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1036, LO/391/342
Leicester Oral History Archive Collection

Speaker: Blackham, Henry, 1918 - , Interviewee, Male, Prison Officer
Speaker: Carswell, J, Interviewer, Female

Summary of interview item: Outlines family background in Birmingham. Describes pay, conditions at Lewis's, Birmingham. Explains how mother baptised children as Catholics. Describes living in back to back slums of Birmingham, food, means test, having to sell some possessions. Explains how joined army having been sacked from Lewis's, outlines progession to Singapore and Japanese Prisoner of War [POW] camp. Details work, bad conditions as POW in Formosa copper mine, then coal mine in Japan. Describes obtaining job in prison service after war, selection procedure, training. Compares 'hard' Birmingham prison with 'cushy' Leicester. Recalls fight with prisoner, hierarchy among prisoners, Frankie Fraser assaulting governer. Mentions homosexuality greater in POW camp than prison, comments on poor relationship between police and prison officers, gives opinion on changing attitudes to prison and punishment.
Place of birth: Birmingham
Education: To age 14
Marital Status: , Children:
Father's Occupation: Coach painter (Automobiles)
Mother's Occupation: Factory worker, Housewife
Location: County: Leicestershire
Location: Town/Place: Leicester, Birmingham
Periods Covered: 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s
Language: English

Recording Date: 9/7/1987
Playing time: 1 hr 22 mins
Access Restrictions: Restricted Item Copyright: EMOHA
Summary: Yes
Transcription: No
Copies: yes
Cross Reference: 1053, LO/400/351

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Last updated: 08/05/02
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