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15 October 2014
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A seaman’s scrapbook

by cambsaction

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Archive List > Royal Navy

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Mrs Eileen Dance (nee Stacey) and Joseph Stacey
Location of story: 
The high seas
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
21 December 2005

My father was in a reserve occupation as a gas fitter and when the Germans starting bombing civilians (in London), he said enough was enough and enlisted.

When he enlisted he was worried about us going hungry so he asked my mother to keep chickens so he wouldn’t worry when he was at sea. When he was at his training in Devon, he brought a dozen chicks home.

He went to America to pick up his ship which was a lease-lend to the British Government. He kept a diary but my mother found it after he died and said it was so sad she wouldn’t tell us any stories and destroyed it. There was one story though — he was with an American family waiting for the ship to be fitted out. They loaded up the ship with presents from the Americans to bring back for the families here. Dad was on an escort ship and saw the ship with the presents being torpedoed and sunk.

He served all over the place and when he was in America he bought lots of postcards. They were all colour pictures of views and he put them in photo album when he came back. He served on quite a few ships: Duke, Medina, Daedalus (Kirkham), Merlin, Landrail, Ashbury (Ravager), Heron.

In his collection he had lots of photos which were by the official photographer and showed ships crash-landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier, or into the sea when they missed the target.

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