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15 October 2014
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Irish Connection WW2

by Peter Mulvany

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Contributed by 
Peter Mulvany
People in story: 
My Father and Mother
Location of story: 
South Wales and Birkenhead
Article ID: 
A1145620
Contributed on: 
14 August 2003

My Father Desmond Mulvany was an electrician and to the best of my knowledge from 1939 worked in the Cammell Laird Shipyard, Birkenhead. There is a recollection of him advising my mother that he had also worked on HMS Thetis , the ill fated Submarine which had sunk in Liverpool Bay during sea trails in June 1939. It is believed he had been due to go on board but for some reason his trip on her had been cancelled.From 1940 to May 1941 he was employed as an electrician in the Liffey Dockyard in Dublin, degaussing Allied and Irish Ships. It is believed with the permission of the Irish Government that Royal Naval Officers were secretly assisting and advising Irish dockyard personnel on degaussing techniques. After the Germans bombed Dublin in May of 1941 this activity ceased. From June 1941 to July 1944 he worked as a supervisory electrician in the Pembroke Dockyard South Wales, involved in the repair of British Naval and Merchant Vessels. My mother Evelyn Mulvany nee McCarthy, was also employed in the Administration Block in the same Dockyard. They both lived happily in Haverfordwest and my father joined the local Air Raid Warden Precaution Service, my mother was also involved with the local WVS and assisted the ARP engaged in general Duties. Both were Irish Nationals born in Dublin. They subsequently moved to Wallasey in Liverpool and worked for Cammell Laird in their Dockyard from 1944-45. In 2001, I received on my Parents behalf, four Royal British Legion commemorative medals issued for their UK civilian war service.
On the 15th July 2003 [ Thanks to BBC South Wales and the South Wales Newsmedia who greatly assisted with this research]a Mr RG Kettle, Milford Haven came forward and as a young apprentice electrician he remembered working with my father, Desmond Mulvany while he was employed as an electrician with Peter Hancock and Sons, The Docks, Milford Haven and recalls him living in Haverfordwest. They worked on the refitting and repair of Naval and Merchant Ships. The Naval Ships were usually Armed Trawlers, Mine Sweepers, Corvettes and Frigates. The Merchant Ships were part of the incoming or outgoing Convoys which gathered in the Harbour. Mr Kettle also wrote that my request for information about my father in the Welsh Newsmedia, was the first time he had heard any of their names mentioned in over sixty years. Mr Kettle was the youngest apprentice electrician in the dockyard at the time and is now 79 years of age. I am most grateful for his assistance.
Re:The Old Cammell Laird Dockyard Birkenhead : Does the contribution of the many dockyard workers in the shipyards of the UK towards the success of the British War effort during World War 2, not deserve a plaque or other dedicated reminder of the debt owed ?
Peter Mulvany

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