- Contributed by
- CSV Solent
- People in story:
- Imelda Tilbrook (formerly Imelda Murphy)
- Location of story:
- Rosslare, South East Ireland
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 02 August 2005
During the Second World War I lived in a small and remote village called Rosslare right on the South East Coast of Ireland, the beach and the sea being no more than fifty yards away. The area was so remote and self-sufficient that the war hardly affected us at all. My father was a publican and I was thirteen in late 1944 to early 1945 when the event I am about to relate took place.
I distinctly remember when Captain Matt O'Neill came through our kitchen door one day while on leave. He was a dark and handsome sailor, broad and tall. Having walked in, my brothers and sisters and I rushed to meet him before he gathered us up in his arms! With him, he had brought a whole branch of succulent bananas that simply did not exist for us during the war (and so were divine to taste!) He also planted on the table a vast tin of biscuits that, to me, seemed mountainous!
We loved Captain O'Neill, the hero of the high seas and the frequent bringer of tropical treats! I daresay it was cupboard love though! So, it was absolutely dreadful for us when, after a period of being dubbed: 'Missing' we learned his ship had been torpedoed and that, consequently, our heroic Captain Matt O'Neill had been killed.
This story was submitted to the People's War website by Toby Farmiloe from Heathfield Community College, on behalf of Imelda Tilbrook, and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs. Tilbrook fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
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