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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Richard Wilson's Story

by Lancshomeguard

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Richard Wilson
Location of story: 
The Atlantic
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
26 July 2005

This story has been submitted to the People's War website by Jean Holmes of the Lancshomeguard on behalf of Richard Wilson and added to the site with his permission.

I was in the Royal Navy from 1941. I was trained as a signalman and sent to Scapa Flow (a forlorn place) then seconded to the Polish ship, ORP Piorun. I was on the liaison staff, with 16 Englishmen and all the rest Polish.

Our job was to sail in convoy from Glasgow to and from America with supplies. We also went to Malta and Russia, which was a cold job. We started off with 6 destroyers. One was manned by the Dutch, another by the Australians. At the end of the war there was only one left. It took a long time to cross the Atlantic and then down to Canada, as the speed of the convoy is the speed of the slowest ship.

I was one of the lucky ones — I came back in one piece, but 4 hours on open deck froze us. We put on every bit of clothing we could.

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