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15 October 2014
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ROYAL REUNION after 51 YEARS

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Royal Navy

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
John Reed
Location of story: 
Portsmouth, Hampshire and Walmer, Kent
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
A4681028
Contributed on: 
03 August 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by volunteer Michael Stimson on behalf of John Reed from Sussex and has been added with his permission. He fully understands the terms and conditions.

In 1941, age 19, I volunteered for the Royal Navy, and did my gunnery training at Portsmouth. We were berthed on the Royal Yacht, Victoria and Albert, which had been specially converted. Later that year, I was on ceremonial duty for a visit by Queen Elizabeth. She spoke a few words to me.

51 years later, in 1992,I heard that she, now of course the Queen Mother, was coming to visit Walmer Lifeboat Station in Kent. I wrote to her, recalling that we had met in 1941.She wrote back, saying she would be pleased to meet me again. At Walmer she said it was nice to see me again and I wished her a happy day.

I was awarded the 1939/45, Atlantic, N.Africa and Italian Stars. I was on the supply ship Derwentdal which was blown up in Salerno Bay in 1943. Although I was not injured, as a result of that traumatic experience, I would not have volunteered again for the Navy.

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