The Open UniversitySkip to content

Waving at soldiers

Richardson, Heather (2015). Waving at soldiers. European Journal of Life Writing, 4 C7-C18.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (2MB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


For most writers the first experience of narrative comes from within the family. Facts, opinions, distortions and – very occasionally – truth, are shaped into family stories. A first-time memoirist such as myself has to acknowledge her own unreliability as a narrator, and must unpick real from false memory, the accidently misremembered from the downright lie. In this piece I chart the uncomfortable experience of remembering and writing about growing up during the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’, focusing on the life and death of my Aunt’s husband. He was a British soldier serving in Northern Ireland during the worst years of the Troubles in the early 70s and latterly a constable in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). From their peculiar wedding in my parents’ front room to his death in a car crash five years later, exploring his story has confronted me with the long-denied impact of the Northern Irish conflict on my practice as a writer and teacher of creative writing.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 Heather Richardson
ISSN: 2211-243X
Keywords: memoir; Northern Ireland; soldiers
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > English & Creative Writing
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 43776
Depositing User: Heather Richardson
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2015 09:48
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2020 06:59
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU