All of these dog-tags start of as just another name and number, however Oakhill's name always make me smile. Not only is the photo on the right depict a really jolly looking Ken Oakhill, but his son Barrie has been an absolute star digging around at his home looking for items relating to his fathers time during World War 2.
Getting any dog-tag home is a success of course, but without seeing a photograph of the soldier, it almost feels a little like a hollow victory. Barrie sent us that photograph almost the instant that he got off the phone with Katey. Both of us where so happy to see the face behind the name. For us its really the only thing to set these dog-tags apart, even the snippets of information we get from Forces War Records like wounded Monte Cassino all started to blend in together and once you have seen that 5 or 6 times, they too become nothing different. The photographs give us a person, I can't explain in words how important these photographs are for us. But, I hope you get an idea.
Barrie had told Katey in an email that he was sending some scans of his fathers paperwork and bits that he had found that would interest us. I couldn't wait for this to arrive and the second it did I tore into it. Firstly a letter from Barrie thanking us for our work. Which of course is fantastic, but always seems a little odd as selfish as it sounds, I do this as much for me as for others. Also, where some scans of wartime letters, one of which records the event of him saving a boy from high fever and taking him to a military camp to the doctor. He then later went back another day to make sure he was doing okay. This to me says a fair bit about the kind of man that Oakhill was.
The few leave slips are interesting as each gives different units. 12th Btn, RAC. 272nd-Fwd Dely (delivery) Sqd, RAC. 54th Training Reg, RAC. With these slips is a hand written note, title route card. Detailing the route taken while in Italy and the miles travelled between them.
The next page amused me a little for it is the lyrics to a song which I have been singing various different versions of for years. I'm sure some of you will know it. "D Day Dodgers" I must say the version I sing is a little more offensive. However this has been typed up from a copy written in Ken's own handwriting.
MORE TO COME!