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Up And At Em

by clevelandcsv

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Archive List > Royal Navy

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Walter Bangley
Location of story: 
H.M.T.S Ettrick
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
19 August 2005

Walter is pictured in the middle of the back row and would love to hear from anyone else on the photo which was taken in Malta

1940 saw me enlisting in the Royal Marines,at Chatham and I did my training at Alum Bay in the Isle of White, where we used an all wooden landing craft 'The Eure'ka.I also trained in and around the beautiful Scottish Town of Inverary, in particular a hill overlooking Inverary, called Dunchuaich
We would embark on a landing craft and with full kit travel across the water to the hill.The landing craft would stop in shallow water and we would run off the landing craft,sometimes into chest high water with our rifles high above our heads and wade ashore as fast as we could.Once on the shore, our objective was to secure the hill.Many people would think that grafitti was a new pastime but on top of the hill was a folly, which was covered in names of past trainees.We did this run, time after time and slump down exhausted and watch our ship down below and wish you were back on board, warm and dry.

My first ship was H.M.T.S Ettrick, which I joined at Canada Docks in Liverpool during a fierce air raid, in June/July 1940.My Company the 1st Batt Royal Marines, were joined on board by the 3rd Batt and many more troops.

We set sail for Scappa Flow for exercises before sailing to Gibraltar,where we came under air attack,luckily we all survived.We then set sail for Freetown, where we encounted more air attacks.Our aim was to attack Dakar, so the big ships came in and started shelling, along with the Fleet Air Arm.Some aircraft were lost and the HMS Resolution was hit by a torpedo and withdrew.We also lost a ship called the 'Dorset Coast'.

The landing of troops was aborted and we withdrew to Freetown, where we left the ship to camp at Lumley Camp,in Kissey.We rejoined the ship and eventually got back to Scotland where we dropped anchor in the river Clyde.

Written with the help and co-operation of Mr Walter Bangley by Ged Fleming (Cleveland CSV Story Gatherer)

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