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15 October 2014
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Little Len Goes to War

by cambsaction

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Archive List > Royal Navy

Contributed by 
cambsaction
People in story: 
Leonard Cullers
Location of story: 
London Blitz - 1940
Article ID: 
A4692981
Contributed on: 
03 August 2005

Leonard Cullers was a very good athlete who tried out for the 1935 Olympics. Didn't have the support to get through, but did attend the tryouts/trails.

Len became a member of the ARP at the beginning of the war and served throughout the Blitz in London during 1940. Provided support and rescue services. A building had been hit during the blitz and Len found a man lying in bed fast asleep due to alcohol, completely oblivious that the building had been destroyed. Len continued to rescue people throughout the Blitz. Because he was trained to be an ARP he wasn't called up. But in 1941, after it was the war woulfd go on for longer, more and more men were called up. Len joined up because he realised that sooner or later he would be called up. He joined up for the Royal Navy. Did his basic training at HMS Collingwood; he was one of the very first Radar Operators. After his training, he wore his badge - 2 angels' wings with a lightening flash through it. Len joined one of Britain's biggest ships - HMS Rodney at Liverpool (it's sister ship was the HMS Nelson). They then went to Scarpa following the Orkeneys. The HMS Rodney was then assigned to force H in the Meditereanean. On their first war patrol they went to Sierra Leone in company with destroyers and a cruiser. Were given leave in Freetwon, Sieera Leone. Len was involved in the "Crossing of the Line" ceremony - to do with the crossing of the Equator. It was so hot the crew slept on the decks.

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