Ordinary men: extraordinary times. An exploration of the impact of combat experience on World War Two Royal New Zealand Air Force aircrew across the life course from the perspectives of the veterans, their spouse/ partner, siblings, children and grandchildren

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dc.contributor.advisor Parsons, M en
dc.contributor.advisor Hand, J en
dc.contributor.author Smith, Barbara en
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-21T23:30:35Z en
dc.date.issued 2011 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/19454 en
dc.description.abstract Although there has been much research on physical and psychological war trauma, there has been little concerning the way in which World War Two combat veterans coped following demobilisation and none exploring the longer term impact. This study sought to: (i) assess and describe the long term impact of the war combat experience on the veteran; (ii) identify those factors in the combat experience that are the most significant to the veteran; and (iii) examine the autobiographical memory of the combat veteran, spouse, children, grandchildren and sibling in identifying how each believes the combat experience influenced the veteran, and the family. Participants: A total of 24 World War Two Royal New Zealand Air Force aircrew, two New Zealand army veterans, five wives, 15 family members and two friends. Methods: Semi- structured interviews, using narrative inquiry with inductive analysis, using the framework of Elder‘s Life Course theory. The study was conducted in two phases, in Phase One, six veterans and one wife were interviewed. The results were analysed and the interview schedule modified. In Phase II, a further 41 interviews were conducted and analysed. Results: Results revealed exceptional clarity of memory about the war experience. Combat veterans identified the camaraderie of aircrew resulting in lifelong associations. The intense training to be aircrew improved the basic education and enabled for some greater post-war vocational choice. Demobilisation and returning to civilian life was described by all as a particularly difficult time. Combat aircrew had to manage stress when on operations in order not to endanger fellow aircrew. Family reported the psychological consequences of combat stress, such as irritability, depression, anxiety, all of which affected the marriage relationship and the family dynamics as the children grew up. Several veterans are still troubled by traumatic memory from the war that ended 66 years ago. Only in the last 10-15 years have a few veterans started speaking about their experiences, breaking a long silence concerning the war. Conclusion: The veterans and families identified that World War Two had changed their lives, affecting the career trajectory, marital relationships and their children. Combat stress can be the unseen variable in the health care of older people. Memory implanted during the stress of combat endures a lifetime, can become more apparent in older age and needs recognition as such. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Ordinary men: extraordinary times. An exploration of the impact of combat experience on World War Two Royal New Zealand Air Force aircrew across the life course from the perspectives of the veterans, their spouse/ partner, siblings, children and grandchildren en
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Auckland en
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en
thesis.degree.name PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/OpenAccess en
pubs.elements-id 360614 en
pubs.org-id Medical and Health Sciences en
pubs.org-id Nursing en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-08-22 en


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