- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Ray Jemmett
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Royal Navy
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 14 February 2004
My father was in the Royal Navy during the war and served in Destroyers and Minesweepers. His ship was sent to Dunkirk where he manned a ships lifeboat which went from his ship to the shore to pick up the men wading through the shallows.
My parents lived in the Medway Towns and my Mother's Uncle managed to offices of J. P. Knight the Medway tug owners.
Dad had gone without sleep for days, being kept going on the rum ration, when he spotted a "K" tug- one of the many "little ships" which came across to help out. He found a stub of a pencil and on an old cigarette packet he wrote "I'm OK Kath, love Ray", hailed the tug skipper and asked him to give the "message" to the tug office.
Mum, who at the time knew nothing of Dunkirk and the evacuation, received her message and treasured the old, dirty cigarette packet until she died.
Dad survived Dunkirk and later the Russian convoys.
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