolwebsite.

September 2004 marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Dutch province of Limburg. At the same time Operation Market Garden swept through the provinces of Brabant and came to a halt near Nijmegen (Nimwegen) and Arnhem.

The liberation of Heerlen is commemorated by the city archives of Heerlen with sound and video. (in Dutch only in Internet Explorer+flash). Market Garden background info can be found with the NOS, the Dutch national broadcasting company (in Dutch only, with animations and sound)

Some interesting linkscan be found on the same NOS-site (some in English)

Any questions on the Dutch involvement in WW2 will be answered as well as I can.

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Having obtained a degree in Archaeological Studies I worked as a field archaeologist in Britain and then at the University of New Mexico. From there I moved into education and became a teacher in 1984. I have been a Head of Department and am currently the Head of History and Archaeology at the West Somerset Community Collge in Minehead, Somerset and also a Senior Teacher there. I have also gained examination experience having served as a moderator, examiner, team leader for both, Principal Examiner, INSET provider and reviser for one of the major GCSE boards (a number of these posts I still retain). I have published a number of things for Heinemann, Hodder and Stoughton and Shire Publications.

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Ben Burgess is currently a student of Contemporary & International Military History at the University of Salford, UK. He is currently studying Theories of War as well as the development of the German Army and the evolution of Chinese & Japanese Warfare. Over the last two years he has taken part in several trips to Germany, France, Belgium and the Czech Republic as part of his continued research into the campaigns of the Second World War. He has also been fortunate enough to interview many veterans of the conflict along the way.

Aside from studying history Ben also heads the team behind The History Project and manages the design of the site, keeping pages indexed and editing new submissions. He has recently applied for a teaching position at a further education college in his hometown.

He also runs the History Project website:

http://www.thehistoryproject.co.uk/

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