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A Man from Tunbridge Wells

by amanda

Contributed by 
People in story: 
William Carteledge
Location of story: 
Hong Kong and around
Background to story: 
Royal Navy
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
16 May 2005

William was born in 1924 and in 1941 served in the RAF army defene regiment; this group was disbanded in 1942.

William next served with the Sea Force Irelanders and was sent to Scotland for training for regimental duties. At this time there was a great shortage of sailors so William volunteered for the Navy and was posted to Lowestoft and then to Portsmouth where he was assigned to HMS Lupin, at the time in dry dock. William was on shore patrol duties with the Royal Navy. In 1943 William was sent to Hong Kong and assigned to a naval shore patrol. As well as policing sailors William was involved in watching for black marketeers trading from the mainland, particularly Kowloon. A lot of this smuggling involved drugs such as cocaine and heroin. William recalls one particular incident when his ship was sailing from Hong Kong to the Malacca Straits; it was a Sunday so the men were preparing for a service to be held on board. An organ was kept on board for this purpose; however, as the organ was being moved to the main deck it broke free from its moorings and fell onto a sailor who was sadly killed.

In 1944 William was assigned to a flotilla, under the command of Mountbatten. This flotilla went to Australia to prepare for the anticipated invasion of Japan In 1945 this flotilla was waiting in the Malacca Straits, 300 miles into the danger zone when the A-bomb was dropped on Hiroshima - th flotilla then returned to Australia. William had to wait for a year in Australia before returning to England and being demobbed from Sherness in 1946. William recalls being fitted out with a grey suit and a trilby hat before returning home to marry his sweetheart.

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