1940's accents?

Discussion in 'General' started by marcus69x, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    Thats what Drew said.
     
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    yes me old china
     
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The cockney slang was originally started by homosexuals who wanted to keep the sexuality secret and was used as a means of identify and communicating with each other.

    I think you're thinking of 'Polari', a rather different thing, and even that has origins older than it's use by 'Julian & Sandy':
    YouTube - Round The Horne last ever episode - Julian & Sandy
     
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  4. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek

    A lot has always been made of the class divide during the Battle of Britain. Lots of clipped accents there.
     
  5. Very Earnest

    Very Earnest WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Most escape attempts were by officers. As an 'other rank' POW at a working camp (Arbeitskommando) in Saxony I know that we were doing hard, physical work for up to ten hours a day with only one 'rest day' in three weeks. That doesn't leave a great deal of either time or energy for planning and executing escapes. Officer POWs had nothing to do all day and orderlies to help them do it. No wonder they spent lots of time planning escapes!

    Not, mind you that we envied them. Work made the time pass more quickly, we met lots of interesting people. I learnt to speak very ungrammatical German and enough Russian words and phrases to speed my hitch-hiking journey to freedom through Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia
     
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  6. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    Cant find anything there to disagree with and welcome to forum. Highlights more of what we talk of in a general sense... As not many other rank pow movies of UK blokes but plenty of officer ones.
     
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Until about 40 years ago,the regional accent was frowned on, irrespective of the quality of the person behind the voice.It was expected that to qualify for access to a professional career,a person had to speak with a BBC Oxford English accent irrespective of qualifications etc.This was and is still apparent in the assessment of a person to lead as illustrated in the British services.This has been gradually erroded through TV broadcasting and the effect of successful people of all occupations with varying regional accents having visual and audio publicity through this medium.

    The upper class accent or the adopting of one was always perceived to be a hallmark of personal intelligence which in reality is remote from the truth but nevertheless appeared to be the passport to social and professional recognition.It was seen to be more important than the aspects of qualifications,experience and behavioural competencies.I note that some, such as MPs, speak with a clipped accent which perhaps indicates that the person went to public school or belongs to an "old family".On the other hand there are people who adopt the accents and style of communicating as those in their particular field whether it be effective English or not.But the impression that the person with the upper class accent should be more trusted in a given role is more than likely,incorrect, for there are more exacting tests which can reveal the true character of a person.

    It is similar to the British films of yesteryear in that you would never find the villian smoking a pipe.A soon as a character pulled out his pipe for a smoke,it was instant recognition of the likely hero.

    However,it is a fact that leadership and professional capability do not require "BBC Oxford" clipped English to communicate effectively.As long as the person has additionally,strong communication skills using quality English,both verbally and with the written word,this should be one of the many facets to qualify for successful assessment.

    Getting back to the wartime films where the characters always had a division line between officers and other ranks based on the fact that the lower ranks were portrayed as not having received an adequate education and spoke with heavy regional accents.In these films,RAF aircrew were always presented as speaking precise English among themselves,even during operational emergencies,the English was formal with the stereotype officer speaking with a plummy accent.

    In fact regardless of accent,RAF Bomber Command NCO aircrew who may have failed a commissioning interview after passing out as Pilots,Observers or Navigators invariably were commissioned after a first tour of air operations or even earlier and their promotion was obviously based on exemplary leadership in the air.

    Some might remember Wilfred Pickles,a Yorkshireman who hailed from Bradford who had a stint as a wartime 9 o'clock Home Service newscaster.He was sacked for ending the news, which was the most important news of the day for the home front, when he bid farewell to his listeners with "Good Neat"
     
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  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I think you're thinking of 'Polari', a rather different thing, and even that has origins older than it's use by 'Julian & Sandy':
    YouTube - Round The Horne last ever episode - Julian & Sandy

    Indeed I am ...I seem to remember watching a programme where it was linked to the origins of Cockney Slang but can't find a source on the net.
     
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  9. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Good answer Harry. Pretty much says it all
     
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Most escape attempts were by officers. As an 'other rank' POW at a working camp (Arbeitskommando) in Saxony I know that we were doing hard, physical work for up to ten hours a day with only one 'rest day' in three weeks. That doesn't leave a great deal of either time or energy for planning and executing escapes. Officer POWs had nothing to do all day and orderlies to help them do it. No wonder they spent lots of time planning escapes!

    Not, mind you that we envied them. Work made the time pass more quickly, we met lots of interesting people. I learnt to speak very ungrammatical German and enough Russian words and phrases to speed my hitch-hiking journey to freedom through Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia


    Welcome to the forum. Thank you for your post and for sharing a little about your experiences.

    A man I knew as a child - friend of my father's - was captured in 1940. He learned enough German to run off with the farmer's daughter.

    Regards,
    Diane
     
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  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Well they sent for the Household Cavalry and a small armoured car came up... We were lying in a ditch and heard what was said. We thought the Household Cavalry Regiment must have been better educated than us poor Foot Guards: you see, after this Sergeant listened to our Officers, he answered with this very plummy voice, "Ah yes, I think we can managed that."
    The above extract taken from recent conversation with Dad, I remember how he mimicked the accent, stuck in his mind anyway.
     
  12. urqh

    urqh Senior Member

    Welcome to the forum. Thank you for your post and for sharing a little about your experiences.

    A man I knew as a child - friend of my father's - was captured in 1940. He learned enough German to run off with the farmer's daughter.

    Regards,
    Diane

    Blimey..escaping is one thing..fraternising with the enemy....jolly good show. As for language and accents it still matters.. Being hired for a international job but based in city.. I was hired by a Pole in Belgium to work in Scandinavia region. Interviewed and hired by video conference.. Iwas told by the city office pa to the local office Rupert that he was aghast that a Scouser had been hired in the company.. All nationalites welcome but no northern accents.
     
  13. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Blimey..escaping is one thing..fraternising with the enemy....jolly good show. As for language and accents it still matters.. Being hired for a international job but based in city.. I was hired by a Pole in Belgium to work in Scandinavia region. Interviewed and hired by video conference.. Iwas told by the city office pa to the local office Rupert that he was aghast that a Scouser had been hired in the company.. All nationalites welcome but no northern accents.

    Don't take it personally Urqh, he'd probably just had new tyres put on his car !:)
     
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  14. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Most escape attempts were by officers. As an 'other rank' POW at a working camp (Arbeitskommando) in Saxony I know that we were doing hard, physical work for up to ten hours a day with only one 'rest day' in three weeks. That doesn't leave a great deal of either time or energy for planning and executing escapes. Officer POWs had nothing to do all day and orderlies to help them do it. No wonder they spent lots of time planning escapes!

    Not, mind you that we envied them. Work made the time pass more quickly, we met lots of interesting people. I learnt to speak very ungrammatical German and enough Russian words and phrases to speed my hitch-hiking journey to freedom through Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia

    An interesting account of Kreigies other ranks enforced employment.Blame the Geneva Convention which provided agreement for the enemy to work other ranks although such work should not be connected with the means to wage war but legislated that officers could not be put to work.However as you say it gave you the opportunity to gain geographical intelligence and the means to meet people while on working parties.

    Regarding officer POWs,I know of one politician who as POW decided not to get involved in the folly and dangerous business of escaping but used his time to qualify as a barrister.This fact only came to attention when a fellow officer engaged in the exercise of escaping,mentioned those who were otherwise happy with their lot during capivity when the former POW,then a politician, achieved higher officer.

    Dianne mentioned the farmer's daughter who ran off with a British POW.I saw the account of a British other rank escapee who enjoyed working on a farm especially as the farmer was away in the Wehrmacht as so many farms were so effected.He led a happy existence on the farm and enjoyed "marital life" so much so when he escaped he was togged out with the husband's clothing.
     
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Most escape attempts were by officers. As an 'other rank' POW at a working camp (Arbeitskommando) in Saxony I know that we were doing hard, physical work for up to ten hours a day with only one 'rest day' in three weeks. That doesn't leave a great deal of either time or energy for planning and executing escapes. Officer POWs had nothing to do all day and orderlies to help them do it. No wonder they spent lots of time planning escapes!

    Not, mind you that we envied them. Work made the time pass more quickly, we met lots of interesting people. I learnt to speak very ungrammatical German and enough Russian words and phrases to speed my hitch-hiking journey to freedom through Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia

    Welcome to the forum Ernest.
    Look forward to more of your stories .
     
  16. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Wilfred Pickles was the first news reader with a regional accent to be heard on the BBC during the war, when they gave their names to avoid Germany hijacking the news. Some Cockney slang has been taken into common usage, such as blowing as raspberry which came from raspberry tart - a fart. And as for calling someone a Berk, it comes frm Berkeley Hunt!
     
  17. ADM199

    ADM199 Well-Known Member

    Good to see you on the Forum Ernest. I know you have much more to tell us and sure that there are others waiting to here it.

    Regarding Class or should I say Clarss distinction.

    Reading through Recommendations for awards to Italians for assisting Allied escapers, there was a Column that asked what class the person was from.

    One entry was "Working Class, but well educated", but that's what the attitudes were in the 40s

    Brian
     
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  18. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    The cockney slang was originally started by homosexuals who wanted to keep the sexuality secret and was used as a means of identify and communicating with each other.
    Sorry, Drew!
    It's enough to make a heaps go all peas around the Oxford!
    Les (London born and bred)
     
  19. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Senior Member

    Some people still speak like that Marcus, I promise you.

    Look up 'Received Pronunciation' for the technical term for it's purest form (the BBC insisted on it for decades), and bear in mind that many actors were Toffs (or wanted to be), or had risen through the music halls (or Rep) and learnt the 'correct' way to enunciate. it was just how it was done.

    I wish it was still in force for TV announcers... :unsure:

    Well there's always Brian Sewell, an example for those who don't know him; YouTube - Brian Sewell's Grand Tour

    A lot of brass still talk like that, of my three uncles who all did National Service, the one who stayed in from the fifties until the early eighties and made it all the way to Major still speaks like it while the others maintained their natural Kent-ish working class accents. Reveals their aspirations and how if you wanted to get ahead you learned to speak like that.

    Toffs still talk like it too, it's namely how you tell they're toffs nowadays as just about everyone else has given it up in favour of reflecting the tones of the common people to ensure our continued equality. ;)

    The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has a mild tinge of it, especially compared to his redecessor Ken Livingstone.

    It's interesting how times have changed quite quickly with this though, the tide almost completely turned from judging folk badly because they had a "common" accent, to judging folk badly for having a "posh" one. Both nonsense of course.

    pip pip
     
  20. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    My late Squadron Leader, “Loopy” Kennard certainly used to have a “posh” accent, not so much “cut glass” but more of an exaggerated drawl.

    I don’t remember telling this particular story about him before but I think it’s too good not to place on record while I am still here to tell it :)

    In early 1946 “A” Squadron, the 4th QOH were stationed at Monfalcone, not far from Trieste.

    Loopy Kennard had recently re-joined the Regiment after many years as a POW and his wife Cecelia had come out to Italy to keep him company. (He was eventually to marry three further times, as his biography shows)

    The Squadron was lined up on the parade ground for the early morning parade when the sound of horses hooves could be heard approaching. To my left I saw Loopy’s wife with another female rider.

    Loopy called out in his inimitable manner “Good morning dear, have a good ride?”

    To the immense enjoyment of all ranks on parade his wife answered

    “No I didn’t !….....I got caught in a bloody shower and I’m fxxxxxxg soaked !!! “

    A roar of laughter engulfed the Squadron, which Loopy made no attempt to halt and the memory stays with me to today !

    For the benefit of those who’ve never heard of Loopy before, see the entry below:

    Entry in the peerage.com:

    Lt.-Col. Sir George Arnold Ford Kennard, 3rd Bt.1

    M, #26559, b. 27 April 1915, d. 13 December 1999
    Lt.-Col. Sir George Arnold Ford Kennard, 3rd Bt.|b. 27 Apr 1915\nd. 13 Dec 1999|p2656.htm#i26559|Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt.|b. 12 May 1885\nd. 7 Oct 1948|p6255.htm#i62548|Dorothy Katherine Barclay|d. 15 Jan 1953|p6256.htm#i62553|Hugh C. D. Kennard|b. 15 May 1859\nd. 9 Apr 1886|p8211.htm#i82102|Helen Wyllie|d. 21 Apr 1928|p8211.htm#i82103|Sir George H. Barclay||p6256.htm#i62554||||

    Last Edited=3 Jul 2007
    Lt.-Col. Sir George Arnold Ford Kennard, 3rd Bt. was born on 27 April 1915.3 He was the son of Sir Coleridge Arthur Fitzroy Kennard, 1st Bt. and Dorothy Katherine Barclay.2 He married Cecilia Violet Cokayne Maunsell, daughter of Major Cecil John Cokayne Maunsell and Wilhelmine Violet Eileen Fitz-Clarence, on 12 October 1940.3 He and Cecilia Violet Cokayne Maunsell were divorced in 1958.4 He married, secondly, Mollie Jesse Rudd Wyllie, daughter of Hugh Wyllie, on 30 September 1958.4 He and Mollie Jesse Rudd Wyllie were divorced in 1974.4 He married, thirdly, Nichola Carew, daughter of Peter Gawen Carew and Ruth Chamberlain, in 1985.1 He married, fourthly, Georgina Wernher, daughter of Maj.-Gen. Sir Harold Augustus Wernher, 3rd Bt. and Anastasia Mikhailovna de Torby, Countess de Torby, in December 1992 at London, England.4 He and Nichola Carew were divorced in 1992.1 He died on 13 December 1999 at age 84.3
    Lt.-Col. Sir George Arnold Ford Kennard, 3rd Bt. was educated at Eton College, Eton, Berkshire, England.3 He was commissioned in 1936, in the service of the 4th Hussars.4 He fought in the Second World War, where he was mentioned in despatches twice, and was a POW (1939-41).3 He was Lieutenant-Colonel of the 4th Queen's Own Hussars between 1955 and 1958.4 He was with Cement Marketing Company between 1967 and 1979.4 He succeeded to the title of 3rd Baronet Kennard, of Fernhill, co. Southampton [U.K., 1891] on 3 May 1967
     
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